First Grade

Randwick versus Easts loss 46 - 34

Whilst it was not one of our better performances of the season, the team can be proud of their effort on Saturday despite the final score. Our forwards should be commended for the pressure they put on Easts at the scrum and lineout and our attack looked dangerous at times. We might of had a different result if only we were able to get better field position and more ball. The impact of camp Wallaby and the unavailability of some key backs to attend training and to play affected team preparations to some degree. All credit to Easts who are the first team we have come up against who attacked us with good width.  The turning point of the game was the first twenty minutes of the second half, where Easts denied us field position and possession, and forced us to camp in our quarter and where team errors allowed Easts to score some smart individual tries.

The three point player of the match was Sekope Kepu for aggressive scrummaging, solid all-round forwards play and some excellent ball-in- hand attacking. It is good to see him regain fitness after injury. Watch out Parramatta!

The two point player of the match was Mark Chisholm for his aerial dominance at kick-off and at lineouts and for all his hard work in rucks and mauls.

The one point player of the match was Josh Valentine who never gave up and tackled in cover defence with strength and decisiveness.

You can view two of our tries here:

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Next week Randwick play Parramatta at Coogee Oval and we need to be very wary of this team who have improved enormously since we last played them. They had their best game of the season against Penrith last Saturday and they will be looking to repeat their fine performance.

As a team Randwick need to look at making the most of any try scoring opportunities we create in attack and on improving our decision making in defence. We will need to collectively work harder in defence.

Come down and support us - it makes a world of difference to the boys giving their all on the field.

Mark (Jock) Giacheri

From the Stands

Read on for a comprehensive Second Grade match report from a Randwick Rugby Roving Reporter "in the stands".

Saturday 17 July at Woollahra Oval was a beautiful day for Randwick style running rugby, in the eagerly anticipated Round 14 game against Eastern Suburbs. Randwick's reserve grade took the field with the demolition of Penrith (111-3) and a close and thrilling win against Sydney Uni (30-23) under their belt. Although East's were lying eighth on the table, Randwick knew that East's always lift their game at Woollahra and are always tough opponents -wherever the game takes place. Like Randwick, Easts' reserve grade side contained many experienced first-graders and Easts' fourths and thirds had just defeated Randwick's fourths and thirds. Everyone knew it would be a tough game. Fortune was likely to favour the team which executed the basic skills best and kept its nerve.

Easts started off with great determination and soon had Randwick pinned on their line.  Several driving mauls and some defensive indecision saw Easts score the first try near the posts. This was converted to give the home team a 7-nil advantage after only 10 minutes of play.

Randwick retaliated from the kick-off with excellent driving forward play. Interchanging-passing between forwards and backs led to a succession of driving ruck balls quickly despatched by half Tony Luxford standing wide to flyhalf Toby Browne. Fullback Danny Kroll joined the line allowing centre Pat Mekuri to split the Easts defence and score a classic Randwick try. Kroll converted for Randwick to level the scores at 7 all after 13 minutes of play. From the kick-off Randwick's forwards again put Easts under pressure forcing a turnover which presented the agile backs with more quick ruck ball which again was despatched speedily to the right side of the field through slick hands leading to right-winger Paul Hannify scoring in the corner. Kroll converted and after 18 minutes Randwick held a 14-7 lead.  Minutes later the rampaging pack again delivered excellent lineout ball which sped through the backs' hands to present Hannify with a long run down the right wing to score near the posts for Kroll to again convert. Randwick was then 21-7 in the lead, after only the first quarter of the game.

Undaunted, Easts began to reassert themselves with some vigorous mauling and useful field position kicking.  Randwick seemed to lose its composure for a while, leading to a period of sloppy play from which Easts scored a converted try after 28 minutes of play making the score 21-14 in favour of Randwick.

Typically Randwick immediately reasserted itself from the  kick-off driving deep into Easts' territory with the ball spun quickly to Clinton Sills on the left wing who showed a clean pair of heels to the Easts defence to score. Kroll converted the try yet again giving Randwick a 28-14 lead and  a bonus point.  Randwick then appeared to take the foot off the pedal conceding several penalties but, with two minutes of the first half left on the clock,  the pack delivered quick ball to the left of the ruck giving  Kroll a clever run to the line.  Just before halftime Easts pounced on a loose ball and their winger seemed to be heading to the try line from halfway,  with nobody but daylight between him and the try line, when halfback Luxford dropped him from behind with a superb low tackle.

The second half was a complete contrast to the first half.  Easts came out from oranges breathing fire and brimstone, determined to bring respect to the score line with a series of driving mauls and big tackles when Randwick had the ball. However Randwick regrouped and took the play into the Easts quarte spending the next five minutes coming close to scoring on several occasions. This was denied by vigorous Easts defence and some leniency by the referee to off-side play and undetected illegal ruck entrance.

Essentially the rest of the second half belonged to Easts in attack, as Randwick was confined to its own territory and much of it to their own quarter, with several soft tries lifting Easts' enthusiasm and confidence. Randwick did not score in the second half and Easts put on two more tries to take the score to 33-28 with 22 minutes still left to play.  Unfortunately, whenever Randwick appeared to be on the front foot ill-discipline cost them territory.  In this period, Easts appeared to have all the ball and Randwick was forced to dig deep in defence. The line held as Easts mounted attack after attack including several five metre scrums.  Randwick's defence, somewhat indifferent and untested in the first 45 minutes of the game, now asserted itself.  The Galloping Greens of the first half became the Gritty Greens of the last 20 minutes of the game.

The last few minutes saw a Randwick forward given a yellow card (one imagines frustration at Easts' continued undetected off-side play around the rucks had something to do with it!) and Randwick held on grimly with a series of five metre scrums on its line.  Seconds before the fulltime bell and with Easts hard on attack on the Randwick line, hard-working Number 8 Sione Kepu stole the ball, leading to a Randwick breakout to halfway as fulltime sounded and the ball was eagerly put into touch at the first opportunity.  Randwick players and supporters were as much relieved as jubilant. The fulltime score was 33-28 in favour of Randwick.

The game was a spectacle of running rugby with nine tries scored and no penalty goals.  Whilst Randwick's win contained many thrills, there was also considerable frustration at allowing a commanding halftime lead to be whittled away by seeming complacency and lack of focus.  All Randwick's tries were scored by its back five, from the pack delivering quick ball going speedily through many pairs of hands in the back line; rugby at its best - kept simple and executed superbly.  However, with the high-risk game that Randwick plays and the tendency to lose concentration at times, there is always the risk of the opposition sneaking in through the back door when the guard is down. As the Duke of Wellington said after the Battle of Waterloo "it was a close run thing".

The bonus point win puts Randwick second on the competition table with 55 points, four points behind Warringah and four points ahead of Southern Districts. Randwick will meet Souths in Round 16 and Warringah in Round 17 at Forshaw and Coogee respectively.

Colts

First Grade

Randwick versus Easts at Coogee Oval loss 14 - 49

On a sensational winter Sydney day, 1st Colts went into the local derby against Easts at Coogee Oval day confident they could turn the tide after recent losses to their cross-town rivals. And at half time - the game was well and truly in the balance 17-14 with Easts leading but the home side full of momentum.

Unfortunately weight of possession and continued pressure helped Easts run away with victory 49-14 but the boys can hold their heads high with their determined effort under testing circumstances.

Best on ground was Randwick hooker Cameron Kesby who received the 3 player points for his outstanding commitment across the park. Right behind him was centre Marc Koteczky who helped set-up two tries and took the 2 player points for his efforts. 1 point went to tough as nails fullback Ethan Ford who continually looked to threaten the line from anywhere on the park.

Looking to secure 6th spot for a semi-final berth, the focus now shifts to a big performance against Parramatta this coming Saturday.

Ben Rutherford

Next Game

6 April 2019
Randwick
VS
Eastwood
Coogee Oval
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