By Mark Giacheri
As we walked off Coogee Oval on Saturday with a 30-26 win over Warringah I felt we had put in a solid and sound performance and were well deserving of the victory. It was a crucial game for both teams especially in the lead up to the play-offs. In some respects it was almost a do or die performance and we were able to produce the required result and the boys need to be given extra credit for their efforts.
We were dominant throughout the game and produced a united front in our attack which we needed to do after our loss to Southern Districts last week. We were much improved in attack and we looked dangerous for the majority of the time we were handling the ball. If I could be critical I would say we just need a little more cohesion in these attack moments and then we would see a huge shift in the score card at the end of each game.
Our defence was solid and consistent and once again the game was hard and physical. We really put pressure on Warringah in the scrums and the two penalties we secured via the scrum were almost turning points given the closeness of the final score. There was some excellent tackling with the highlight being the sumo slam tackle from our prop Lotu Taukeiaho on Warringah's fullback Pat McCabe. Take a look at it here:
Danny Kroll had an outstanding game with successful kicking and an impressive individual try. Have a look at the try here:
Three points this week to Lotu Taukeiaho, two points to Danny Kroll and one point to John Fonokalafi for his strength in defence.
Here are a few photos of the game, courtesy of NSWRU:
Captain Gene Fairbanks tackled!
The boys hard at work in defence!
Trying to tackle Seilala Lam!
This week at training, apart from the usual strength and conditioning and team plays, we will be focussing on improving the sustainability of our attack and the subsequent conversion of our attack into more tries. We are up against Norths in an away game on Saturday and given their loss to Penrith on the weekend, Norths will be looking to regain their pride and it will be a tough game. Please come and support the boys - Up the Wicks.
By Craig Morrison - Coach
Second grade continued its winning form against a Warringah side who had dropped only one game this season, that being to Randwick in round one at Pittwater. In this top of the table clash, Randwick once again ran out winners 21-10 in a very tough and physical match where the 'Wicks' had to be at their defensive best to frequently deny a Warringah side that was full of running, particularly in the first half.
Warringah were first to score under the sticks but that was their only points for the half, despite having the better of the attack in the first half. It was Randwick who scored just prior to half time from a well worked backline play to level the score at 7-7. Whilst our attack was off the pace, the 'trust' that everyone showed in defence in the first half kept us in the match and is a credit to all players.
Randwick were far more committed to the breakdown in the second half and as the pace of the game lifted, Randwicks attacking threats began to fire leading to two second half tries on the back of sustained pressure, something that we were unable to apply in the first half. Unfortunately, the bonus point illuded the Wicks for the first time in eleven matches with the last pass from a well worked scrum play going astray in the final minutes.
It was difficult to single players out in such a great team effort but consistent performers each week include Justin Terry, Matthew McKay, Dave Parsons, Toby Browne, Pat Mekuri and John Tamanika. Everyone put there hand up though and all can take ownership of this result.
Randwick now sits on top of the ladder in Second Grade and now faces an even bigger challenge...to stay ahead of the rest and work even harder than what it took to get there. We will ceratinly be working on our defence, particularly one on one tackles as this was the only glitch in our defensive efforts on Saturday. Our support play will also need to improve significantly.
By Randwick's In The Stand Roving Reporter
Randwick's Third Grade side needed a good win against Warringah to consolidate their position as one of the front runners at the top of the table. Coming into the game after a disappointing last-second loss to Southern Districts the previous week, Randwick were lying fourth on the table with Warringah lying sixth. However, only 3 points separated the first five teams. Hence Randwick was looking for a bonus point win.
Coogee Oval was at its best on a sunny wintery day with a stiff southerly breeze when play kicked off. Early pressure from Randwick took the game to Warringah's line and some vigorous forward play was followed by a rampaging run from lock, Laisenia Vatadroka, who scored to the left of the posts. The try was converted by fly-half Glen Mekuri for Randwick to lead 7 nil after 5 minutes. A minute later continued pressure from Randwick forced Warringah to concede a penalty which Mekuri kicked to take the score to 10 nil. An engrossing period followed with both teams stretching their opponent's defence with probing running from backs and forwards and some clever kicking for field position. Warringah began to challenge Randwick's earlier dominance but Randwick managed to force turnovers at crucial breakdowns and followed up with good gains of 20 and 30 metre runs to take the pressure away from their line. Unfortunately, a promising Randwick attack was nullified when Warringah swooped on a loose pass and a 70 metre run took the play back near Randwick's line. An excellent come-from-behind tackle by winger Andrew Wing Kee stopped an almost certain try. However, Warringah was not to be denied as their halfback dived over the line from a ruck under the posts. The try was converted for Randwick to lead 10-7 with 5 minutes to go from half time. From the kick-off, play was driven deep into Warringah's territory where Randwick continued to attack but desperate defence from Warringah prevented any further score before halftime.
Randwick came out in the 2nd half determined to convert territory and possession into points and to hold onto possession. Running into the wind Randwick immediately showed their urgency by maintaining possession of the ball and, after six minutes into the 2nd half, sustained pressure saw Randwick's replacement, Michael Fitton, score near the left hand corner. The try was converted by Mekuri for Randwick to lead 17-7. Randwick proceeded to dominate the 2nd half with the forwards maintaining superiority at the set piece and, increasingly, asserting superiority at the breakdown. Ball retention improved from the 1st half enabling the ball to be put through the hands on many occasions with Randwick able to make significant advances into Warringah's territory. Warringah's attack was nullified by aggressive Randwick defence including several times when promising Warringah forays were stopped in the Randwick quarter. Randwick's loose forward trio was able to force turnover ball on many of these occasions and play was returned to Warringah territory. 13 minutes into the 2nd half right-winger Wing Kee finished off some outstanding play with a dive into the corner with inches to spare to take the score to 22-7. A few minutes later hard-working flanker Andrew Robertson increased Randwick's lead with a bullocking run to the line to give Randwick its bonus point try and a 27-7 lead. This try seemed to spark a Warringah revival but excellent Randwick defence and clever counter-attacking prevented Warringah from increasing their score with Randwick running out convincing winners 27-7.
Randwick's bonus point win combined with surprising defeats by the top two teams, Eastern Suburbs and Sydney University, saw Randwick go to the top of the table, jointly with Wests. A very pleasing result for a well-earned win against a gutsy Warringah side.