By Mark Giacheri
Randwick versus Norths
It was a nail-biting start to our match against the red and black shoremen. Despite Randwick's intense pressure from the very start some individual errors proved costly and Norths had two tries as a result, with long runs down the field to score. It seemed that our hard work in attack was resulting in points for Norths instead of points for Randwick! With minutes to go before half time we were able to regain some ground but the score was still 24 - 7 to Norths as we went into the sheds. At half time I emphasised to the boys that we were clearly the better team and it was time to stop the individual errors. Our forwards were stronger and we changed tack from passing out wide to concentrating on getting through the middle. With the words confidence and composure going through their heads, the boys took the field and steadily and slowly brought the score back to finish the game ahead by three points, Randwick 33 to Norths 30. The Norths coach did pass comment that Norths need to learn to play for eighty minutes but the Randwick boys are to be congratulated for putting their heads down and getting on with the job. The end result was five Randwick tries to three Norths tries. Have a look at two of the tries here:
- Three points this week for Nick Cummins (11) who was outstanding in defence saving a couple of tries and who was also a handful in attack for the opposition.
- Two points for Mark Chisolm (4) for his big work rate, hearty defence and solid ball carrying.
- One point for Lotu Taukeiaho (3) for giving his all in scrums and for consistent ball carrying.
This week we are playing West Harbour at Coogee and we are looking forward to a game on the home oval. It's the business end of the season and our second half against Norths has given us a strong confidence boost - watch out West Harbour!
By Craig Morrison
2nd grade managed to hold onto their top spot on the ladder after a hard and uncompromising battle with a strengthened Norths side that were playing for their survival in the competition. In a physical and entertaining game, Norths were first to score a try after some very good sustained pressure and with a further penalty conversion, led 0-10 early. Missed tackles hurt us in the first quarter of the game as did an inability to match the enthusiasm and speed of the Norths attack. Despite this we were able to get back into the game with some very hard running and good support play. Tony Luxford then found a gap in the norths ruck defence to set up our first try (7-10).
For the first time in a long run of matches, ill discipline crept into our game as Norths were successful in drawing us into their niggle and chat away from the play. Coupled with our frustration at the pressure Norths were applying at the ruck contest, our poor discipline led to two yellow cards in the fifteen minutes before half time. Whilst we may have felt that decisions had largely gone against us to this point, we need to learn that taking frustrations out on referees only makes things worse. Fortunately, the yellow cards worked to our advantage as we began to use our heads better and find yards around the ruck to negate the hard drifting defence of Norths. As we began to apply the same pressure back, Norths conceded two penalties which Toby Browne converted - meaning that we scored 6-0 with thirteen players. The half time score was 13-8
In the second half we played with a lot more purpose and conviction, maintaining pressure in attack and not missing as many first up tackles. Still, the one time we did, Norths backs were quick and skilled enough to take advantage for a seven pointer. With the scores now level at 13-13 we had 20 minutes in which to end Norths season which many teams would be happy for given their playing roster and ability to beat top teams. And so with ten minutes to play, a slightly concussed Matthew McKay managed to hold onto a lovely wide ball after multiple phases, to cross for his second try and take us to an 18-13 lead. Norths were not finished and added a penalty to go 16-18, but that's where it ended.
Form players for second grade were Justin Terry, Dave Parsons, Matthew McKay, Tony Luxford, Toby Browne and John Tamanika. Second grade now share top spot with Warringah after their bonus point win over Parramatta.
After great wins over Southern Districts and Warringah, 2nd grade last Sunday enjoyed the hospitality of Anthony Bell aboard his boat "GHOST" for a day on the harbour. With the aim of bonding together and setting goals for the remainder of the season, there is no doubt that these were achieved along with some lasting memories. The patrons and owners at Manly Wharf were particularly welcoming as the boys strutted like rock stars, constantly being mistaken for people who actually are famous. The messages left by Anthony and this day event must be intrinsic to what we do from here.
First Grade Colts
By Benny Rutherford
1st Colts continued their winning ways over a competitive Norths side and secured a vital bonus point in a 29-18 win on a sensational winter Saturday afternoon at Coogee Oval.
With the race to the semi-finals as tight as ever, everything was again on the line and the boys delivered to move into fifth position. Coming up against a team determined to slow the ball down and frustrate a Randwick side intent on attacking through use of quick ball, the best on ground were hooker Cameron Kesby who collected the 3 player points for his usual non-stop work across the park which included a try following one destructive run. Fullback Ethan Ford nabbed 2 points after again showing his knack of being in the right place at the right time to score 2 tries and industrious Number 8 Zeb Holmes-Baer finished with 1 point for his ever reliable go forward in attack.
The focus now shifts to a huge game against West Harbour at Concord Oval who currently sit second on the table. Here's hoping a Randwick side full of exciting young talent can continue to work hard together and again deliver when it counts against the odds.