The Bitter – contact sports are brutal and can be very cruel at times, last week we welcomed back club great Justin Gates, a man that leads by action. This week we lost him to a season-ending injury in the first 10 minutes of the game. On behalf of Brothers Rugby, we wish Gatesy a full and speedy recovery. Hope to see you back in the near future.
The Sweet – the sound of Zumba Zumba Aye ringing loud at the RCO.
We started with a bang, winning our own kick-off through Braydon Lenz, we consolidated and recycled possession through our forward PODs and were looking to go wide close to the opposition 22. We came unstuck with some sloppy passing that saw the opposition pick up the loose pill, fortunately for us, they knocked the ball on in the process. Our scrum, in the perfect attacking territory but we didn’t create good go forward momentum to compress the defence nor did we execute our tactical game plan. We ended up turning over possession with the opposition running 60 to score the first try. This has been a constant theme for us the last 4 games, we’ve allowed opposition long rage tries either through turnovers or simple miss tackles, sometimes we overrun our lines when we’re chasing the opposition. We need to have one chase on the ball carrier with our supporting defenders shadowing or getting in between their supporting players.
Great to see that we contested the second kick-off through Gatesy, unfortunately in the process of contesting the possession he landed awkwardly resulting in an ankle injury.
It didn’t take long after that, we found ourselves in good attacking territory. On the back of some clever kicking by Stuart Raines and solid defence we managed to force an error out of the opposition. Scrum 10 out, our latest recruit Paul Tuivawa picking from the back of the scrum and fighting his way to try line.
For most of the game we seemed to be on top of the opposition but then suddenly, a simple miss tackle or drop ball they would make us pay. The opposition was very good at shifting the ball wide, very good interplays, this saw them getting out of their half without having to resort to kicks. Our second try came on the back of scrum outside of our 22, a pick and go from Paul again, a good burst carrying a couple of defenders and offload to a flying Solomon Delai who took our gain into opposition 22, a no-look back flick to young Jusdys Te Whare in support to finish of a spectacular try, converted by Stuart Raines.
Our tails were up as we smelled blood, again on the back of some solid tactical kicking we managed to push the opposition into their half, our men muscled up in defence and again managed to force an error from the opposition. Cam Redpath was a constant menace especially around the scrum, continually pestered his opposite, and managed a turnover. We then converted possession and territory gained to points through our hard-working skipper Michael Parker. Stuart Raines adding the extra.
Just a few minutes to half time we lost our way again, our “D” line leaked gifting the opposition a runner away converted try.
Half-time – Brothers 19 Maccabi 14.
First time this season we didn’t score first in the second half, a mistake on the back of good momentum saw the opposition pounce on the loose ball and we watched hoping the referee would make a call against the opposition. A hard lesson to learn, play to the whistle, this was a gift to the opposition. A run-away converted try! Just like that, they took the lead by 1.
This seemed to irritate our men, thankfully in a good way, our halves Stuart and Cam had their best game so far this year. They took control and start dictating play. The big men were called on again, Parker a skipper that leads by action, Braydon growing into a real enforcer, taking some good grabs off the kickoff, bulldozing runs, one of his best games, Matt Norman his stock continues to rise, seems to always come up with important plays when the team needs it the most.
The last 30 minutes of the second half was all Brothers. We repeated the same tactics that saw us score in the first half. We pinned them in their own half, muscled up in D, and force errors out of the opposition. It took a great toll on the opposition with a few of them having to go down or get substituted out of the game.
We cashed in, Jusdys Te Whare a slicing solo effort leaving defenders bamboozled in his wake. Cam Redpath like all good halfbacks identifying tiring defenders and darting in for a try. And minutes from full-time Michael Parker steps up again to have a final say on the scoreline.
I was really pleased with the second half, the way our halves took control. For a team to find good rhythm it requires the halves to make the right decisions for the team, and that they did. The forwards responded well with better conversion rates with each carry, backs started to show a bit more promise in attack. Our defensive line started to have good shape with speed to meet the opposition at or post advantage line. I saw a few players improved, Alex Wardlaw a couple of good runs, a good grab off a kick under pressure with the game in the balance, aggressive at the ruck when cleaning out. Tristan Howes, you all saw the photographic evidence of a very good tackle on FB, showed aggressive intent at the breakdown with his limited minutes. Eddy Sudradjat does not put a foot wrong when called upon, chasing and diving on loose ball without preservation or latching with his light frame pushing a mate through, gives it his all. Liam Casey ,1st grade debut, limited minutes but showed he wanted to be a part of it, didn’t shy away when he hit his first.
A bit hard to give points this week because of a very good team effort performance.
The points this week.
3- Braydon Lenz – the big guys’ best game so far, nothing scarier on the field when a big man knows how big he is and can take full advantage of it.
3- Michael Parker – no surprises here, 2 tries and a mountain of work with a sore back and shoulder. A good rest this week.
2- Our halves, – Stuart Raines – some very good decision-making when the team needed it.
Cam Redpath was a nightmare for his opposite today and was very clever around the rucks when commanding our PODs.
1- Matthew Norman – seems to be getting a good understanding of the game in real-time, which allows him to make the right decision or will himself for a barnstorming run when the team needs one. Was unlucky not to have his name on the score sheet.