We had to dig deep to wrestle a win out of a stubborn opposition. We definitely made it hard for ourselves by not setting up a stable platform to attack from but hard to criticise our efforts given Saturday is the only time Duro and I have access to our full squad. We had a plan going into the game but we kept playing away from it, when we execute we score tries as evident by the build leading to our winning try.
Great weather for rugby, sun was out with a light cool breeze in the air. We scored first through a nice build up from our line-out, with Malakai Loco picking up the ball at the back of the ruck and running some 60 meters to score an unconverted try in the corner.
Balmain had a great start to the second half by scoring first and converting their try. They led 12-5.
I was very proud of our men, we didn’t go into our shells we started to dig in, our forwards started to roll their sleeves up. For all the mounting errors we inflicted on ourselves our pursuit for a win never wavered. I saw that in Johnny Russell’s effort at the break down, cleaning out two opposition players to win us a turnover.
We scored through our barnstorming back-row Paula Tuivawa and a high pressure conversion through Jusdys Te Whare trusty boot, drew level. 12-12 with more than 20 minutes to go.
The game was on a knife edge, next team to score wins. We had to lose Adam Sheers to the bin for the last 8 minutes and about 3 minutes to full time, we won a penalty, leading to a line out, we put together 3 phases as planned, and just as we predicted, we broke through the defensive line which saw man of the match Malakai Loco running away some 40 metres to score the winning try. Jusdys Te Whares’ trusty boots ensured we were out of danger by converting the extras.
19-12 final score, Zumba Zumba Aye in the air.
3 Points – Malakai Loco not only was our only option at line out, manage to steal opposition ball at crucial moments of the game. Was a handful for the opposition to handle.
2 Points – Big P… not bad for a league, showed brute strength at times to lift players of the ground … and those that he tackled felt the brunt of his weight. Carried well also…with just a-bit of body height adjustment will be hard to stop.
2 Points – Anare Toroca a new recruit, normally plays prop but had to settle at blindside … dogged in defence. His execution of chop tackles was exceptional.
1 Point – Jusdys Te Whare still learning the game, his composure stands out. Playing in a pivotal role he never seems to be under pressure for all the mistakes we have to rectify on the go…never phased him. This was highlighted by the last two conversions he took.
1 Point – Matthew Norman, normally plays in the backrow but found himself throwing in the line-out. Did a fine job considering we had no genuine hooker. Carried well also as expected.