Brothers 28 - Oatley 15
This was expected and proved to be a hard game, played against a well prepared side desperate for a win to keep their final hopes alive. Played out somewhere on the other side of Sydney near Canberra, on a cold night with no wind which at least made for good playing conditions.
Oatley started well scoring a converted intercept try within the first few minutes. With a well-structured lineout and contesting really well at the breakdown the first half mostly belonged to Oatley as they tore into our guys determined to keep Brothers on the back foot and starved of possession. Another penalty goal put them out to a 10 nil lead midway through the half. Brothers struggled to gain any possession and were being pressured into mistakes by a strong defence when they did manage to get hold of the pill.
Ominously for Oatley their scrum struggled more as the half went on and they started to concede some tight heads. Brothers scored a converted try through another Vinnie snipe from 10 metres out after the forwards at last put on the pick and drive giving him some room. Oatley then replied with a similar try driving through the forwards. They missed the conversion so half time 15-7 to Oatley.
Tom sorted out a few things at half time and Brothers then went on to put together a really good team effort in the second half. The forwards smashed the Oatley scrum in the second half, got their drive together and started to put some pressure on the Oatley lineout. This gave the backs some go forward and Blackie was able to ensure most of the half was played deep in Oatley territory. Oatley still competed really hard so it took some good team work in getting a further three converted tries. One to Matt off some good forward drives, a great try to Joel after some good phase play and then some slick passing and, don’t tell Waddie, but Blackie managed to sneak over off the back of a nice dummy. Importantly, Oatley was kept scoreless in the second half.
A good performance against a team who really had a dig. A special mention to the subs that make such a big difference to the team and all of the rest of the supporters and Stockdale guys who made the journey. It really lifted the guys to see some familiar faces amongst the other lot.
The refs points went to Tucs 3 and Blackie 2. Coaches points are nowhere to be found...!