Brothers 22 - 10 Hills
Venue: Yattenden Oval
Best and Fairest
3pts; Issac Vunakece
2pts; Vuli Biuvanua
1pt; Adam Seage
A sobering loss and maybe the one we needed to have!?! As Greg noted, "Boys, as cliched as it may sound the loss wasn't a bad thing, we have taken a lot of learnings out of this experience and we will build upon it. You can never fully understand the exhilaration of winning well without first experiencing a loss. We will meet Hills again on more than one occasion and next time we will simply be better prepared. So out focus now should simply be one game at a time and concentrate on getting all the basics right and if we do that the rest will come and take care of itself. See you all at training."
The initial contest on the day saw us in the game and although they had a territorial advantage we were showing signs of being in the game, sadly this was short lived and some costly mistakes lead to some relatively easy scoring opportunities. Hills took their first opportunity when a loose ball in our 22 presented them with the chance for an early try giving them a lead of seven nil. Not long afterwards another loose ball on our own line gave them a second opportunity and a 12 nil lead. Both of these tries seemed to involve marginal last passes but the man whistle didn't think so and you gotta take the calls as they come.
Early in the piece Nathan Timbrell suffered a knock above the elbow and being forced from the field despite a more than adequate replacement in Sean it was unexpected and did disrupt our backline early in the game.
Mid way through the first half Nick Pasqualini pounced on a loose ball stepped two and ran 50 metres where he was tackled on the line and recycled, quick hands saw the ball shift left for another breakdown, where the ball was shifted back and ended up in the hands of Marc Lavermiccoco who burrowed over the line to put us on the board. Disappointingly shortly thereafter Nick Pasqualini succumbed to an injury and was replaced by Connor. Our backline was rearranged again with Tyler into half, Sean out onto the wing and Matt Cullen directing from No. 15.
The impassioned speech from Coach Lee at halftime saw him plead for us to take their bigger forwards wider from the ruck and not to throw haymaker passes. Another shift in the backline at the break saw Joel come on at fullback.
From the second half kick off an attempt to catch the ball saw it come off a stray foot, shoot across infield, where their centre pounced and ran an angle to touch down. Whilst our defence was caught napping here, it was their third try off broken play and a loose ball, providing our opponents opportunists moments can be eliminated by a more disciplined and committed approach. The score 2 minutes in to the second was half 5-22.in to the second half 5-22.
Marc L came off for a well deserved break with Steve Masters pushed up front Eddie S took his place on the side and again played well above his weight with a couple of good runs and recycling the ball. Mick Summers coming on for Vuli finished the game on the wing for us and also was called on for some defensive efforts. The second half was full of promising raids but all unfortunately came up short. This was a game were we were "found out" boys but what is important is what we found out about our opposition and the level of structure we need to play with to beat these guys!
Mark Toma came on for the hard working Rosie and didn't disappoint with his work ethic but finished the game with a dodgy knee. Mind you he does claim a try set up from our own 5 metre line, however to the casual observer it was apparent he was anything except expecting the ball (with hands on hips indeed) when he shifted it right to a scantly marked backline which conspicuously included Issac who took the ball up to the half and with a well timed pass he got it on to Matt Cullen who showed his pace and step to turn one centre literally inside out and the crossed the line barely touched, again a try from us going some length of the field with some inspired passing. If only we had off got the more simple structure right, and not provided dumb opportunities through mistakes we would have been right in this game. All lessons for next time boys! Final Score 10-22.
We can't play the game from our own goal line, nor can we keep giving the opposition simple options to camp out in our territory. These guys are beatable boys and unfortunately all we showed them yesterday was how beatable we are. It was in general our mistakes that allowed them to pounce clinically and get on the board, when we eliminate the errors and play to our strengths we have the game to take it to them and we will be sure to welcome them to Roseville in a few weeks.
Traveling out to Blacktown I arrived in time to see Tom Carnanffan carving it up on the wing for fourth grade in their narrow 14 to 10 victory, Third grade took away a healthy victory at 57 to nil that included; Matt Cullen and Joel Brooks and cameos from Issac, Vuli and yours truly. Thanks for backing up boys and especially for traveling the extra miles, cheers.
Whilst the next official colts training is Thursday 17th of May I would suggest that we could all do with the fitness that may result from training with in the interim. Charles or I will be in touch about Tuesday options and any players would be welcome to attend training on Thursday with the senior grades. The club round next week sees Epping travel to Roseville and match fitness could be gained with a run around in fourths or thirds. Stay tuned also for details of a colts social evening in the next couple of weeks.
Next Colts Fixture
vs Hornsby Saturday 26th May
Brothers 14 - 10 Blacktown
Fourth grade was a cagey affair. Brothers ran out under the captainship of Butlins for the first time this year. It's nice to see him take some time out from his hectic schedule travelling around the world to come and have a game with us.
Blacktown is usually a bit of a graveyard for Brothers teams and it took some time for this new look Brothers side to get into the game and start controlling it.
In the end this game was won and lost in the forwards.
An excellent, solid scrum and some well drilled forward work gave us the platform we needed to get the win.
Some excellent pod work led by Matt C and G, Tuomas, Paddy and Karl set the foundation and a well taken try by Jon White was the deciding factor.
Let's not mention the slightly dodgy goal kicking for now.
3: Tuomas - Excellent ruck work, pod work and solid scrummaging. Great start to the season for the new man from Finland, which let's be honest isn't known for its rugby.
2: Nathan - Great impact off the bench, strong running.
1: Hughie - Good controlled half backmanship. Slowed the game down and allowed us to use our patterns.
Brothers 57 - 0 Blacktown
The last few years haven't been very fruitful for Brothers in third grade v Blacktown. This time we managed to turn the tables in specatular fashion.
The old slow fellas complemented by some young fast bucks from the colts, was an excellent combination and we managed to cut through the Blacktown defence almost at will.
Joel led the try scoring with three and an excellent all round performance.
Matt C, Mick Nicol, Opie, Mick D and Dave Wightley all chipped in a try apiece in a well controlled game where like in fourth grade, we kept to our patterns, and played some very solid rugby.
3: Mick Nicol - Great game control, good hands, and a clear head when required.
2: Coops - Immense work rate.
1: Hans - Typical performance from Hans, dominating lineouts and rucks and generally making a nuisance of himself.
Brothers 46 - 3 Blacktown
Another immense performance from the blue and gold. This was a great win against what should be considered a very solid second grade Blacktown side.
We controlled the game from start to finish and apart from some needless over elaboration scored plenty of tries.
Jone scored 4 tries, Kit officially scored two but that might have to be double checked! Dave Wightley scored his second of the day and Matty Mc made his usual appearance on the try roster.
1: Matty Mc
1: Tim Parsons
Brothers 31 - 7 Blacktown
First grade was a clash of possibly two of the top four or five teams in the competition. Blacktown are traditionally a strong physical side who play plenty of rugby.
To be fair, first grade was probably a more competitive affair than the scoreline suggest, in fact Blacktown had long periods of possession, but just lacked penetration.
This was partially due to an excellent defensive performance from Brothers.
A couple of tries in the last few minutes gave the scoreline a nice gloss and crowned an excellent day out in the west for Brothers with a 4 - 0 overall scoreline, that keeps us top of the Club Championship for now.
But, it's a long season to go.
Tries came from Vula, Blacky, Buckets, Franny and the "Flying Mo"
3: Buckets - Great defensive work, made life hell at the breakdown for Blacktown.
2: Lenny - More great defense, and took some great ball over the gainline.
1: Vinny - Good distribution and game control, and always a danger on the fringes.