2022 Round 3 RoundupMay 19, 2022
Colts Round 4 2022June 3, 2022
Join Brothers and see the world – well, Manly, Ryde, and now, Vaucluse. The rain once again meant that we played our second home game away from home. Ten minutes before kick-off we had 11 players warming up, but fortunately, the arrival of three others meant that we took the field with 14. Amongst them, Ollie, Jake, and Jack have only played a handful of games of rugby, while James and Reid haven’t played a game for several years. Colleagues had a full team and close to another team as reserves, were bigger and better-drilled, and probably thought that they were in for an easy win.
Although Brothers only had 14 they were all schoolmates and it showed in the commitment they had to each other. Successive waves of Colleagues attacks were blunted by good, low tackling of their big forwards and contesting every ball, forcing them to commit players to every ruck. It was tiring work for both teams. Brothers then began to get some ball themselves and through Leo Shanahan’s tactical kicking, Colleagues were forced to defend for long periods. We pressured their line and Ben Elder was unlucky to have the ball forced out of his hands over their try line. Like all good halfbacks, Liam Andrews spotted some tired Colleagues forwards after we were awarded a penalty and took a quick tap – he jinked a bit, accelerated a bit and palmed a bit, and put the ball down under the posts.
We were up 5-0 at oranges (thanks to Jake Burns who came along to spectate and actually brought oranges and snakes for the boys). After half time Colleagues came out and redoubled their efforts, scoring soon after the resumption. The game remained fiercely contested but with only 14 players (and for 10 minutes, 13 players) fatigue did set in. It didn’t help that Colleagues sent on rotating substitutes well past their allowed quota until we wised up to it and asked them to stop (which they did). And with James McMahon our only lineout jumper, Colleagues made it hard to win the ball in the air.
Colleagues scored two more tries before the final whistle and we also went close on a couple of occasions. Final score was 19-5 to Colleagues. That was our best game this season – you can coach skills but you can’t coach the type of commitment we saw on display from everyone on the field on Saturday. Valentius tackled his heart out, James McMahon had no fear running into packs of opposing players at great speed, while the opposition coach even commented halfway through the game how well Chris Salem was playing.
The atmosphere amongst the players after the game was great to see as everyone knew they had been in a hard and tough match against a bigger and more numerous opposition, but they equally knew that everyone had stood up to the challenge and really taken it to Colleagues. Just 14 schoolmates playing rugby with and for each other.
3: Leo Shanahan
2: Chris Salem, Valentius Wirjana
1: Reid McNamara