1st Grade – Kentwell Cup
First grade started the game with great intent, putting Colleagues on the back foot with our all-court attack, incisive runs down the flank from the likes of Dave Stenning, blockbusting carries in the middle of the field from Andrew Yeung and deft touches from the boot of skipper Matt Woodcock turning Colleagues around and keeping them pinned deep in their own half.
We dominated many aspects of the half – a bruising defensive effort led by the tireless Brian Ferguson set the tone. Despite this we didn’t capitalise on our advantages in territory and possession as we might have, and that, not to mention a yellow card for a boisterous cover tackle, meant that the ever clinical Colleagues took the advantage into the halftime break, up 3-10.
The second half of the first game of the season was always going to be a battle of the will as a lack of match-fitness had us drawing deep. We were up for the fight, led in the tight by James Winterton in his first start in a white jersey, not to mention a batch of enthusiastic substitutes coming in from second grade throughout the half, which meant we held Colleagues and retained our composure.
Finally a period of sustained pressure in our attacking red-zone saw us back our line-out on numerous consecutive attacks from penalties, ultimately rewarded with a try to Simon Woodcock barging over the line and making it 10 apiece. A late chance to snatch the victory didn’t come off from a difficult position, but we shared the honours and will look to build upwards from here.
3 – Brian Ferguson
2 – James Winterton
1 – Matt Woodcock
2nd Grade – Burke Cup
Unfortunately it was a tough start to the season for our 2nd Grade this year! With a sniper at training Tuesday and Thursday giving a few key players in our team some niggles we had to rely heavily on a number of players to take their workload, sadly this showed on Saturday.
Colleagues controlled the game very nicely putting the pressure on us by plugging the corners and waiting for us to make mistakes, which is how they scored their first 3 tries of the match.
The intent was positive and the team definitely never stopped trying, preventing the score line could have been a lot worse for us, but a few players put their hands up and worked hard for the full game. Oscar Alcock leading from the front as always with a lot of help and a great debut by blindside Matt Lawson. Lachy Scott and Sione Fekitoa also had great carries all game in the forwards. Manny Bell the impressive left footer got us out of trouble a fair amount of the time, with another strong debut on the wing by John Harris with some good defence and strong carries.
Going forward we know as a team what we need to work on and how to improve from here. I am still very excited to see what this team can do this year. We will be better.
3 – Matt Lawson
2 – Oscar Alcock
1 – Lachlan Scott
3rd Grade – Whiddon Cup
It was always going to be a tough assignment for the mighty 3rds to beat Colleagues away in the first game of the season. We were missing players in key positions and lacked training together as a team. As expected Colleagues were well-drilled and well-organised. Final score 3-59. Despite the scoreline we showed glimpses of good play, especially by the forwards, and came very close to scoring a good team try after a period of sustained pressure. We need more of that in the next game. We welcomed some new players to the club – Josh O’Malley, Max Woolgar, Rory Callow, Tom Akarere – and some club stalwarts – Alasdair “Whiskas” Davey, Karl Gray, Willie Kuki Kuki, Lachie Williams. We also welcomed a bloke playing his very first official game of rugby – John Harris. Well done, John, your life will never be the same. Let’s get to training this week and get to Lofberg early this weekend as we take on Petersham.
3 – Michael Balk
2 – Karl Gray
1 – Adam Welsh
Colts – Barbour Cup
3 – Tim Fisher
2 – James Leong
1 – Peter Sherlock