Colts Wrap Vs Penrith
Another glorious day greeted us at Forshaw and another great day's rugby was in store for the Colts faithful. During any season there are games which are mini grand finals where a win is imperative, and this scenario was setup for Souths against a strong and well-performing Warringah club.
3rd Grade started slowly, with Warringah scoring a quick try, and they were certainly playing the better rugby early in the game. Souths were a metre off the pace and the number of dropped balls and turn overs were starting to climb, and that was giving Warringah plenty of confidence and momentum. Halftime was gratefully accepted, giving the boys a chance to regroup and listen to the coaches, and they came out and played a lot better in the second half. Some good straight running and tight defence had the momentum changing, and Souths were able to hit the lead with about 7 minutes to go, but unfortunately some ill discipline saw two players in the bin, and Warringah seized the opportunity to post two late tries to win 27-16. Souths were left to lament the fact that they'd snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Too much dropped ball and too many penalties cost the team a victory.
2nd Grade were looking to build on their strong performance from the previous week. All season they've been playing well, except perhaps for the Gordon game, and given the importance of this game another strong performance was expected. Warringah came out with all guns blazing and Souths defence was holding but our speed off the line wasn't great, and that allowed Warringah to continually get over the gain line. Slowly, cracks started to appear in our defence and with some poor discipline at the breakdown Warringah were able to score from a line-out and rolling maul. Souths hit back with a scintillating long range try by Deon Evans-Ao, and it was a case of a very workmanlike Warringah team against a more flamboyant Souths side that was suffering from dropsies and lack of discipline. Even with all of our faults, and a slow moving defence, we were still in a position to win when a questionable decision regarding a dropped ball when about to score a try went against us with only minutes on the clock. Warringah then scored a try at the death to get a 35-26 victory and Souths left to wonder "what if".
The highlight were the two cracking tries to Deon Evans-Ao, who showed initiative, pace and footwork and more pace and no wonder the club is excited about his rugby future. Not to mention the brilliant in and away by Luca Hatton-Ward, who left his opposite number grasping thin air on his way to the try line.
1st Grade Colts were our last chance of getting something out of the day, with Warringah sitting 2nd on the points table and looking to keep putting pressure on Uni who are currently 1st. It was Souths who applied the pressure from the start, and our forwards were making dents in the Warringah defence, while the backs were starting to take advantage of the forwards go-forward. We couldn't get the try we required and early on some loose passes and the odd bad decision were keeping Warringah in the game.
The set pieces were working well and the scrum was starting to gain ascendancy with a couple of tight heads showing the Warringah pack what a serious scrum can do. From one scrum 40 metres from the Warringah line a strong shove gave #8 Nathan Lawson time to take the ball off the back, and send our half back Liam O'Connor to sprint away and score a nice try with a 6.5 dive. Warringah hit back with a late try from a line out and with both teams kicking penalty goals a score of 10 all at oranges had both clubs looking at big second halves to get the victory.
Souths had forced the Warringah defence very hard, and in turn we'd also put enormous pressure on Warringah through our own rock-solid defence,so there was a lot of confidence that Warringah would tire. We're getting 40 to 50 guys to Monday night fitness sessions, so we know our guys are fit and will still be going hard in the last 5 minutes and this is basically how the game panned out. Late in the second half there was some great attacking rugby which stretched Warringah from one side of the field to the other and back again, where some brilliant back up play finished off by Nathan Lawson had the crowd on their feet. We scored three tries to nil in the 2nd half, with the last being scored in the final minute, to give us our 29-10 victory, with a four try bonus point as well!
It was a great days rugby and I'd like to thank Mark Kuenzle for putting on some finger food for the players, and I'd also like to thank the Warringah players and officials for joining the Souths boys in the club house for speeches and a boat race. A great way to finish a days rugby and a great way to celebrate the spirit of Colts rugby, so well done to everyone involved!
Next week we trek to Concord Oval to take on West Harbour, who no doubt will bring their physical game and we need to be prepared to meet this challenge.