JCU Mariners Vs Southside Crusaders
Despite there being only 4 teams left in the Reserve grade competition, the urgency to finish in the top two is being felt by all 4 teams. Today was second against fourth, with the Mariners in second place and wanting to be out of reach of third placed Penhryn. As it turned out, Penhryn did defeat the top side Barron Trinity, thus putting pressure on our Ressies for the win.
Jack Darby had work commitments so Rob Rodokal, who had to back up in A grade, played half-back, and Gary Parker in town on his week off, played five-eighth and made good use of the tail wind, so we were able to play the game in their half.
Credit must go to the forwards for holding their own in the set pieces and general play, and eventually scoring three of our four tries.
The opposition went into the second half with vigour and the wind behind them, scoring 3 tries but were unable to convert them. Brad Manoi scored the backs try and slotted two conversions. This put the score at 24 to 15, and assured our win. Right at the death, skipper Ryan Godfrey who played his usual physical game, unselfishly drew the defence when he could have scored (but was probably knackered) and unselfishly passed to support with the line wide open near the posts. Unfortunately the pass was deemed to float forward by the referee, and was disallowed.
So the score stayed at 24 to 15 and a good win to stay in second place on the ladder.
Tries to Brian McCarthy, Al Herwig, Ryan Godfrey, Brad Manoi.
Conversions: 2 from 4 to Brad Manoi
Man of the Match points: 3 to Ryan Godfrey, 2 to Gus Thomsen, and 1 each to Callum Longhurst and Andre Klink
Manager’s Mug: Matt Smith
JCU Mariners Vs Brothers
And so to the clash of the day. JCU being third on the table with three games to go, and Brothers in fourth, but with both teams in reach of finishing second on the table if second placed Southside faltered in the run home. With much to play for, our boys went onto the field with great attitude and the wind at their backs. The first few penalties went against us so we found ourselves defending our line instead of playing in their half, where some skillful kicking by five-eighth Tim Horrocks kept putting us.
This position also played into the opposition’s plans as they took to the tasking of demolishing us with their big forward’s pick and drive and pick and pass. Our boys showed plenty of ticker and defended resolutely despite phase play going into the teens. This happened several times and showed what this team is made of. When possession came our way, any fatigue was ignored and we stuck to our game plan and counter-punched, scoring twice. Firstly, with winger Cieran Connelly cutting back inside, to run that line untouched, and secondly with prop Stewart Gibson taking a short pass from a ruck 3 metres out, again going over untouched. Both tries came from field position gained from the forwards breaking the line and gaining the momentum. When number eight, Christian Aruha, having his best game of the year so far, broke from the base of a 5-metre scrum, beating the covering tackle to score beside the posts, we had a half time lead of 19 to nil.
The talk at half-time was very positive and to the point, so we re-took the field determined not to slacken, but facing the wind. In what was proving to be the warm up to the finals that we needed, both sides played physical football and received two yellow cards apiece. In the second half, the forwards stuck to their task and the backs obliged by finishing off with 3 tries. Final score, a good win of 34 – 10.
Tries: winger Cieran Connelly, prop Stewart Gibson, Number 8 Christian Aruha, Dudley Miles now playing full-back, outside centre Matt Smith, and winger Andre Klink (well deserved Dre!!)
Conversions: 2 to Bradley Manoi.
Man of the Match: In the absence of skipper Claude Thomsen, Nick Cameron captained the side and put everything on the line. In fact, everyone did, and it is grossly unfair to single any player out as doing better than his team mates. It was this fact as well as the most unfortunate accident at training on Thursday night in which second rower Braden Veale broke his leg, that prompted the giving of the points to him. Braden has always been there for us, now its our turn to be there for him.