Some days everything just goes awry. With 13 of those 23 players who have been playing A grade missing, we were always going to be under the pump against a resurgent Southside. Last minute work obligations added to a disrupted preparation especially when warm-up gear was in the boot of their car!!
During the week we farewelled Robert “Robdog” Rodokal who hung up the boots after some 15 years. Rob had been playing A grade half-back, but over the years had showed his versatility by playing in most positions in the back-line. Thanks for your long service Rob and all the best with retirement and family life.
None-the-less there were positives as well. Dudley Miles and Jacq McMahon both returned from their Outback Rugby tour of USA, so we had some expert strapping and an outside back who had excelled with Man of the Match and tour best back accolades.
Early in the game, the Mariners had first chance of scoring from a mauled line-out. Liam Duncan playing at 8 today, came off the back of the “collapsing” maul, but was pulled down just short of the line. The first half was a battle to control their forwards, but subsequently, Southside found a mis-match out wide with an athletic winger scoring in the corner. A great sideline kick saw them go to the break up 7 – 0.
Southside then proceeded to use the ball more in the second half, having run their very large forward pack against a small but hearty Mariners pack, with no quarter given through the middle, and only one try reward. Defensive errors on our line allowed them to score twice, one of which was converted, putting them into bonus territory about half way through the second half, and up 19 – 0. Further use of space with their very athletic backs and good running lines and passing, saw them run from inside their own 22, to score out wide, to the cheers of their supporters. Not converted, this was putting the game out of reach at 24 – 0. Credit to our boys because they kept determined and eventually scored from concerted forward attack and then use of width with the inside centre drawing several defenders only to be able to off-load in the tackle for a try close enough to the posts for the conversion to be effectively done. This was the final score of 24 – 7.
Try: 1 to Bradley Manoi
Conversion: 1 to Bradley Manoi