First grade took on a West Harbour side who had previously beaten heavyweights Sydney Uni, Eastwood and had pushed other fancied teams to the wire and in the early stages it looked like the Harbour boys might run away with it before half time.
We started well with some precise attack down the right edge with new Scottish hooker Cameron Fenton touching twice in the movement to score his first five pointer in the try colours.
Celebration was short lived however after mistakes in possession handed Wests the ball and they capitalised shortly after to score down our ride edge. Defence has been a feature of some of our better performances this season but in a complete mental shut down, we allowed the home side to dictate terms for the next twenty minutes whilst we fell off tackles, lost defence line integrity, stopped talking and essentially watch the opposition romp in three unanswered tries to fall behind 7-28.
With some stern words dished out by our on field leaders, it was as though the light had been turned on again and with Wests relaxing just before half time on a 21 point lead, we managed to score out wide through Tom Pincus to bring it to 14-28 and then, on the stroke of half time, the forwards managed to maul to the line only to see the Wests #15 get binned for cynical play and a penalty try awarded. Wests could not have played a better 20 minute period to score four tries and we could not have responded better to minimise the damage for a 19-28 deficit after forty minutes.
The second half belonged to the Beasties in the main with Clarrie more scooping on a loose ball off the kick off to take the score to 24-28 and from that moment on, we were in all out attack mode. With 30 minutes to go and Easts full of running, we managed to create numerous scoring opportunities only to see the last pass go to the wrong man or some over eagerness to get to the line instead of using one more pass.
It took twenty minutes to post the inevidable try to take the score to 31-28 but moments later Wests leveled the score with a penalty. With four minutes remaining and scores locked at 31 all, the Beasties pack did what they had failed to do earlier and kept it tight, working the ball to the line and it was our other Scotsman Steven Longwell who put the ball down over the line. Tom Pincus capped off a strong game with the conversion to take the score to 38-31 and whilst Wests had a chance late in the game, a knock on saw the ref blow full time and we finally came away from a close game with the victory and a well needed bonus point.
2nd grade run of 5 wins came to an end on Saturday at the hands on west Harbour. A lack of continuity and the inability to play direct early on really cost us. After 10 minutes we found ourselves 8-0 down and having spent no time in Wests half the signs were not looking good. After a slow start which was to be expected with the new combinations playing together Beasties managed to work there may back into the game with a try from Field and one from king with one conversion from ferris we took an undeserved lead into half time. Another slow start to the second half cost us more points and although we had a lot of possession in the second half a lack of composure and some poor decision meant that we could not peg wests back. The final score was 21-15 and some valuable lessons were learnt.
With the club decimated by injury, we had 9 personnel changes to start the game & hopefully the enthusiasm of this ‘new blood’ would rub off on some of the others
We began the game pretty well with a few line breaks early. Unfortunately though we decided to kick the ball away on numerous occasions when on the attack which wasted any chance of coming away with some points.
On the other hand Wests were able to capitalise on some good field position after we conceded a penalty
From a lineout on our own 22m line they were able to run though some very ordinary defence of ours and score.
The conversion was missed but their first time down our end of the field had resulted in points – Wests 5-0
From repeated attacks we kept coming up empty, until the 19th minute when Will Clarke dived over under the posts from close range. Jake Tierney converted and we had the lead 7-5
We didn’t lead for long though with ill-discipline costing us in the 25th minute. Wests threw over the penalty goal from straight in front and now lead 8-7.
We were able to camp ourselves on their tryline for the last few minutes of the half but came up empty
The half-time score 8-7
With some positive talk at halftime, and the wind behind us now, we were sure we could get this game, but injuries were going to play a big part
In the 4th minute we lost our No.6 Alex Saroff, then in the 13th minute we lost our inspirational skipper Luke Wilson.
From here Wests were able to gain some momentum and in the 21st minute kicked a field goal to lead 11-7.
We also lost Will Picone to injury here and our stocks were now running on low.
The remainder of the game was a very scrappy affair with plenty of dropped ball by both teams.
We never really created any scoring opportunities in the final minutes and Wests were able to hold on for a narrow 11-7 victory.
While certainly disappointed with the result there were a few positives. Our lineout was probably the best it had been all year, and the boys that were on at the end never game up.
Hopefully an improvement this week at our new ‘home ground’ against Souths