By Dan Henderson, Director of Rugby
Looking at the table results throughout the grades, it was easy to see the Shammies have had a solid build into this season and have better numbers available compared to the previous 3 seasons.
The day began tough for our lower grades – our shortage of players meant some 3rd grade players were again needed in 4th grade to prevent a forfeit, meaning some players played two full matches. The result was most evident in the 3rd grade match where a strong and fresh Shammies side posted a sour 79-0 scoreline.
Colts knew they were going to be tested against an unbeaten Shammies outfit – but again managed to dictate play for most of the match. With a few positional changes and combinations being new, there was a distinct change in flow in the match and the Shammies clawed their way back into it. But our Colts worked hard to get over the line with another solid win to build on.
2nd grade started with some outstanding plays. Even the referee claimed Johnny Sinisa was winding back the clock when he made three telling breaks but he was forced to leave the pitch as his long-standing knee injury continues to hamper him.
With limited possession players made the most of their opportunities for a gutsy win. Combinations looking to grow with the return of Wise Koroi at No.13 drawing plenty of attention and creating space for Luke Fletcher and some free running backs.
The forwards set a solid platform while Tom Stephenson’s massive boot provided great front-foot ball. The 20-18 win puts this side second on the table.
1st grade started both good and bad after failing to set the required “rocks” around the ruck, relying on some smart scrambling to take control of the game and get to work on our tactical play.
We didn’t have it all our own way in the 1st half as our last-pass and some selfish one-up rugby saw several opportunities go begging.
Noted effort made by the backs to step-up and straighten play!
As the game wore on – poor decision-making really stymied our team in the closing stages, helping an average Shammies 1st grade outfit come back into the game when the game really should have been out of reach.
Wins are wins though and confidence builds confidence.
Next-up promotion side Lindfield at home!