Drummoyne 36 – 17 St Pats (Away)
After a good win in Round 1 and noting we had numerous players unavailable for various reasons across the club (1 of which includes an extended congrats to Club Captain ‘Luke Fletcher for their wedding in Bali), the Drummoyne 1st Grade were keen to impress after 3rd Grade, Colts & 2nd Grade, all had wins earlier in the day.
From the outset it was obvious that we had the dominant scrum and pin point tactical kicking from No 10 Luke Giles had the St Pats backpedalling with sustained pressure on attack, started the points scoring with a converted penalty goal from Giles early in the match. Soon after however, a dropped ball led to the opposition gaining ground and it was great attitudes in defence that kept them out.
In our 22 half back Stephen Bruce pinched the ball in a tackle and a neat kick downfield had the ever dangerous winger Tiger Parker chasing and placing St Pats under pressure again. Despite this there was a turn over and St Pats kicked down field to our other winger Jo Vunisa to which was heard from the crowd “Go Jo, do something Fijian”. Mounting pressure off of fast ball presentation for our half, saw John Tato take the ball up to a struggling defensive line, giving a brilliant ball to Lock Nick Stephenson running a perfect line to run 20 odd meters & cross the line near the post. Giles converted.
It was Stephenson again staring in the Kick-off, doing all the aerial work to regain the restart, giving the Dirty Reds forwards possession, blasting into opposition 22m where a scrum was called and the old No 8 to No 9 trick worked to great effect only for the ball to go to ground in the backs, with the presents of Tiger scooping up the loose ball and splitting two solid tacklers, making a brilliant offload to the direct running centre Ben Hannah who ran in for a fine try. Half time = 17-0.
At half time the team was confident of putting on a big score but St Pats had other ideas and their speedy inside centre (who had represented Australia in 7s) caused havoc and the opposition scored 2 quick tries which lifted the oppositions confidence bringing the score to 24-17.
With the front row of Christian Vanesi making his 1st grade debut, the experienced John Tato and Alex Concannon playing his 6th game in the front row dominating proceedings the Reds received a penalty and elected for the scrum. This paid off and Tiger Parker went over in the corner and St Pats heads dropped.
Richard Halstead tracked brilliantly after passing the ball out to Tiger who beat 2 defenders down the touchline, drawing the last defender, finding Halstead running strong in support and with defender looming, there was a slight juggle, but secured the ball in a come from behind tackle, to roll over the line and score. Soon after as the 80min mark approached, Jimmy Norris in combination with Giles, ran a solid double switch to cut straight through some solid defence untouched and close out the game scoring under the posts. Final score 36-17.
The strength of this squad was most obvious when tactical subs were made, which ignited the energy of all players to finish so strong. Competition for positions ever present & a wonderful problem for the coaching staff & club.
This win takes the team to 10 points and currently lead the competition ladder.
After the game it was great to see the big grin on Christian Vanesi’s and Ben Hannah’s face as photos were being taken to be sent to the family back home.
3pts – Chris Sefo
2pts – Alex Concannon
1pt – Christian Vanesi/Nick Stephenson