14 Jul Four gone for firsts
First grade was well in the game against the Owls until winger Haloti Fonua was yellow carded after attempting an intercept.
“It is not an intentional knock-on if, in the act of trying to catch the ball, the player knocks on provided that there was a reasonable expectation that the player could gain possession.” Rugby law
The referee not only awarded a penalty he gave the winger a yellow card which changed the game completely with University running away 50-27 after scoring two quick tries against the 14 Whites.
Reserve grade 24-19 to move into the four for the first time this year, colts won 36-5 to move to third, thirds won 64-7 to maintain sixth spot while fourths lost 33-43 but hold on to second.
If the season has been a hard road for the firsts with injuries and absences it took a turn for more pain when five eighth Will Goddard flew out to Ireland the day before Saturday’s game to further his rugby. Goddard has been a critical part of the side and has improved each and every outing. The Whites wish him all the best and maybe he might return.
The versatile Tino Manuolevau moved to five eighth with Jack Gilmore coming off the wing to partner the unstoppable Keith Morgan. Late in the game Gilmour came off with a shoulder injury and Ben Pattenden was rewarded for a season of excellence.
Young guns Zeph Tuinona, Fred Kaihea and Justin Sikimeti were in the thick of it while the Yorkshire lads, Rian Hamilton and Kieran Frost were prominent. Frost was hard at it all game.
Fourths were missing plenty yet had enough to take part in a tryathon with Dan Penca keen to score from anywhere. Penca and the other veterans, Aaron McInnes and Dirk Wilkins helped to build the score but always trailled by a try or two.
Thirds had Sam Perkins and Zac Byrnes fresh from an early night and they could not be stopped. Add John Steele and Ash Crivici and there was plenty of fuel for victory.
Colts made hard work of the first half leading 17-0 at bananas. Centre Jacob Tozer had his best game of the season and Aaron Robinson proved his worth. Fullback Michael Rademaker continues to do the little things right.
Reserve grade has come from a long way back to build a winning side. It was 12-all at the break and anyone’s match. With a forward pack that would match most in the top grade the side was put in the right place by the halves and centre Steven Prail.