Ten years ago Sokai Tai won the Macdougall Medal for the best and fairest player in the John I. Dent Cup. Against Tuggeranong he showed yet again why is still amongst the best.
The Whites went down 15-22 in a classic against Tuggeranong. The only time the crowd was silent was in respect of Dr. Peter Carter who died during the week. Otherwise the Old Boys were baying for another beer and perhaps some blood.
Reserves won 22-19, Colts drew 12-all, and thirds, who played Easts, won 38-22. Fourths play on Monday night at 6.45pm.
Sokai is the smartest of footballers. He mixes it at the breakdown, he mixes it in attack and he does go for eighty minutes. Off his go-forward the side has confidence. Hopefully he can go another ten years. Thanks Kristy.
The Whites also found another hero in winger Tom Ruediger. His running kept the crowd on their feet and he ran for ever.
Add flanker Dan Penca’s performance and there was plenty to like. It came down to the kicking game where Tuggeranong were far superior. You do not kick to their back three and if you do you suffer. For example, round four and for example round nine-round 13 hopefully not.
In thirds Michael Edwards built his reputation with two tries and a conversion. His girlfriend must be getting tired of his replays. The flying Angus Balmaks has no trouble with his girlfriends as they know his talents.
Colts always looked shy when matching the Tuggeranong surfers. Captain Wyll Holland knows they are only bogans from the Valley and can be matched. The Whites had the world’s biggest centre, Elijah Chadwick, gaining ground.
Down 0-12 had plenty who stood up including Jackson Stuart from full back and Puni Aupuni at five eighth kept the team in the game.
Reserve grade remain undefeated but they do not care. They play for each other and play to the end. They should have lost against Royals, they should have lost in other rounds. No they play for each other and personnel changes make no difference.
Centre Nathan Smith should have been celebrating his premiership in 2008. Instead he was celebrating his penalty that won the game.