21 Jul Terrific Thirds
At 19-all with 10 seconds on the clock the Whites’ third grade had a restart at half-way and somehow managed to work their way up the field for Mika Eli to claim the winning try in a terrific game of rugby at Campese.
Firsts won 27-20 to retain the Peter Morton Shield, reserves 48-0, thirds 24-19 and fourths 59-7 with games against Easts in the premier division and against Goulburn in first division. Colts won on a forfeit.
The sixth placed thirds faced a Reds side that had only lost two games and were sitting second on the ladder. The standard and toughness of the match was first class.
Colts players were scattered amongst the grades and Johnny Lalatoa, Matt Winchester and Eli made significant contributions. Highlight of the day was the 80 metre breath-taking intercept by captain Zac Byrnes. He has given up the smokes.
Lock Dan Sweeney dominated the lineout, Ash Crivici worked the hard stuff and Elijah Chadwick caused havoc.
Goulburn were awarded a penalty try to make it 19-all on the bell. The spirit shown to get back up the paddock was commendable.
Fourths had a day out again with the colts adding some spice. Michael Rademaker, Mango Magro, Caleb Bower and Angus Maxwell showed out. The Goose had the pleasure of scoring a try right in front of his grandparents.
The old fellows did not let up with Aaron McInnes running riot and Eddie Eteuati busy.
Reserve grade played to script with some well worked moves and plenty of ball movement orchestrated by Fraser “The Finger” Smith. Half Nathan Exton showed he is capable of higher duties while Ben O’Halloran exercising his blistering pace on the wing. Angus Balmaks was running the right lines and crowd favourite James Trotter does the sweat work.
First grade won their fifth game of the season fielding a very different team. Opportunities were given to lock Rowland Mateyawa and utility back Steve Prail who showed their capabilities. It was pleasing to see Josh Townsend getting plenty of game time after missing most of the season with injury. Five eighth Tino Manuolevao had another good game which let the backs loose.
Prop Fred Kaihea was man of the match with a try in each half and plenty of running. Brumby half Matt Lucas was the controller while Davea Teoteo scored the winner off a slick Tino pass.
Thirds and fourths go into the final series next week with other sides having a last round bye.