COLTS REPORT versus MANLY
Second and Thirds Colts waved the flag while Firsts fell at the final hurdle !
FIRST GRADE COLTS
MANLY 25 defeated EASTS 19
Coming off the highs of the previous week with a fine win over Randwick , this was another one that got away from us in most disappointing fashion.
Consistency or lack of it has been the feature of the First Colts this year being unable to string two good performances together.
Manly started like a house on fire , not allowing Easts to get their hands on the ball from the opening whistle for a long period and all Easts could do was defend for their lives. Before we knew it we were behind 12 to nil after the tide had broken and Manly breached our defences and they were over for 2 tries.
Easts finally got their hands on the ball and centre Henry Patterson made a telling break in midfield to register Easts first points with a try which was duly converted by Dan Donato. However things again turned sour for Easts with another Manly try shortly after and then a crippling blow right on oranges with Manly scoring a scrappy try after Easts failed to put the ball into touch and at the break it was Manly in the driving seat at 22 to 7 up.
Straight after the break hooker Dylan Woods made a thrilling bust down the left hand flank to run 40 metres to score adjacent to the posts for an easy conversion making it 22 to 14. However an injured shoulder to Woods saw him take no further part in the game.
Easts were slowly gaining the upper hand a another try this time to Dan Donato making it now only a 3 point deficit and it appeared that Easts were gaining the ascendency.
However it was not to be and the Manly defence held firm and a late penalty goal to them saw a final score line of a defeat of 25 to 19 and great disappointment all round.
SECOND GRADE COLTS
EASTS 38 defeated MANLY 0
Seconds continued on their merry way with a 6 try to nil romp …and in so doing cemented their position as second on the competition ladder.
Easts were never really troubled with winger Leon Tupola scoring hat trick of tries with a solid performance across the park
THIRD GRADE COLTS
EASTS 29 defeated MANLY 0
The Easts boys got into football mode early with one of the best rugby team building exercises. The bus trip to Manly. With an early departure from the hallowed Woollahra oval there was and air of excitement and anticipation from a group looking to avenge a tight, poor first round loss to Manly.
Having set the bar at a high level against Randwick last week, it looked like Easts were going to slip back into old habits of playing at the level of the opposition. The first half was littered with dropped passes and needless penalties. Despite this Easts looked the better team and pressured the Manly line on several occasions. The only points in the first half came from the boot of James “Golden Slipper” Coppola who slotted a penalty in front. It was a good decision to go for goal and in a tight game it looked like those points might be vital.
At the break the coaches’ expert direction highlighted some of the “work ons” for the second half, telling their charges to provide better support to the man with the ball and to hold pull back on the contest for the ball.
Eight fresh replacements came on the second half. They must have invoked the spirit of club immortal H.R.J. "Perc" Newton as the control and intensity of the Easts team increased markedly.
Following a good shove from Easts pack, Stewart fed Negus who cleverly stepped through a gap in the defence and set sail for the line. New York debutant Williams loomed in support and took a beautifully timed inside pass to score under the posts.
Easts worked hard and 8 minutes later found themselves with a five-metre scrum. Once again Negus was on the run, Muddle played an excellent role as a decoy fixing the inside defenders. A short pass to Coppola allowed him to run outside his defender and to stroll across the line. The coaches were finally able to smile.
Easts were now in control of the game. A good kick return from Somerton (thankfully not Ric) set the backline alight, quick hands from Muddle and a great draw and pass from Coppola set Williams on the wing off to the line. Whilst he was pull down short, Easts went through four quick phase which had the opposition at sixes and sevens in defence. Negus took advantage of the disarray and wove his way through several defenders to cross the line.
Manly continued to be pinned down in their own half by excellent defence and relentless attack from Easts. Pearson was denied a try which was ruled as held up by an unsighted referee.
Minutes later Easts had another 5 metre scrum. Half back Stewart ran wide of the scrum base Foxton took the ball off the back feeding Stewart, who had created space for himself, drew the defence and offloaded to the Stanford Rocket Williams who scored in the corner.
A bonus point win erased the memory of the first round loss and established this team as contenders.
FOURTH GRADE COLTS
So for the run home now with 5 rounds remaining the Firsts are in 5th spot, Seconds are second and thirds are 4th so still a lot of work to be done starting this week with matches against Warringah.
THE EASTERN TOUCHLINER