First grade managed to post a bonus point win after dominating Gordon early on, only to allow them back into the match with a 15 minute mental lapse early in the second half, before closing it out to win 33-19.
In front of a large and vocal Orange crowd, Tom Pincus opened up the scoring early after great lead up work from Tom Sheminant and Jack Grant. We created lots of half chances in the next 20 minutes but execution at line out time, turnovers at the breakdown and loose handling skills saw opportunities squandered. When we managed to hold onto ball and build pressure, Jack Grant took the opportunity close to the line to score untouched and Tom Pincus again converted for a 14-0 lead. The lead was then extended just on half time with a precision maul ending with a try to Lindsey Stephens and the Beasties were well in control at half time 21-0.
Gordon started strongly in the second half and whilst we lacked the defensive intensity that had been there for the first half, Gordon targeted our right edge in defence and managed to score an early try to bring the score to 21-7. Our own errors in possession continued to halt promising attacking raids whilst Gordon were now playing with width and confidence but it was a low percentage effort to run from our own end in broken play that saw Gordon score an intercept try to bring them back to 21-14. Shortly after, poor defence on our right edge again saw Gordon post its third try in twenty minutes and suddenly, a game that was well in hand was way out of hand.
The group composed themselves behind the posts however and went down the other end from the kick off with more of the intent shown in the opening forty minutes and after strong go forward from Joe Pincus off a set piece scrum play, Archie Hall took the ball forward strongly for Clarrie Moore to then get a deserved try on the following phase.
The boys then put the match beyond doubt with a well worked set piece play with Archie kill finding Tom Pincus out the back who then threw a well weighted pass to Will Maddocks who found James Field supporting on the inside to score a well worked set piece try.
On behalf of the team, we would like to thank the club and all the relevant sponsors for bringing this match to Orange at significant expense. A special shout out to The Clifton family for hosting the team for dinner in Bathurst on Friday night with a sensational home cooked meal and dessert. To St Stanislaus College for welcoming us to the College on Saturdaymorning and allowing us time to talk with your 1st XV players and hopefully assist them with their ideas on playing rugby and the pathway to the next level. Thanks must go to our President John Murray for all his work in getting this whole event off the ground and the way both Easts and Gordon players and staff were catered for all weekend and finally to all those supporters who watched the game live in Orange and on Fox 7Two. It was great to see Easts legends and life members there in support and enjoying an Easts victory.
We have not been far off all season in the games we have played and whilst we are not happy with dropping games we could have won, hard work will ensure we get these results in the coming weeks as we continue to play attacking rugby and believe in our ability to improve our execution and decision making.
Sometimes you play well and don't get what you deserve, on the rare occasion you play poorly and don't get what you deserve. The later was the case for us on Sunday.
Granted a greasy wet track at Chatswood was never going to provide the ideal stage for the style of rugby that we have aspired to play but non the less it gave us an opportunity to see where we were at if we had to roll our sleeves up and get stuck in the old fashioned way.
We started the game as we have in previous weeks scoring a try with our very first possession, to James King. After that our chances with ball were few and far between for the 1st half. Gordon dominated possession and field position. They were relentless in their discipline to not play in the areas of the field that were hard to attack from ( the cricket square) and chose to just keep pinning us in our corners where we struggled to exit from. One other entry into Gordon's 22 was all we could muster for the remainder of that half and thankfully it resulted in a barge over try from Archie Hall.
Gordon's try just before halftime made it 13-12 to them.
The second half we were better and managed to maintain a lot more possession. However could not convert to points, and it was only Will Patterson pouncing on a loose ball and racing away for a try that put us in front again. Will Maddocks kicked a penalty late in the half which took the bonus point away from Gordon. 22-13. We left with a lucky 4 points, not that the boys didn't work hard for them, I think it was a stark reminder that we have a long way to go. Special mention has to go to Hooper who replaced Jake Turnbull after Turnbull couldn't complete the warm up, Hooper started in 2s at Loose head after already completing 65mins the 3rds game, a huge effort to then go on and play 80mins in 2nds.
Thirds travelled to Chatswood Oval on an overcast and showery Sunday to take on a Gordon outfit ,who had only lost one game so far this season.
Gordon started brightly and looked high on confidence, but Easts defense was equal to the task in the first twenty minutes and started to wear down Gordon’s enthusiasm.
Easts started to take over the dominant role and with good decision making and support play began making inroads into the Gordon defense.
We were rewarded after 30 minutes when Othello Heka went over after taking the ball from the back of a superior Easts scrum to score.
Rory McGahan converted and we led 7-0, which was also the half time score.
Three minutes into the second half , we stretched the lead when Rory Mcgahan kicked a penalty goal to make it 10-0.
Easts scrum began to dominate and we were able to pin Gordon down in their own territory for extended periods.
Ten minutes into the second half, Sam Fogarty made a nice break off an inside pass from Baz Julian only to drop the ball as he dived for the line. It was the only error that he made in an otherwise strong display.
Just after the 50 minute mark, Henry Holden crossed on the back of some concerted pressure from the strong Easts pack and we were in front 15-0.
Gordon opened their scoring with a try five minutes later, but it wasn’t long before a penalty goal and an opportunist try to Harry Tooth after a Gordon 22, took the score to 23-5, when the fulltime bell rang.
Gordon scored after the bell , so the final score was 23-12 to Easts. This is the fourth occasion in seven matches that Thirds have conceded a try after fulltime. Coincidence or composure?
Nevertheless, it was a strong all round performance from the side. Good decision making , vigorous defense, a good kick and chase game, a superior scrum and good support play.
Very enjoyable to watch.
On a cold, wet Mothers’ Day at Chatswood Oval we were up against Gordon who were undefeated going into this game, while we were yet to register a win
The first half was a half of mistakes, with the slippery ball not helping either team
Both teams had opportunities but were unable to get on the scoreboard, and although the Beasts were the better team in the first half we went to the break nil-all
The second half continued in the same manner but then in the 43rd minute some good lead up work and support by Tom Keft saw the ball get wide to Jake Tierney who then showed some great footwork to get around his opposite and score in the corner.
His conversion kick was unsuccessful but we led 5-0.
Gordon came back at us strongly and had us pinned on our try line for the next 10 minutes but we repelled each challenge they threw at us
We then began to play for territory and in the 52nd minute were rewarded with a penalty some 38 metres out, straight in front.
Jake Tierney stepped up to the plate and nailed it. 8-0 and an upset victory was now looking likely.
Gordon however were not done with and came straight back at us and camped themselves again on our try line for the next 6-7 minutes before finally scoring out wide.
The conversion was unsuccessful. The score 8-5 with 2 minutes remaining.
From the kick-off Gordon controlled possession, moving the ball downfield before the last play of the game from a half break they kicked ahead.
Thankfully Brodie Bayley was there to ground the ball in the in-goal and it was fulltime.
We had just beaten the ladder leaders !!
After 6 hard weeks the boys finally have a win to show for all their hard work.
Hopefully beating the ladder leaders will give them some belief going forward that we are certainly not here to make up the numbers