1st Grade Report
In a similar fashion to our earlier encounter with West Harbour in Round 10, our early defensive efforts were poor, with players not connecting in defence and getting easily caught up in decoy runner which helped the visitors to three early tires and a very sizeable eighteen point lead.
Once we got our heads in the game, made our tackles and built some pressure with the ball, we managed to score consecutive tries in the back end of the first half through strong forward play from a maul and good ball movement from the backline to reduce the margin to 13-25 at half time.
The second half was a good contest with both teams threatening at various stages and just as Wests pulled away again with another try, the Beasties answered straight back with consecutive tries out wide after strong lead up work again in the middle of the field.
With scores at 25-30 in Wests favour with less than ten minutes to go, it was clear than the next to to score may just carry that momentum through to full time. With chances for both sides, Wests took a penalty shot with just over five minutes remaining and as the ball hit the upright and bounced back into the field of play, it was Wests who secured possession from a nasty bounce and crashed over to score and convert for a 25-37 full time score line.
We gave them an 18 point start and in the end, we were not good enough to make up the difference in a game that kept their slim semis hopes alive.
Defence was the disappointing thing out of the match for a fifteen minute period early on whilst the remainder of the game was a fairly physical and at times brutal contest.
Congrats to Andrew Ferris on his run on debut in 1st grade v West Harbour.
2nd Grade Report
2nd grade entered the weekends game looking to avenge a defeat suffered at the hands of West Harbour earlier in the year. A defeat that now looks like being the difference between us making the finals or not.
Similarly to the first time out against Wests our preparation was disturbed with injuries and late pull outs. Coming into the team for their first starts in 2s were Baz Julian,Tom Keft and George Mallat, who were both playing well in 3s.
It was Baz who was instrumental in setting up the first try of the day to Fetongi Tuinavai. Easts were dominant first half but struggled to convert pressure into points.
The second half started brightly with an early try to Ben Phillipps finishing of some great direct play from our forwards. After that there were tries to George Mallat and Liam Corbishly. Wests scored a consolation try on the bell. The score finished up 24-10. The performance for me was probably the most pleasing of the season, seeing guys stand up to the physicality of Wests and also seeing boys taking their chances in 2nd grade.
Third Grade Report.
Third grade played Wests at Mackay Oval hoping to avenge a first round defeat.
Wests came out firing and we were forced to absorb plenty of pressure and defended our tryline with passion. After 15 minutes our defence had not faltered and Wests started to look rattled.
By halftime we had run in three unconverted tries and led 15-0.
Same game plan for second half. Same script . Wests came at us for the first 10 minutes of the second half, our defence held firm and then we scored another three unconverted tries. Only variation was that Wests also scored so we ended up winning 30-5.
It was a very good performance, one based around strong defence. Six tries based on straight running and good support play. 15 tries in the last three games is testament to that.
Brodie Bayley scored three tries and Marcos Insua scored a beauty of a lineout play near halfway.
Great to see Scott Fay play at number 10 and his contribution to the side was very valuable.
On to Parramatta this weekend and we can look forward with confidence as the side continues to improve.