Just a reminder, when Term 3 started this year, the whites were running second last. The last time these teams meet, Chatswood defeated the whites 36 to nil. It was difficult to watch that game, as it was at our own home ground.
Today, that was all forgotten. After weeks of wins and upsets, they were now playing for a spot in the grand final. The boys warmed up well, their was the smell of confidence in the air. The Cougars spectators out numbered the other team 3 to 1 and it was loud. The roar of the crowd as the boys ran on was as loud as what you would hear at Brooky on the hill.
From the start this was a real arm wrestle. The first 10 minutes was each team working their phases up the field, defend well and do the same back to the opposition. Great work again by Dean Richards, William Staber, Jai Kocass and Sean Parkinson for such good work in the ruck, scrums and line outs. It was not until a flash a brilliance from Patrick Pearman who read and intercepted a pass to create a fantastic run away try completely on his own, against the run of play. Conversion by Dean Richards places the team up 7 nil. Chatswood were in shock, and stepped up a gear.
The boys matched Chatswood run for run, tackle for tackle. Caid Anderberg and Marcus Papallo had brilliant games in defence and in the rucks. Mitchell Gilligan, Curtis Kinster-Smith, Wilson Steven, Luke Hall and Dylan Daniels carved their way through the middle of the ruck and had some success around the fringes as the momentum went their way. Heading towards half time Chatswood made a break with one the backs heading for a try with no-one in sight. That was until Mitchell White came from the other side of the field, using speed I do not think he even knew he had, to cut down a certain try, 5 metres from the try line. It was perfect, he did not panic at all and the crowd roared his name in appreciation. However, it was unfortunate that just on half time Chatswood scored, no conversion. Collaroy, still in front.
After the half time break the boys were rearing to go. They were in front and they were playing well. All the boys stepped up. Flynn Westbury took charge at the back of a ruck, picked up the ball, and charged through the pack dodging and weaving like a man possessed, I have never seen him play so well up to today. It was just after this play that Chatswood had a little luck go their way and scored another try with a conversion. The boys were not deterred. Time was running out and Chatswood was soaking it up with delays to play. The last roll of the dice came. Charging through the middle of the ruck was George McKee, the man of the hour. The legs were pumping, nothing was going to stop him except a wall of defence. The push over was one. The forwards backed George willing him forward, he was over the line, the defence is all over him. He uses all his strength to get the ball down, pushing, shoving……….but not to be. Chatswood held him up and there was nothing anyone could do, time was virtually up and that was the game.
The boys left nothing in the tank, they were exhausted. They did what he coaches asked and played their best game of the season. The boys were clapped and cheered off the field today by the crowd as the true champions they are. Everyone was very proud of what they have achieved this season, not matter what the score was. But, the final score was Chatswood 12 – Collaroy 7.