Definitely a game in 2 halves – or does Cliff Oval slope down to the North??
Our boys were obviously half asleep when they took the field. Wahroonga had a couple of hefty front rowers who were able to make ground in the loose play. It was all Wahroonga for the first 10-15 minutes, apart from some solid work in the backs by Joey, Wilson and Sam (who was playing against his old club), and a couple of great runs from Sean and Flynn. Special thanks to Sean for stepping into the front row against the best scrum we’ve played against for a while, and still having the energy to make some great yards with the ball.
The team seemed to wake-up off the back of injuries to Dean and Mitchell G and seeing George get steam-rolled by one of their big boppers. The ship was starting to steady. But the score was 0-19 at half-time, prompting at least one parent to doubt our ability to turn things around (sorry about that Al).
After a resounding half time talk and chant (thanks Gav), we were a different team in the second half. It was like we were running downhill.
With Dean and Mitchell G back on the park after half time, the team lifted in confidence after our first try – a big bustling solo run from Ollie. Ollie ran strongly all day – terrorising the opposition whenever he could get the ball in hand.
In the second half we controlled the breakdown more effectively as the opposition started to tire. The unsung front rowers – Marcus, Jai and George – were doing the dirty work securing the ball in the rucks and mauls – and all of them had a go with the ball in hand too. Dean came back stronger after his rest on the bench – tackling and making good yards. He also converted 4 out of 5 tries with some great kicks!
The backs made the most of the extra ball in the second half. Tries to Joey (who had forgotten about his sore knee), Luke (Captain Consistency) and Mitchell G (a zig zagging run to the line). Also big congratulations to Ben who scored his first try for the Cougars and pulled off a couple of great tackles. Our defence was rock solid in the second half, with Mitchell W and Zai helping to shut down Wahroonga’s attack out wide.
We now have 3 wins from 3 games. The final score of 33-19 showed the fighting capacity of the team – they didn’t lose heart, they just kept getting stronger as a team. A great confidence builder – and hopefully we can take that form into the next game on Friday night!