Bond University Rugby Club

HOT START AT EAGLES’ NEST

19th March, 2017

Last season Norths gave us a shock with a surprise defeat of our Premier grade in Round 2 of the competition, but not this time.  On a stifling hot day, our team showed a lot of character and fitness in holding Norths scoreless in the second half, against a strong breeze, to win by 20-5. 

In each of the previous three games, the wind proved a big factor.  Running with the breeze, Premier Colts scored 24 points in the second half to snatch a draw and Premier Reserves came back from a 22-0 deficit to lose 29-24.  In Colts 1 the score see-sawed until the last minute, when Ashley Marsh put winger Kale Brensell over for the match-winner 25-20.

All in all it was a good start to the season, with players still getting used to new combinations and coaches, before our first home game against GPS next weekend.  

Norths captain put it simply after the game “Bond gave us a football lesson today.”   He was spot-on.   No frills Rugby – strong set-piece, sure handling, solid defence and clever use of a strong breeze.  With a new-look team led for the first time by prop Sam Clifton, Bond scored three tries in the first half.  

The first came from a rolling maul, started 10m from the line and finished off by Reds’ squad hooker, Alex Mafi.    He had a strong all-round game, marked by some punishing tackles.  

Veteran flyhalf Vitori Buatava showed his class in a clever display, kicking a field goal and scoring the second try to win the Man of the Match award.  His try was the best of the game, started by a half-break by Mafi, backed up by livewire half Vinnie Quigley, then onto giant Reds lock Caderyn Neville who raced into the clear for 30m and finally back inside for Tori to score.   (If he’s having any sleepless nights with new baby Oscar, Tori’s not showing it!)

The third try came after astute kicking gave Bond good field position and, after hammering Norths’ line, Caderyn ran through a gap on the blind to score.   The only blemish in Bond’s display was when “Bear” Holmes was in the sin-bin and big Rubin Fui was down with an injury.  Norths exploited the lack of numbers to score in the corner.  20-5 at halftime.

Sean Hedger’s instructions were simple regarding the second half.  “Running into this breeze, no kicking, we want ball in hand.  Keep it tight.”  The boys responded with a disciplined display which showed their character and superior fitness – a scoreless second half.  Apart from Vitori, Sean singled out new flanker Joel Brown for special mention, as well as Alex Mafi and Caderyn Neville.

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