17th May, 2017
In Round 8 of Premier Rugby, Wests Rugby Club celebrated their new clubhouse, a $14 million showpiece, with a 25-22 victory. After languishing at the bottom of the table for a decade, the Bulldogs have now won 4 in a row in Premier Grade and are shooting for their first premiership since 2006. It was another bad day for Bond, going down narrowly in 3 grades and drawing 24-all in Colts 1.
In a Jekyll and Hyde performance, our Premier Grade played poorly in the first half and brilliantly in the second, but it wasn’t enough to snatch victory. After being down 17-3 at halftime, they came roaring back with 3 tries, scoring 19 points to 8, but fell short – Wests winning 25-22. Like the Sunnybank game, they played in fits and starts.
Buoyed by wins in two of the lower grade games, Wests started with a bang, scoring from their first possession. A sweeping move ended with flying winger, Paul Slater over in the corner, converted by Hutchinson for a 7-0 lead. Then our new prop, Tyron Rota left the field with a dislocated elbow, bringing Reece Mann into the front row. We had our chances, but blew them. New centre Jack Redden had Adam Higgins outside with an overlap, but threw a poor pass. We looked lethargic, while Wests were buzzing with energy. Although Nixon Taramai was making some huge hits, others were falling off tackles and not marking up. So it was no surprise when Wests scored again through flanker Matt Ika.
Mitch Third landed a penalty but Wests, after passing up a penalty shot in front, scored their third try off a driving maul from a lineout, Cody Blackhurst touching down. Things looked grim down 17-3 at halftime, with our winger Nate Corbett in the Sin Bin for a high tackle.
Club Captain Nick Turner, after a lengthy stay on the sidelines with a knee injury, came on along with flanker Tai Ford and suddenly things turned around. Despite being down a man, Bond’s pack rumbled into Wests 22 and big Rubin Fuimaono scored from a pick and drive. 17-10.
A silly offside presented Wests with a simple penalty in front of the posts and it was 20-10, but a few minutes later Rubin did it again. Like men inspired, our forwards smashed holes in the Bulldogs defence and the trusty pick and drive ploy worked again. Unfortunately Mitch Third missed the conversion but it was game on at 20-15.
We lost another prop, Reece Mann injuring his arm and scrummaging expert Will Slipper came on for just his second game this season. But the new-found enthusiasm of our forwards spread to the backs, who started finding holes in the defence. However, against the run of play, Wests scored again – and the lead was back to 10 points, with 5 minutes to play.
Throwing caution to the winds, Bond attacked from inside their own half and debutant, Jack Redden sidestepped through and served a perfect pass for Joel Brown to score. It was 25-22 and Wests looked out on their feet. With the fulltime siren sounding we launched one last attack and drove into their red zone but, sadly, Redden knocked on. Fulltime with Wests winners 25-22. Nixon Taramai was named our best player.
The Bond University Rugby Club wish to thank our valuable 2017 Corporate PartnersAll Sponsors