17th May, 2017
Coach Damian Cahill admitted before the game that he didn’t actually know who would turn up to play, such was the list of sick and injured. So, to draw 24-all after being down 17-5 showed the character of this young team, consisting mainly of grade 11 and 12 schoolboys.
With selection in disarray, it was no surprise that our boys took a while to settle down. It was 12-0 to Wests before we got our act together. Hard-working Kyle Cullen was over the line but had the ball knocked out of his hands. Luckily it went backwards into the hands of Connor Wallace, who scored. 12-5.
With long, accurate passes Wests found space out wide and their winger raced over to make it 17-5 at the break. Wests were nearly in again on resumption but dogged defence kept them out. Then our big number 8, Harry Luka went over under the posts, Mitch Currie converted and it was game on at 12-17 down.
Rookie centre Reece Tapine has been a revelation in the past few weeks, scoring 2 tries on debut and setting up his supports. He chipped a perfect little kick over the defence. It bounced into the hands of Luka Lewis, who sped away from the defence to score and lock up the game at 17-all.
Wests regained the lead with a controversial try in the left corner. A grubber into the in-goal appeared to be knocked-on but the referee, who had made several puzzling rulings, allowed the try. Fortunately we countered right on fulltime with a typically determined solo effort form Austin Northey . Down 24-22, we needed the conversion, 10m to the left of the uprights, to snatch the draw. With ice-cool nerves, Keahn Tipu raised the flags and it was 24-all.
It was a great team effort but Damian Cahill singled out his backs – Keahn, Luka Lewis and Reece Tapine – for special mention.
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