3rd July, 2017
For the seventh time this season, our Reserve Grade lost by less than 7 points. In fact, there was only 1 point the difference, 22-21 when the fulltime whistle blew. Against the third-ranked Brothers team we fielded a side bristling with experienced former Premier players. But it was a rookie, Struan Robertson who stunned the crowd with the opening try. The red-headed utility back weaved a path over 60m, beating player after player, to score a brilliant individual try. Then Nate Corbett was over in the other corner, but was ruled to have put a foot into touch.
Big Rubin Fuimaono copped 10m in the sin bin for taking a player out in the air and, in his absence, Brothers capitalised. Twice they cleverly marshalled their 8 forwards against our 7 and scored twice from pushovers. Then Sam Wood was penalised for a dangerous tackle right in front and 7-0 had become 7-15 in the space of about 8 minutes.
After the break our pack, showing patience and skill over 10 phases, won some good field position and clever flyhalf Vitori Buatava danced his way through some confused defence to score. Justin Bernstein converted to make it 14-15. But Brothers went further ahead with a try down the right swing after a poor read by our defence. It was Brothers looking on top at 22-14.
Bond were awarded a penalty right in front 20m out but chose to go for the try – but came up empty-handed. Then Vinnie Quigley, back from a few weeks in Europe, darted through a gap and fed Tori, with the line open, and he dropped the ball.
A Brothers forward got 10m in the bin for a vicious high tackle on Samuela Helaman and Nixon Taramai came off the bench to score a try with nonchalant ease, after a clever offload from Tori. The conversion by JB made it 22-21. Taramai was everywhere, a ball of energy. Why wasn’t he on earlier, one wondered ? Why weren’t we lining up for a shot at field goal ? But finally the whistle blew and our hapless boys had lost another close one. When you look at it, they would be in second place, had they won those 7 narrow losses.
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