RUGBY UNION –
The Avoca Beach Sharks have faced their first defeat in the Swietelsky Premier One Rugby Union league, falling to the Kariong Wanderers, 38 – 24, on Saturday, April 24.
Played at Kariong Oval, the hosts were able to hold on to their strong first half lead despite facing a comeback from their visitors in the second half.
Avoca Beach kicked the opening points with a penalty goal, but it was Kariong who then piled on 24 unanswered points in the remainder of the half.
With the second half becoming a much closer affair, this early lead proved a sufficient cushion to see Kariong come away with the points.
Avoca Beach fought hard and managed to bring themselves within one converted try of the Wanderers late in the match.
But in the final minutes, the hosts were able to again pull away with a late try from an intercept to seal their 38 – 24 win.
Best players for Kariong were Lock Taylor Mildren, Winger Kane Williams and Prop Jackson Parkes. Fly Half Mitch Clay was on fire in the opening stages of the match when he crossed for two personal tries, with Logan Campbell, Jake Hubbard and Blake Silvester also crossing over the line.
Avoca Beach were best served by No.8 Fion Henderson-Foley, Locks Emile Thomas and Pete Steele, and Halfback Ben Harding.
For Head Coach, Justin Staben, the game brought a disappointing result but clearly highlights where the team needs to improve moving forward.
“We didn’t go out and do what we have trained to do,” said Staben.
“Kariong made us play into their hands and I think they definitely deserved the win.
“One of our mistakes was capitalised on by Kariong, meanwhile every opportunity they got, they took points from it.
“Having said that, we went down swinging.
“In future, we have got to play with more structure and stick to the game plan that we train for, as well as avoid giving away too many penalties that hand the ball back to the opposition and make it easy for them.”
The win has launched Kariong to the top of the league table with 11 points, ahead of Terrigal by a point.
Also on 10 points are the Ourimbah Razorbacks after a big win on the weekend against The Lakes, 52 – 10.
After an even open to the match with both teams finding chances to score, it was the Razorbacks who got over the line first.
No.8 Rob Peden did the damage with a try under the posts and he followed this up with a second eight minutes later to give his side a 14 point lead.
A further try came for the Razorbacks before the end of the first half, again converted by Flanker Jarrod Grange to make the half time score 21 – 0.
In the second half, more opportunities came for The Lakes to open up their Round Three account, but their attacks often broke down close to the line, outmatched by their host’s defence.
Meanwhile, the Razorbacks continued to make the most of their chancers and get over the line, posting a further 31 points in the second.
The Lakes never stopped trying, posting two tries late in the match to relieve some pressure, but it was too little too late.
In the end, the scoreboard read 52 – 10, with a hattrick coming for Rod Peden, two tries for Fly Half, Matt Martin and one for Josefa Biu, Connor Peden and Patrick Martin.
The third game of Round Three was played at Woongarrah Oval between the Warnervale Wildcats and the Woy Woy Lions, wherein the Lions posted their first win of the 2021 campaign.
It was a tough contest with some great attack and very solid defence from both teams.
Woy Woy got away to a flyer, leading early with two unanswered penalty tries and then heading into half time 21 – 5.
In the second half, Warnervale fought back to lock up the score at 31 – 31 in the dying stages of the match.
However, it was Woy Woy who scored a try right at the end of the match to snatch the victory 36 – 31.
Best players for the Peninsula visitors were Flanker Jazper Doak-Stride and Centre Junior Stowers, while Winger Jim Meya crossed for 2 tries in the match along with one each for Pita Pio, Junior Stowers and Corby Delaforce.
Warnervale had several very good performances as well, but the best came through Flanker Kye Haslam, Centre Ethan Sant and Fullback Sione Braxton, who also scored a try.
Two tries also came for Ketoni Toutai, along with one for Zanian Theron and Tyrone Holamoti.
Source: Match Report, Apr 25
Larry Thomson, CCRU