The Owls first grade side suffered a tough loss at Royals on the weekend, going down 33-25. It was an action-packed game that featured critical injuries, field changes, and a late revival.
It was a slow start to the game, both forward packs were looking to assert dominance and enterprising rugby was at a premium. The first points came from the boot of Owls fullback Jordan Thompson who slotted two penalty goals in quick succession to put his team ahead.
Royals were first to score a try on the day, but the Owls responded quickly with a try of their own. The electric winger Byron Hollingsworth-Dessent finished a skilful backline play in the corner to put the Owls back in the lead.
The game took a strange turn with 15 minutes before the end of half. Owls winger Josh Reis sustained a dangerous head injury and required an ambulance. This was the 3rd injury of the half with both Lachie Osbourne and Willo Axelsen having to leave the field with an ankle and neck injury respectively.To not stop the flow of the game the referees decided to continue the match on the Royals second field.
The change in scenery was not be helpful for the men in blue. The Owls pounced on a lapse of concentration by Royals and following one of the tackles of the season by Phil Ferriera, the students were quickly inside the Royals red zone.
Jordan Thompson was mauled in for a try to bring the Owls back into contention at the halftime break.
As the second half began it was all one-way traffic as the Royals backline came out firing. The chemistry of the Royals backs was evident as the crowd was treated to some beautiful support play and running rugby.
As the clock was ticking down the Owls gave themselves an opportunity to snatch a 2 losing bonus points with a fantastic comeback seeing reserve lock Angus Chapman crash over the Royals line. They knew that the game was lost but were determined not to leave empty handed.
Unfortunately, Royals snuffed out the Owls maul and ended the game. Easts at home this week playing for the Owen Brown Cup will certainly lift the team.
Stirling Doyle played 120 minutes of rugby in both 2nd and 1st Grade and grabbed 2 points in a great effort.
This weekend saw the Women take on Royals in the first round of the of the 2019 Women’s competition. It was a resounding win for the Owls women who ran in ten tries, the final score 7-54.
The match saw 8 ladies making their debut in Owls colours: Lily Apps, Danai Chanakira, Rachel Crothers, Crystal Papalii, Rommy Galvin, Maddie Gogala and Jess Hurrell.
Lead out by Captain Sepa Salesa the ladies started on the front foot with some barnstorming attacking raids led by number 8 Rosaline Aumale who continuously bent the Royals defensive line providing front-foot ball for the backs to attack.
The ladies started off a little slower in the second half but soon found their rhythm and playing to the structures that the coaches have been introducing and the results were evident. lani Yabaki scored 4 tries in her comeback following a year off following the birth of her baby. Newcomer Rachel Crothers scored 2 great tries – one a 75 metre individual run. Other scorers were Jane Garraway, Sophie Williams and Georgia O’Neill.
Wallaroo Georgia O’Neill took over kicking duties and dominated the breakdown.
2019 is an exciting year for the ladies’ team. They will field two teams for this weekends ladies day at the Barn. They will be taking on Easts at 1.40pm of Field 1. In a new ACT Rugby initiative a development 10s competition has begun and this week the Owls 10s will be playing Bungendore at 11.15. Come along and support our amazing Womens teams.
For the second week in a row the second-grade men came up against a strong opposition and battled hard to stay in possession of the ball, the final score 36-19.
The side was missing established tight five players and the Owls scrum was struggling to get any forward momentum.
New second rower at the club Brad Pumpa showed his ball carrying ability, scoring twice and making good metres across the park. Brad was also named Players Player and won 3 points.
A notable achievement in second grade this week was Robert Carver receiving his 50th cap for the club. Rob lined up on the wing and was a constant settling presence on the edge for the Owls.
With members of the seconds squad returning next week, a win over Easts would get their season back on the right track.
The Owls colts have gone down to Royals 40-29. A slow start proved costly for the Owls as a late revival proved to be too little too late.
Throughout the game the Owls were able to build pressure and get into Royals territory. However, frantic play often led to turnovers and all hard work being squandered.
Forwards Sam Lindeman and Toby Tiffin continued their good form and led their team in the middle. In the backs, Leo Michael (who suffered an unfortunate injury in second grade) and Jibou Fofanah were carving their way through the Royals defence.
A good opportunity for a win awaits the colts this weekend when they face Easts.
Third grade made the trip down south to face Cooma and came away with a disappointing 12 all draw. Coming off a large loss the previous weekend, this game was an opportunity for redemption for the side.
Coach Dave Oliver says a solid week of preparation was left back at the Barn with the group unable to collectively put it all together for a decent performance.
Positive performances by Craig McKillop, Lee Aloese and Cody Love were silver linings for the sides performance. The 3rds men face Easts this week.
Fourth grade joined the thirsty thirds on their away trip to Cooma and came away with a solid win, 10-35. Tries to Nathan Malcolm, Hamish Walker (scoring twice), and newcomer Tai Tuifua gave the Owls the ascendency over the Red Devils. The team also managed to pick up a penalty try and two drop goals to Hamish Walker, very cheeky.
Cooma had all of the ball in the first half due to ill-discipline by the Owls men. However, they were kept scoreless by some determined Owls defence.
In the second half the Owls showed more intensity at the breakdown and the hard straight running by players like Stormin’ Norman (Nomeneta Su’a Tagaloa Auelua).