The Owls 1st XV have recorded their first loss of the season by just five points, 22 to 27 to the Tuggeranong Vikings. The Brumbies experience in the backline proved to be the edge for the Vikings men in what was an exciting back and forth game at North Oval. A notable debut player at No 8 was Haydn Pengelly – son of long time Norths and Owls player Nick “Costa” Pengelly.
For the first time in 2019 the Owls looked to start with ascendency. Fullback Jordan Thompson opened the scoring with a penalty goal. An early injury to debut player Theo Cestaro ( aka Frenchie) caused a backline reshuffle and Lucas Thomson came on following a full game in 2nds. Ten minutes later young winger Josh Reis crashed over in the corner for the first try, making the score 8-0.
The Vikings were next to score, but the Owls hit back quickly. The hard-running Owls backrower Phil Ferreira powered over to score. His try was converted, and the Owls were once more ahead by a point. This lead was quickly dashed when Ryan Lonergan kicked a penalty goal for the Vikings.
It has been a crucial requirement for the Owls success that they score just before halftime, this week however it was the Vikings that scored the critical try. The returning Brumbies showed their chemistry in the Vikings backline, Jordan Jackson-Hope set up a fantastic long range try with halfback Ryan Lonergan finishing.
The halftime score had the Vikings ahead 15-22, a converted try in the balance. Both teams had previously performed better in the second half, the Owls crowd was anxious to see whether their team could hold off a barnstorming Vikings team.
It took just over ten minutes in the second half for a team to score and it came in odd circumstances. Vikings received a yellow card and were cost a penalty try for a deliberate knockdown of an Owls pass on their try line. The Owls received the automatic seven points, and the game was locked at 22-22 all.
The Vikings men were on a mission to score by any means necessary. Surely the memory of last year’s draw at North Oval was on their mind. However, with ten minutes to go winger Andrew Robinson sealed the deal for the Vikings win, crossing in the corner to break the Owls hearts. The final score 22-27.
In second grade it was a tough battle for the Owls men, losing to the Vikings 14-38. Managing just two tries in the first half, the Owls time with ball in hand was very limited. The Vikings backline capitalised on near all mistakes made by the Owls, running in six tries to the Owls two. Charlie Fairfield-Smith picked up his 100th cap, coming on just before the end of the first half. His impact in the pack was immediately felt but the Vikings were too good for the seconds men.
Third grade had a game to forget when they met top of the table Goulburn, losing 5 – 57. The Owls managed to score their only try very early on in the game, Daniel Slater the man to score. Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there. Goulburn ran in nine tries, letting the Owls men what is required to be on top of the First Division.
The fourth grade men started the day on a positive note for the Owls, beating Goulburn 33-19. The Owls men seemed to be in control for the whole match scoring five tries to Goulburn’s three. Two of the tries came by way of Owls rookie Lachlan Hird. The only way the big man could be contained was when he was given a yellow card, in dubious circumstances. Hamish Walker was nearly flawless with the boot, making all but one kick.
The Womens team continues to play in a series of 10 a side round robins in the lead up to the official season start. Saturday they played both a 10s (defeating Gungahlin) game and a 15 a side trial game Easts. Coaches Fat Cat Ritchie and Skeda were very impressed with the skills on show and are looking forward to the official kick off this weekend against Royals.