The Uni-Norths Owls have won the Barry Drive Derby against rivals Wests 25-19 at North Oval. For the second week in a row the Owls first grade side has comeback from a half time deficit to win.
The Owls scored 19 points in the second half to overtake Wests who were kept scoreless from the 35th minute. It took until the 53rd minute for the Owls to breach the Wests try line and from there it was all one-way traffic until full time.
A near flawless kicking display by fullback Jordan Thompson kept the Owls alive in the first half of play, kicking two penalties. Wests scored three tries in the first half and eliminated all the Owls try scoring opportunities.
However, just like the week before, the Owls men rallied together at half time and blew Wests away in the second half. Long range driving grubbers from Willoughby Axelsen kept Wests pinned in their quarter and deft hands and a strong defensive performance earned him 3 points. Tries by James Lynch from the maul, and Byron Hollingsworth-Dessent, who burned down the wing put Owls a point behind with ten minutes to go.
A strong all round performance by Lachie McCormick aka The Big Mac on debut grabbed him 2 points and as he often does, Owls bruising backrower Phil Ferreira crossed for a crucial try. Scooping the ball off the deck from 20 metres out, Phil slid through the defence to score under the posts and secure the win. Philby’s usual robust performance saw him pick up one point. Overall it was great team performance with the final score 25-19.
Across the other grades, seconds celebrated milestones of two club favourites. Tom Mulquinney played his 100th game (and picked up the 3 points for a sterling match) for the club and Findlay Doyle played his 50th. Unfortunately for the pair second grade lost an intensely close match 7-10. Strong performances by Theo (our recently arrived Frenchman) saw him pick up 2 points and Saul and Dawso 1 each, and Callum Richardson kept the Owls men in the hunt but the win was kept just out of their grasps.
Colts had their first win of the season and showed great potential on attack and defence. Toby Tiffin (3 points) put in his usual bullocking play and Owen Rabak was everywhere for the 2 points. Fullback Ignacio Bonsembiante (1 point) scored twice to help his side secure the 22-7 win.
Thirds had a disappointing draw against Wests. Tries to visiting Scotsman Cameron Simpson, and hooker David Bellas (3 points) had the Owls in line for a good win. However, Wests were able to level the scores with an extraordinary (or some may say unbelievable) penalty try. There was still plenty of positives the 3rd grade men could take away from their 14 all draw. 2 points to Rob Leane and 1 to Jordan Kaufline (who unfortunately badly dislocated his shoulder late in the game).
Fourth grade was a high scoring affair with the Owls scoring five tries to Wests four, winning 31-26. Centre Hugo Chan (3 points) was a star for the side, his elusive ball running was key to the team’s victory. Alex Van Der Tel impressed for 2 points and 1 each to Rob carver and Danny Meddeman.
A sensational day of women’s ’round robin’ rugby was also held at ANU North with 8 clubs showing their wares. The Owls women were sensational playing 3 games and winning them all. Our Wallaroo Georgia O’Neill showed why she is such a valued player and Rosie (last year best and fairest) again took on the world with strength and speed. We have great numbers of new and experienced players and look forward to seeing them in action again next week. Greg Ritchie is our Womens coach this year with support from veteran Skeda and the formerly evergreen Crowie (will he pull the boots on again??!!). Coach reports are very positive on how the team is developing and melding into a dangerous attacking unit and sensational defensive ability.
All teams have a break next week for Easter and the club returns the week after to face Vikings in Tuggeranong.