UNI-NORTHS OWLS 26 ( Byron Hollingworth 2; Max Bode, Billy Pollard, Jordan Thomson 3 conversions) bt ROYALS 24
In what was a miraculous and gutsy game, the Owls left it until the final six minutes to steal victory away from reigning premiers Royals, the final score 24-26.
A slow start from the Owls gave Royals a chance to jump ahead early in the match. The Owls scrum being one of the few positives from the opening stanza.
Early in the second half, Royals scored a try that the live stream commentators dubbed a ‘nail in the coffin.’ Few could predict the magic that was about to unfold.
In the 74th minute newcomer Billy Pollard powered over to score his first try for the OWLS. Punters at the ground may have thought this try a worthy consolation, but the Owls were just getting started.
Minutes later Byron Hollingworth was put into space down the touchline by a sublime flick-pass by new Brumbies recruit Billy Pollard. Jordan Thompson knocked over a drop goal to convert, and the stage was set. Surely the Owls men couldn’t pull off the impossible questioned the small crowd at Phillip Oval?
Well hold onto your hats, folks. Three minutes after the final bell, Hollingworth repeated his efforts minutes earlier to crash over, nearly backwards, in the corner and seal the impossible.
The Owls came away with a 24-26 victory that will surely ignite the passion at the club to a new high. The Owls will face Wests this weekend who were defeated in a bruising encounter with Eagles.
2nd Draw 12-12
The Owls second grade boys came up against a gritty Royals outfit over the weekend. The boys got off to a quick start through an opportunist intercept try from Hamish Dawson, and things were looking promising. In a see-saw affair, Royals returned serve right before half time and levelled it up 7-7 at the break.
The Owls started strong immediately, with a break from the ageless wonder Charlie Fairfield-Smith, and they were rewarded soon after with a try to Zac Duchen. Despite dominating possession and territory, the Owls couldn’t seem to put the nail in the coffin. Errors and poor discipline started to creep in during the late stages of the game, and Royals capitalised. After 10 minutes camped on the Owls try line, the boys in blue touched down on the hooter to level it up. A missed conversion saw the game finish 12 a piece.
The Owls will be disappointed not to take the chocolates but will be hoping for a big week at training leading into the first home game of the year.
Womens XV V Royals
The Women’s XVs started the defence of their 2019 Premiership against Royals with a great win 17 -7. As expected with the first hit out of the season things were a little rusty for the first 20 mins but a great defensive effort kept Royals at bay for the majority of the 1st half. Royals managed the first try of the season, but we quickly struck back to be 7all at half time with a try to Maddie Gogala, converted by Jess Grant. The second half saw the OWLS play the footy we hoped – crisp passing straight running and great backing up. Dana Deklin streaked away for a great try and then Sammie Wood had the last say to put Royals away.
The players player was tied between Crystal Papalii for a relentless work ethic and massive hits and Tania Afamasaga for excellent leadership on the field and non-stop work in attack and defence.
Coach Greg “Mad Dog” Ritchie was very pleased with the effort and was looking forward to amping up the work load at training this week. He is building the already strong defensive forward structure to complement the impressive backline.
3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade
3rds lost 29-5
4ths drew 19-19
The Frothies looked to get the Owls post COVID 2020 season off to a flyer but unfortunately fell agonisingly short coming off with a draw despite dominating set piece, possession and territory.
Sadly, set piece dominance was not rewarded at scrum time and some missed tackles saw Royals able to score some breakout tries at intervals during the game to keep score board pressure on the Owls.
In the dying minutes of the game, behind seven on the scoreboard and with the team having defend hard in our D zone a well-judged intercept by Nick “I knew I did not have the legs” Burrows saw him able to take the pressure off a stretched and flagging defence. This intercept was capitalised on immediately with a skilful offload to Sam “I knew that there would be someone chasing” Rolfe who grubbered ahead which was chased down and followed up by Harry Phelps who toed the ball ahead twice before being able to dot down under the sticks. Hugo Chan drew the scores level with a successful conversion however the clock was against the mighty Frothies.
This week also saw the lower grades squad putting a “Team C” (now to be ever known as the “Filthy Fifths” – or “Filthies” for short) on the paddock against the Royals Colts. Some of the Frothies players having to back up to put a full side on the paddock. For a side that has not played or trained together as unit they were able to be more than competitive against a young, well drilled Royals side.