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Colts Wrap Vs West Harbour

We took on the battle of driving along Parramatta Road to Concord Oval and arrived expecting to find a committed West Harbour looking forward to the games, and getting some victories to kick start their season. Concord Oval is a great place to play rugby, with good change rooms and a nice playing surface, and on a glorious autumn day the scene was set for a good day’s rugby.

3rd Grade came out full of intent to play some running rugby and after weathering some early pressure from Wests, the Souths attack clicked with Isaac Williams at 10 and Mitch Robertson at 13 proving to be too much for Wests to handle. The Souths forwards were laying a really solid platform and the backs were capitalising beautifully on the forwards’ good work. It wasn't easy going by any means, and Wests were there to play, but Souths were just too good on the day. It’s great to have a big squad, and as the Souths replacements came on in the second half, they stepped up the pace and Wests just could not go with them. In the end, the 60-5 score line was a true reflection of the difference between the two teams.

2nd Grade was the game of the day for me, with some concerns over the Souths defence from the past couple of games, and some very big boys in the Wests team – from the outset, it was clear that the battle of the advantage line would decide the result. Souths had obviously made their beds and right from the kick-off they were intent on moving up together and shutting down the Wests attack and to a point it worked – the approach put Wests off their game, but it just lacked consistency for the entire game. Wests made the boys work very hard for their victory, with the scores relatively close until Souths kicked away late in the game to clinch the win, 37-18. The boys would have taken a lot out of this game, off the back of a much improved defence, but they’ll know that they’re still a long way off being at their best. But if they keep working hard on their speed off the line, they’ll be very hard to beat in the coming games.

1st Grade needed to bring the day home and complete the clean sweep, and they started off hard and fast, and with four tries in the first 20 minutes, they had the game won. The Souths forwards were clearly on top in pretty much every department, and holes were opening up and the Souths backs flooded through. Some great tries were scored with hooker, Ryan Connolly, backing up a nice backline interchange of passing to cross the try-line under the cross bar, and finish with a nice 7.0 dive (some would call it more of a flop, but who am I to judge these things?!?).

Dan Bell got three tries playing at 10 with the best coming off a Hamish Duvall break and kick-through, with Dan putting in a second kick and then following up with a nice pickup and an 8.5 dive to score. There was plenty of speed and height in the dive, and it was probably the best I’ve seen so far.
The trouble with scoring points quickly is that the team often becomes over-confident, and doesn’t show the opposition the respect they deserve - the game plan goes out the window and everyone thinks they’re playing 7s. Souths got caught up in the hype and went off the boil for a while, and I counted seven bombed tries in the second half – and with just some of those tries, the final score of 50-12 could have been much, much higher.

Coaches Don Mackinnon and Michael Black were very strong in the after-match dressing room discussion about moving away from the structures and plays and not keeping the ball in hand. To the players credit they accepted and acknowledged the team errors, and this really demonstrates what a committed and determined playing group we have at Souths.
Well done to all involved, and great work by all to get the deserved clean sweep, which sets us up nicely for our next two matches. Next week we face Eastwood, who are 2nd in the Colts Club Championship, and then the big one the following week sees us going head-to-head against Sydney Uni, who are leading the Colts Club Championship. Strong performances from all three teams should lift us up from 4th on the Club Championship ladder.

Both of these rounds are at Fort Forshaw, so I urge you to come along if you want to watch some really high quality tribal rugby!

Keith Holmes

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