Round 7 of the Oilsplus South West Rugby Competition saw the Young Yabbies travel to Temora Recreation Ground to take on the Temora Tuskers for the first time in a competition game since both teams left the Southern Inland competition at the end of the 2015 season. The pressure was on from the kick-off, with the referee spotting a Yabbieman millimetres in front of the kicker, resulting in a short-arm penalty to Temora. This early decision was an indication of the battle that was to come between the Yabbies and the ref.
The opening exchanges showed that neither team was prepared to leave anything on the field, with some big hits and lots of energy. The Tuskers opened up the scoring only 5 minutes into the game with Nathan Philp crossing the line. Conversion successful by Matt Morton.
Young 0-7 Temora
The play seesawed backwards and forwards with neither team showing any major holes in their defence and so line breaks were kept to a minimum. Then, finally, things started to come up Yabbies, with some consistent structured play off some big runs from Hagon Williams & Ben Fuller creating an opportunity out wide for Hugh McInerney to show off his pace, crossing the line in the corner. Conversion unsuccessful.
Young 5-7 Temora
The Tuskers hit back hard off the kick-off and quickly finding themselves in possession and deep in the Yabbies’ half. Some good reading of the upcoming play by Thomas Dudek saw him take an intercept behind the Yabbies’ 22m and lead a footrace to the other end of the field. Conversion successful by Tom Kent.
Young 12-7 Temora
The intensity of the game was shown when the referee decided that Hagon Williams ran a little too hard and gave him a 10 minute rest (Yellow Card) for a fend that Jonah Lomu would be proud of.
With one less man on the field, the Yabbies were marched backwards off a number of infringements, but their defence held strong. The pressure build up was immense and finally cracked off the back of some solid scrummaging by the Tusker’s forward and some quick darts off the back of the ruck, resulting in Matt Fuller crossing the line for the Tusker’s second try. Conversion kick successful by Matt Morton.
Young 12-14 Temora
The Yabbies knew that there was only a few minutes left in the half, but they also knew they hadn’t finished their workload for the half. After some inspiring words behind the tryline by Captain Brendan Shoard and Coach Ned Mullany, the Yabbies hit back hard off the kick-off, regaining possession quickly. With the ball in hand, the Yabbies began to march their way down the field, with strong runs by Tom Kent, Jesh Smith and Will Munday creating a platform for Brendan Shoard to create a hole through some ducking, weaving and strong running resulting in the Yabbies’ third try. Conversion unsuccessful.
Young 17-14 Temora
Young 17-14 Temora
The second half started with less controversy than the first, but with much the same energy being exerted by both sides. About 15 minutes into the half the Yabbies’ finally seemed to be getting some reprieve from the “short end of the stick” before some foul play resulted in 2 Yabbies’ (Tom Kent and Thomas Dudek) leaving the field with injuries. With the quick changes in the re-shuffling in the team, the Yabbies lost traction for a short period, which saw them marched back up the other end of the field.
A series of penalties saw the Tuskers get deeper and deeper into the Yabbies red zone, when Justin Nguyen took a run off a penalty and used his momentum to reach out and slam the ball over the line. Conversion unsuccessful.
Young 17-19 Temora
The Yabbies were keen to hit back, knowing that there was quite a bit of work to do before the day was going to be over. The new centre combination of Dan Dowson and Ned Mullany saw some confusion created with the Temora team targeting Dan for his strong running. This targeting allowed Ned to create an opportunity by drawing the Temora Outside Centre and presenting pristine ball for Owen Griffiths to dodge the fullback and score the Yabbies’ fourth try. Conversion successful by Owen Griffiths.
Young 24-21 Temora
With less than 10 minutes to go, the Tuskers opted for a penalty kick which would have resulted in a drawn scoreline with the final whistle fast approaching. The kick drifted well wide of the posts, invigorating the Yabbies to try and find a way to get to the other end of the field.
With only minutes to go, the Tuskers found some momentum and started to get the Yabbies on the backfoot. Some solid defence from the Yabbies slowed their advance, but created an opportunity out wide for Vilimone Cavuca to get outside the Yabbies defence and win a footrace to the line. Conversion unsuccessful.
Young 24-26 Temora
Full Time Result Young 24-26 Temora
Despite the scoreline not being in the Yabbies’ favour at the final whistle, Coach Ned Mullany was full of positives comments on the performance of the squad. “The boys definitely showed that we can very easily build momentum when we stick to our structures, and after the physicality on the field, I don’t think there’ll be too many bodies that aren’t sore tomorrow from both sides. Our line speed and defence has been improving week on week, and I think we’re starting to show that we do have what it takes in this competition. My only negative comment is just some of our discipline, however our discipline towards the referee was exceptional, especially given the circumstances.”
Tries Hugh McInerney, Thomas Dudek, Brendan Shoard, Owen Griffiths
Conversions 1/3 – Thomas Kent 1/1 – Owen Griffiths
Tries Nathan Philp, Matt Fuller, Justin Nguyen, Vilimone Cavuca
Conversions 2/2 – Matt Morton
1/2 – Adam Block
Best & Fairest Points:
3 – Ben Fuller
2 – Will Munday
1 – Rowan Daley
Players Player – Dan Parker
Next weekend, the Yabbiemen will play host to the Grenfell Panthers for another major event on the social calendar – Sponsors & Old Boys Day! It will be an action packed day with Junior clashes, Old Boys clashes and an opportunity to see the Yabbies First XV taking the pitch in COTTON jerseys! Make sure to keep your eyes peeled with more info to be released throughout the week.
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