Scots and Riverview are the only unbeaten teams after Round Two with Scots being impressive in a big win against Kings.
The other winner was Joeys who bounced back from their Round One loss with a good victory over Shore.
Joeys 36 – Shore 19
by “The Spaceman”
After both teams had been well-beaten in the first game of the season it was important for both of them to beat the other to get higher on the ladder.
Joeys started things off with a try against the run of play in the second minute, with fly half Connor O’Shea charging down his opposing number Naylor’s kick and following it up to score in the left hand corner.
5-0 to the boys in cerise.
Shore were looking good with ball in hand in the first few phases of the match but Joeys deprived them of possession and exposed the Shore outside backs. O’Shea looked dangerous on attack, and after some intense play, inside centre Will McDonnell got the ball on the end of an expansive back line move and scored in the left hand corner.
10-0 to Joeys 8 minutes in.
The pressure and intensity did not let up from the Joeys boys, dominating the Shore inside backs in particular. 13, Tim McCutcheon ran with the ball well, and piercing the Shore defence, linked up with McDonnell inside of him for an easy try under the posts. Fullback Tim Wright converted and Joeys were ahead 17-0: 15 minutes in.
A plethora of handling errors cost Shore possession at crucial times as they kept pushing passes that weren’t on. The Joeys right edge was dangerous, with 13. Harry Kemball and 11. Matt Dowsett often in a 3 on 2 situation with hard runners McDonnell, McCutcheon and Wright.
However Shore finally started to maintain some solid possession, and Dowsett finished off a good move in the left corner. 17-7.
A great break down the sideline from 3. Lawson Muir from the kick off saw Shore back on the attack immediately. Some sustained phase play and ball in hand led to 9. Harry Emery crashing over through some soft defence. Kemball kicked his second conversion..
Shore had fought back well after a bit of razzle-dazzle from Joeys had them 17 points ahead at more than a point a minute. Their pick and goes were tiring the Joeys’ defenders. Shore looked on top at oranges though Joeys were still ahead at 17 -14.
There was early pressure again from Shore but some good hustle from the Joeys tight five lead again to multiple Shore handling errors and just general frustration. However the Shore scrum started to get the upper hand which and coupled with some good defence from Charlie King (12) and Simon Litchfield (15 wearing no. 20) helped to pin Joeys down in their half.
Shore opted against a shot at goal to tie the game and continued to apply pressure yet the Joeys defence seemed to scramble and have an answer for anything Shore threw at them.
Joeys looked slick in the backs. After making a break from a long way out 10. Connor O’Shea passed to the supporting 14. Edward King who went in and away from the last defender and was able to run around under the posts to relieve the scoreboard pressure. Joeys led 24-14 after the Wright conversion 15 minutes into the half.
Shore held possession intermittently again with handling errors creeping into their game and Joeys tirelessly defending.
Then came a magic try from Joeys. When McCutcheon made a break in his own half and passed to Wright near halfway, the fullback hared up the left touch before running virtually across the Shore 22 before heading for the right hand corner and scored. It was a great display of pace, footwork and awareness—contender for try of the year that’s for sure.
29-14 with twelve minutes to go.
The Shore boys didn’t drop their heads though, with a rolling maul seeing 7. Jum Woodhill falling on the ball from the back giving the Shore men some hope. 29-19 with five minutes to go.
But the deficit was too great by that stage, with Joeys winger Matthew Scolari on the end of another sweeping back line move after some sustained pressure. Wright converted to make it 36-19 at the final whistle.
3: Thomas Wright (15). He was destructive from the back with blinding pace and also a great step. Worked well with the centres inside him to dominate the smaller Shore back line.
2: Tim McCutcheon (13). Ran hard, straight and strong lines all day and really fought in the tackle. Can’t say I saw too many defensive lapses either.
1: Connor O’Shea (10). Classy player, great skills and structured the boys outside him well. Couldn’t really fault him today, played his role really well.
3: Harry Emery (9) Putting his hand up for GPS 1s selection, his service was impeccable today and looked dangerous scooting from the base of the ruck.
2: Jum Woodhill (7) Stepped into his leadership role well and returning to the form of 2012 when he was the young gun.
1: Charlie King (12) Shaky to start but stood up really well in defense today, especially in the middle of the game. Daunting task with the hard running centres coming toward him.
Joeys did well today to keep the Shore boys at bay and force mistakes when they were out-possessed. Shore again were let down by some back line defensive errors and just lacking some spark in attack.
Quite a good game today, with both teams looking to improve against the big sides of the comp this year after the break.