The Warringah Rats have maintained their perfect unbeaten run, notching up a bonus-point 40-19 Easter Friday win over Eastern Suburbs.
The Beasties were right in it on the hour mark, with the scores level at 19-apiece, but three late Rats’ tries prevented them from picking up their first points of the season, and handed their opponents their fourth bonus point win in four weeks.
Disappointed Beasties’ captain Anton La Vin cited a lack of concentration and fitness as the reason for his side’s second half capitulation. “We were very happy with how we played for the first hour and were right in it,” said La Vin.
“But at first grade level you can’t afford to make even half a mistake because the opposition will punish you and that’s what happened today. We displayed a lack of concentration and fitness at the end there and although there are certainly positives to take from today, we are disappointed with the result.”
Rats’ captain Luke Holmes admitted scoreline flattering his side and was quick to praise the opposition. “Easts are a tough team, and a better team than the results of the first four rounds make out. It took us a while to get going but stuck in there managed to see the game off in the last few exchanges. We were in a Good Friday spirit going into the match and showed consistency.”
Despite the dream start, Holmes refuses to get carried away. “We’re not getting ahead of ourselves, we’re getting better and better but we just need to keep our heads down, keep improving and see how we go.”
It was the Beasties who drew first blood in a tightly-contested first half, winger Will Paterson diving over in the corner after some good forwards work. But Warringah hit straight back through centre Michael Adams who ran a good line and stepped the fullback to cross under the posts.
With the scores at 5-7, Seilala Lam was sent to the bin and the Rats made the extra man pay. Bradley Dixon was superb all afternoon and showed excellent pace on his wing, drawing defenders wide before executing a precise inside pass for Martin Collins to cross easily under the posts.
It was very nearly over before half time as a clever chip through was chased through by four Rats players but the ball bounced high over them all and into the hands of a grateful Beasties defender. Any momentum the Rats had built up however was taken away as try scorer Michael Adams was sent to the bin just as Lam returned to the pitch and Easts levelled the scores just before half time through prop Cooper Chapman and the boot of Henry Hudson.
The second half started just as the first ended, Chapman again crashing over after good work from the Easts pack and Hudson giving his side a 19-12 lead.
The Beasties defended bravely for the next 15 minutes, occasionally threatening the Rats on the counter attack but eventually David Feltscheer penetrated the defence, crossing to level the scores and open the floodgates, with only a quarter of the game left.
Bradley Dixon scored the try his performance merited before Sireli Tagicakibau and Josh Holmes also crossed in the final 10 minutes as the Rats turned up the flair playing an exciting running game offloading the ball well. Hamish Angus’ clinical conversions put the nail in the Beasties’ coffin, leaving the scores 19-40 as the full time siren went.
Warringah 40 (Michael Adams, Martin Collins, David Feltscheer, Bradley Dixon, Sireli Tagicakibau, Josh Holmes tries; Hamish Angus 5 cons) d Eastern Suburbs 19 (Will Paterson, Cooper Chapman 2 tries: Henry Hudson 2 cons) at Woollahra Oval.
In the other Friday afternoon game, Northern Suburbs edged a thriller against Parramatta, with the lead switching several times before the Jack Grant kicked a late penalty to win the game 34 -32.
Northern Suburbs 34 (Nick Lah, Michael Wells, Will Weeks tries; Jack Grant 2 cons, 5 pens) d Parramatta 32 (Andrew Cox, Tui Fa’asisila, Larry Hermens, Sakaria Noa, Tomu Mataika tries; Andrew Cox 2 cons, pen) at Merrylands RSL Rugby Park.
Saturday saw Manly become the second team to maintain an unbeaten record, with the Marlins downing Sydney University 14-10 in the ABC TV match of the round at University Oval.
Manly 14 (Matt Lucas, Marshall Milroy tries; Shaun Treweek con, Scott Daruda con) d Sydney University 10 (James Dargaville try; Daniel Kelly con, pen) at University Oval.
Despite leading at half time, the Penrith Emus eventually lost to Randwick, with the home side coming out strongly in the second half to secure a bonus point win.
Randwick 37 (Mark Baldwin 2, Tom Connor, Sam Figg, Ethan Ford tries; David Horwitz 3 cons, pen, Ollie Nicholson pen) d Penrith 23 (Wilson Silipa, Jerome McKenzie tries; Robbie Mate 2 cons, 3 pens) at Coogee Oval.
Southern Districts recorded their first win of the 2014 campaign, with a bonus point home victory over a stubborn Gordon side, lifting the Rebels’ spirits.
Southern Districts 38 (Marcus Carbone, Sam Latunipulu, Sasa Talifou, Denny Godinet tries; Rohan Saifoloi 3 cons, 4 pens) d Gordon 23 (Rob Hobden, Nick Walker, Tom Matthews tries; Terry Preston con, 2 pens) at Forshaw Rugby Park.
Last year’s finalists the Woodies continue their impressive start to the season, maintaining their unbeaten run with another another bonus-point win, this time over West Harbour. Eastwood’s 35-25 win sees them and the Marlins virtually inseperable on 19 points and with a positive points difference of 97, separated only by Eastwood’s superior points scored record.
Eastwood 35 (Jed Gillespie, Hugh Roach, Jared Barry, Cam Mitchell, Michael McDougall tries; Pierre Hola 2 cons, 2 pens) d West Harbour 25 (Joel Brook, Usaia O’Sullivan, Tito Mua tries; Dave Harvey 2 cons, 2 pens) at TG Milner Field.
|Magners Shute Shield ladder after Round 4|