Round 5 of the Tasmanian Rugby Competition has seen the unbeaten Harlequins pushed hard at University whilst Eastern Suburbs suffered their first loss of the year.
In an exciting and brutal match at University, Harlequins defeated the Students 25-16, Sidney Fielea scoring the winning try with five minutes to play. A tight first period saw the Quins take a one point lead into the interval following a try by Michael Fox in the final play of the half. The second half saw Uni take the lead through the boot of Samuelu Lopa and looked set to cause the upset before Fielea broke through four tackles to score. TK Amosa scored a field goal to wrap the match up in the final minute.
Whilst unbeaten, Quins’ coach Colin Fielea acknowledged the side had plenty of work to do in their phase play but credited the attitude of the team for pulling off the victory. Centre Telea Lauti was devastating for Quins, grabbing two tries, whilst flankers Patrick Schramm and Siva Havea provided strong force in the forwards. Uni captain Isaac Anderson paid tribute to the efforts of his team whose defence almost led to an upset. For the Students, Sam Henry continued his good form in the centres, ably supported by back rowers Kirby Hamilton and Riley Burke.
At the Don, the travelling Eastern Suburbs Roosters suffered their first loss of the season, going down 17-13 to Devonport. In a tightly fought contest, the Bulls forward pack managed to take control of the match and created opportunities to score for Mark Meo and Brett Bentley. The Roosters were left to lament missed opportunities, particularly around the ruck fringes.
Bulls coach Derik Joubert acknowledged the performance of prop Sam O’Keefe for his big effort in the tight areas whilst the returning Dean Wallace and Johann Joubert fought hard. For the Roosters, lock Marc Whitfield was outstanding whilst the backline was sharp with the possession they had.
Taroona Penguins have returned to form with a tight victory over Glenorchy Stags at Rugby Park, 16-15. In a game dominated by strong defensive performances from both sides, a final minute Christo Le Grange conversion gave the home side the win. Penguins’ Chris Noble praised the attitude of the team to get their season back on track, second row pairing Anthony Lean and James Holman dominant in the tight. For the Stags, Josh Dorahy made a successful return from injury whilst Dan Aualiitia led the team strongly.
Hobart Hutchins Lions have demonstrated strong travelling credentials, gaining their first win of the season 18-15 over AMC Vikings. A strong first half saw the visitors take an 11 point lead into the break and it was desperate defence in the second which preserved it, in the face of a three try effort from the Vikings. Lions’ Don Moor credited a strong set piece and resilient team spirit for the win, Greg Rogers, Ned Watt and Dave Craig prominent for the victors. AMC’s Jaikob Norman, Michael Johnson and Tom Scarfe were everywhere for the home side.
At Burnie, Launceston Bumblebees defeated the home side, 39-0. Kieran van Brecht scored a hattrick for the visitors and was supported by dynamic performances from Jordan Thompson and Glen Sutton. For the home side, Michael Lohrey was a prominent influence in the forwards whilst Jason Riley worked hard in the backs.
Harlequins 25 def University 16
Devonport 17 def Eastern Suburbs 13
Taroona 16 def Glenorchy 15
Hobart Hutchins Lions 18 def AMC Vikings 15
Launceston 39 def Burnie 0
Author Credit – Issac Anderson, University Rugby Club