WANNEROO v ASSOCIATES at Kingsway 26th June 2021
1 Andre Roux
2 Scott Cornell
25 Maui Te Tana
4 Luke Callan
5 Brad Campbell
6 Andrew King (C)
7 Darcy Hinkley
8 Mark Cornell
9 Jared Deacon
10 Ethan Riley
11 Baily Payne
12 Porikapa Tukaki
13 Jordan Grattan
14 Justin Talemaira
15 Jeremy Wallace
3 Jordan Templeton
16 Jackson Merrey
17 James Brown
20 Luke Burnett
22 Aidan Porter
23 Robert Stortz
24 Hanno Van de Merwe
Soaks started quickly and forced their way to Wanneroo’s try line. The Dogs put in some punishing tackles that not only stopped Soaks momentum but resulted in them coughing up a penalty. Subsequent play saw Jeremy Wallace run the ball well, but a loose pass gave Soaks an unearned opportunity. They took the ball into contact for two phases until the Dogs forced a turnover. Wanneroo raced upfield in numbers and created a series of flowing passes that saw the ball go through hands from one side of the field to the other. My apologies if I miss anyone out, but it was so fast I couldn’t write quick enough. Captain, Andrew King, started the attack up the left wing and drew the defender before passing to Mark Cornell, who drove on and set the ball up for Jared Deacon. Jared passed first time and it reached Mauie who sent a looping overhead pass that ended with Bayley Paine finishing off a superb sequence of play with a try. A great team effort that was rounded off when Jordan Grattan kicked the conversion.
WANNEROO 7 – ASSOCIATES 0
Luke Callan leapt high, with Andre (Beats) Roux lifting, to secure the drop out ball. Although he was hit by a Soaks chaser, Luke drove on and earned the Dogs a penalty. Kingy took off quickly and wore a tackle, but once again he instigated a fabulous passage of play when he set the ball up. Jared gave quick ball to Porikapa Tukaki, who took it on before passing to Mauie Te Tana. Our young man mountain smashed into several Soaks defenders and laid them and the ball back perfectly at the breakdown. Jared gave fast ball out to Jordan who made a twinkle toe run before feeding Mark. He surged towards the try line with close support from his pack. Andre did a pick & go from the ensuing breakdown to finish off a well-structured sequence of play with a try. Jordan added the bonus points.
Wanneroo had demonstrated brute force, allied to patience in their build up and Soaks had done well to hang in. But now they were overwhelmed.
WANNEROO 14 – ASSOCIATES 0
The Dogs were in control and it looked like a big score was looming. Play resumed with Darcy Hinckley challenging a Soaks player for the drop out ball with Soaks being awarded a scrum feed for a knock on. The ref gave a bent arm penalty against Wanneroo at the engagement and Soaks rushed the ball to their right winger. He wasted their opportunity by kicking it away and then knocking it on five metres from the Dogs try line.
Wanneroo kicked the scrum ball down their left wing and Soaks ran it back. They emulated Wanneroo’s wide passing and the ball went out to their left where Alex Masibaka made a pearler of a run that ended with the ball going loose in the air with several players challenging for it. The ref ruled a knock on and gave the scrum feed to Wanneroo. He then penalised them for dropping on the engagement. Soaks took the line out option, created a classic set & drive and shoved Wanneroo back over their line for a converted try.
WANNEROO 14 – ASSOCIATES 7
Wanneroo resumed with several forays into Soaks territory, but they started making small mistakes here and there. The visitors had a dash up their left wing where Andre and Mauie combined to snuff out the attack. Wanneroo set up a driving maul from a line out and the ball went to Ethan Reilly who released Bailey Payne. He took off and fed the ball back to Ethan when he got stopped. Ethan carried well and set the ball up after the tackle for Jared, who passed to Brad on the run. Brad made good yards before passing to Scott Cornell. Scott couldn’t find a way through and the move broke down, but Soaks got penalised and Wanneroo kicked for a line out.
Soaks jumper challenged Luke at the throw in, but Luke managed to get fingers to the ball and tap it down. Kingy cleaned up but Wanneroo got penalised and it was evident that Soaks were beginning to claw their way back into the game. They sent the ball out wide to Masibaka, who ran hard before he was brought down and set the ball up for his team, who changed their attack to the middle of the park. Their running stretched Wanneroo, who ended up being penalised. Soaks went for goal but the kick went wide.
Soaks continued to force their way into the game, but Wanneroo resisted determinedly. The visitors had another go up their left wing, but a crunching tackle by Jordan forced them to change direction and regroup in the midfield. They tried a frontal attack but Wanneroo’s relentless tackling forced another knock on. Wanneroo got the scrum feed, but Soaks drove them back into all sorts of strife and Ethan only just managed to clean up with a kick to touch.
From the line out, Soaks attacked through the midfield before switching play to their left. Wanneroo’s defence coped so well they stole the ball and Ethan cleared with a kick to touch. Soaks used their line out ball to make three good runs on their right flank. When they couldn’t penetrate, they switched play to their left and made headway until Mauie decked the runner. Soaks retained possession, passed quickly to their right and stretched the Dogs defence out wide where they outflanked the last defender and squeezed through the gap to score in the corner. The conversion missed and the ref blew for half time
HALF TIME: WANNEROO 14 – ASSOCIATES 12
Wanneroo were in total control for the first twenty minutes and should really have gone on to add to their score. I’m not sure if they relaxed or if Associates stepped up a notch, but it was obvious that Soaks had managed to regroup and reorganise after being two tries down. They ran the ball with confidence and were now in the driving seat.
The visitors started the second half confidently, but they overdid it and got penalised. Wanneroo kicked for a line out on the halfway, but a Soaks jumper pinched the throw in ball and his backs moved it swiftly to their right winger. A thumping tackle by Jordan stopped him in his tracks, so they switched play quickly to their left and then just as quickly back to the right again. Their centre then cut through four defenders to score a well worked try.
WANNEROO 14 – ASSOCIATES 17
Wanneroo were struggling to put their game together and were in disarray. Soaks used their advantage to run with close support, break through Wanneroo’s defence and score a converted try.
WANNEROO 14 – ASSOCIATES 24
Soak’s tactic of switching their point of attack quickly was paying dividends, so they continued to use it. They made a midfield break before moving the ball to their left wing and then back to the middle. Wanneroo were all at sea, but to their credit they showed enough determination to hold Soaks out.
Associates were awarded a line out 10 metres from Wanneroo’s try line and used a long ball to the tail to set up a driving maul. The gold pack rumbled forward inexorably, but somehow the Dogs lifted, hurled themselves into the fray and stopped them on the line. The ensuing scrum saw Soaks penalised (bent arm) and Ethan kicked for touch. Soaks line out throw was abysmal and the Dogs got hands to it. Their number eight tried to clean up, but the ball went loose and Wanneroo got the penalty. Ethan relieved the pressure with a kick to the halfway.
Every Wanneroo player was giving their all. They shirked nothing and put their bodies on the line, but they didn’t gel or get the rub of the green. Brad Campbell made a powerful run with at least three Dogs support players around him, but when he got tackled the ball bounced awkwardly and Soaks number 6 got a boot to it. He followed his kick and the ball sat up perfectly for him. He caught it and took off with forty metres to run but managed to outstrip Wanneroo’s desperate defence to score.
WANNEROO 14 – ASSOCIATES 29
Ethan’s drop out went high enough to give his runners a chance to contest the ball. Soaks caught it but got pressured into a turnover. Wanneroo took their chance and fed the ball to Bailey out wide. He raced away and made good yards before laying the ball back when he got tackled. Brad picked it up and drove forward before passing it out. Wanneroo showed that they too could play the wide game and put the ball through hands to Scott, who scored in the corner. Jordan nailed the conversion and Wanneroo had managed to haul themselves back into the game.
WANNEROO 21 – ASSOCIATES 29
The game had swung from Wanneroo being in control to Associates being in control and now it was beginning to change again with both sides jousting for dominance. Soaks took a tight head scrum ball, only for the Wanneroo pack to win it back. They struggled to get it out, but eventually did so and had a run. They hit it up for four phases and followed them with four inter-passing runs, but in their haste they chose poor passing options. They would have been better if they’d just settled for consolidation and played the good ball.
It was an entertaining game, but both sides were guilty of pushing passes that weren’t on as well as throwing wild looping passes that didn’t reach the intended recipients. Overlaps were ignored and there was lots of harum-scarum play.
Soaks had a promising backline move come to naught, courtesy of a bone jolting tackle by Jordan. Jeremy, Jordan and Aidan Porter then combined in a freewheeling attack up their right wing that looked like it would culminate in a try, only to see their good work ruined by another wild pass. The pass resulted in a line out for Soaks who claimed their own throw in and kicked for touch and safety.
Wanneroo used line out to set up another backline attack. Jordan cut through Soaks midfield and fed a support runner (sorry couldn’t see who it was) who made a great charging run before being tackled. Beats took the ball, maintained the drive and passed to Jeremy who changed direction before passing to Mark. He put his head down and continued the momentum until Soaks brought him down in front of their posts. The ref saw an infringement, penalised Soaks and the Dogs opted for the three pointer. Jordan duly obliged.
WANNEROO 24 – ASSOCIATES 29
The stage was set for a pulsating finale, with both sides desperate to be on the right side of the ledger. Wanneroo made the first attempt with an attack that saw forwards and backs combine in a run up their right wing where Baily took the final pass just as he got tackled into touch. Soaks line out was spoiled by the Dogs who were given a scrum feed five metres from the try line. Mark Cornell did a pick & go from the base, linked with Jared and then Jeremy, but the opportunity was lost when the ref blew for not releasing in the tackle.
Soaks line out throw was stolen by Wanneroo and replacement Luke Burnett had a run and set. He was well supported by Beats who repeated the process. Jared fed Jordan, who’s pass went awry. It was cleaned up by Beats who set another ruck for his team. Jared gave the ball to Ethan who had a go and set the ball again when he got stopped. Jared gave Jordan another run and he set another good ball. Jared was on hand once more to feed Mark who continued the drive, before Ethan had another go. But all their effort was in vain when the ball got knocked on.
I apologise for not recording all the bench players who took the field. But the Dogs had so many injuries and changes that that I couldn’t keep up with them. Suffice to say that they are all heroes in my eyes, and I thank them sincerely.
Anyway, by now Mauie and James Brown were both injured and Wanneroo had no more front rowers available, so Mark Cornell stepped into the tight head prop position. The Dogs had two more scrums and went for broke from both. Ethan, Luke Callan, Beats and Scott Cornell were all prominent, but the whistle beat them and Associates claimed the spoils.
FINAL SCORE: WANNEROO 24 – ASSOCIATES 29
Wanneroo gave everything they had today – and a lot more besides. It’s true that they seemed to have the game in the bag early on, before losing their way. Yes, they made mistakes and lost composure and structure at times, but they never lost their commitment.
Both teams were guilty of multiple misdemeanours of the passing and thinking kind, but neither of them could be faulted for effort. The Roo Dogs and Soaks played themselves to a standstill and they played the whole game in the best possible spirit. Rugby was a winner.
Mauie Te Tana ended up in hospital with a suspected fracture, that luckily turned out to be a bad sprain. He will be missing in action for a few weeks. Get well quickly son, we love you.
Brad Campbell picked up an injury that will probably see him miss some games too. Fingers crossed for you Brad.
The Dogs have many other walking wounded in the squad, so it’s going to be tough for them over the next few weeks.
Congratulations to Luke Callan who flies out today to join the Junior Wallabies. You are a champ Luke.
To Ollie Callan, who returned from Western Force duties after picking up the Matt Hodgson Rising Star medal.
You weren’t allowed to play for the Dogs today, but you showed what rugby is all about by turning up to run the water for your Roo Dog team mates. Thank you, Ollie.