Updated: Jul 16, 2019
University v Wanneroo 13th July 2019 at McGillivray Oval
1 Shaun Barling
2 Scott Cornell
3 Andre (Beets) Roux
4 Leon Power
5 Brad Campbell
6 Te Ate ‘T’ Walker
7 Kyle (Bones) Seear
8 Mark Cornell
9 Tane Koteka
10 Andrew Deegan
11 Graham Hunter
12 Andrew King (c)
13 Grayson Makara
14 Kris Palmer
15 Steve Nolson
Last week’s, below par performance against Wests left a bitter taste in the mouths of the Roo Dogs. They had one of those days when no matter what they did, it just wasn’t going to happen. So they have a point to prove to themselves and their supporters today.
As with last week, Wanneroo are missing a whole clutch of first choice players. John-Martin Stewart, Olly Callan, Joe Bajjada and Seta Fano are injured and Thomasi (TJ) Vunivalu is unavailable. But Andrew Deegan returns to join his Western Force team mate, Leon Power, in the Roo Dog colours.
The Team also welcomes two multi positional players into the starting fifteen. Squad member Shaun Barling is a talented young No 8 who is equally comfortable at prop, and he comes into the front row for TJ. Well done Shaun.
Kyle (Bones) Seear, who takes one of the flank positions, is a classy, ex first grade lock or back rower who has done his time at the top and earned the right to move into third grade to enjoy his sunset years with his mates this year. Wonderful to see you back Bones.
Wanneroo outplayed University in the opening game of the season, but somehow the students came away with the honours on the day. The Roo Dogs took a professional approach to their training this week by shaking off any negative thoughts and preparing themselves well. They are looking forward to the return bout with University today.
APOLOGY My apologies to the first grade, and in particular to Ben Stimson, for messing up the score in last week’s report. The tears in my eyes must have stopped me reading my notes correctly, because I put the score as Wanneroo 10 - Wests 55. The true score was actually Wanneroo 15 – Wests 55.
Ben is a gifted, mobile young squad member who is equally at home in the backs or the forwards. He came on as a replacement last week and had a positive and immediate impact on the game. His non stop efforts lifted his team mates and were rewarded when he did a pick and go close to the line to force his way through a packed defence for a try.
Sorry Ben. Sorry team. Last week’s report is now updated.
UNIVERSITY v WANNEROO
Wanneroo couldn’t wait to get into the game, and their attitude and endeavour reaped a reward almost immediately when Steve Nolson took a short, inside ball from Andrew Deegan and crossed to open the scoring. The conversion missed.
University 0 – Wanneroo 5
Uni used the drop out ball to drive through the middle, before making an outside break that took them into the Dogs red zone. They had created space and were racing in for what looked like a certain try, when Graham Hunter hit the ball carrier with a demon tackle to deny them the points. Uni retained possession, regrouped and gave their forwards a crack at the line. They made six powerful driving phases that the Dogs did well to stop, but their ball carriers sucked in enough defenders at each phase to create a gap that resulted in a try to Uni. Their conversion attempt missed.
University 5 – Wanneroo 5
University were on a high after their score and they made another good outside break that stretched Wanneroo’s resources to the limit. The Dogs tried to realign and shut them down, but Uni had the upper hand momentarily and rampaged through a fragmented defence to score again. The conversion was successful.
University 12 – Wanneroo 5
The game could have got away from Wanneroo at this stage, because everything (including penalties) seemed to go Uni’s way. But the guys showed attitude and a lot of guts to drag themselves back into the game. The home team had enough possession to set up multiple drives and back line moves, but Wanneroo had resumed normal service in defence and Uni couldn’t break their line. They made hit upon hit, but Wanneroo stood firm and fought for every inch of territory, until the inevitable penalty went Uni’s way right on the Dog’s 22. Uni was confident enough to turn down the easy three points and kick for a line out instead. They used the line out ball to try and bullock their way over the try line, but the Dogs muscled up and repelled every attack. Their defensive structure was so good that they forced Uni into conceding a five metre scrum. From the set piece, Deegs put in a long kick to clear the lines and relieve the pressure.
Wanneroo had weathered the storm and started to get back on the front foot. They began to assert their dominance with some robust, physical play allied to close support. Just as they were beginning to get their rhythm ‘T’ Walker suffered an injury and had to leave the field. He was replaced by Ben Stimson.
The game resumed with a scrum for University. The Wanneroo pack put on a mighty heave that totally disrupted Uni’s cohesion and Bones showed his nous and experience by snaffling the ball from the base of their scrum and setting it up for another attack. The backs took the ball on and when they got held, they popped it up to Brad Campbell who had got himself into a good support position. The big fella ran powerfully and made ground before offloading to Kris Palmer, who took it on again with the rest of the pack at his heels. This concerted attack had Uni struggling to contain the Dogs and they had to give a penalty away to stop them. Deegs punted the ball to the 22 for a line out and the forwards gave Tane a quality ball that was sent quickly to Grason. He cut through the first line of defence, closely followed by Leon Power who maintained the drive and set up the ruck ball. Tane slipped the ball to Nolly on the run, and he beat two defenders to plant it under the posts. Kris capped off a fine team try with the bonus points.
This try was a by-product of multiple, controlled and continuous phases of play by the Dogs that started when Bones stole the ball from Uni’s scrum. Most of the players participated in the phases that built the platform that enabled Nolly to finished off a team effort with a well constructed try. Great return to first grade rugby Bones.
University 12 – Wanneroo 12
The home team was stung into action and charged straight back at Wanneroo, who had to dig deep to contain the drives and hit up’s. Uni’s forward momentum earned them a scrum feed in Wanneroo’s 22, but it was a bitter sweet gift for them because they got murdered by the Dogs in the set piece. They got done so badly they coughed up a penalty as well. Wanneroo had grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and were now making all the play. Deegs kicked a long ball to the corner for Kris, who responded instantly and gathered it on the run. He took off for the try line, but got tackled into touch just short. Wanneroo showed their mastery by stealing Uni’s line out ball and sending it wide and fast to their left wing for what seemed to be a good looking try. Unfortunately the ref thought otherwise and Wanneroo suffered the consequences when he ruled it out for a forward pass, just before he blew for half time.
HALF TIME: University 12 – Wanneroo 12
Wanneroo had finished the half confidently, but coach Steve (Festa) Cavanagh urged them to increase their defensive line speed in the second half. Uni’s drop out ball was fumbled by Leon because he was looking directly into the sun and Uni got the scrum feed. Their pack got shunted again and only just managed to get the ball away. They tried an attack on their right and then on their left, but their attempts foundered on the rocks of the Roo Dog’s continuous waves of defence. Uni’s forwards then took a different tack and tried to barge their way through the middle of the paddock, but Wanneroo’s tackle line was still unyielding and Uni was forced to try the right side again. But they got no joy there either and ended up slinging an awful pass over the top of their winger’s head, straight into touch.
After a short period of indecisive play by both sides, Tane gave a scrum ball to Grason. He got over the gain line and slipped the ball to Nolly, who evaded a tackle before moving it on to Graham who had found a bit of space. But another promising move broke down when the ref called them back for a forward pass.
Uni’s scrum got comprehensively snotted and they suffered further ignominy when they gave a penalty away. The Dogs kicked for a line out and Bones soared high to give a good attack ball off the top. The backs took it on, but a knock on in the middle of the park enabled Uni to regain possession. They reacted very quickly and raced up field, causing all sorts of strife for Wanneroo. The Dogs were probably happy to give away the penalty that helped them stop Uni’s progress.
Uni opted for a kick to touch and a line out. They put the ball through hands to their left winger who gave it his best shot, but his best wasn’t good enough to find an opening. Play switched back to the right where they had several more attempts at breaking the line, but they still couldn’t penetrate and ran out of options. After allowing the game to carry on for what seemed like endless line break attempts by University, the ref blew for a penalty against Wanneroo. He awarded it for a high tackle by the Dogs that had occurred many phases previously. Uni kicked the three points. It seemed a harsh call after such a long and protracted advantage.
University 15 – Wanneroo 12
The penalty changed the dynamics of the game for a little while. Uni had a resurgence and made a few good plays that put Wanneroo on the back foot. Their right winger made a very good break and almost made it to the try line before he was held. The home team’s few golden moments didn’t last long, because Wanneroo’s resilience and ability to bounce back from adversity kicked in and they gradually resumed superiority.
The ref gave the Dogs a line out on Uni’s 22, but they lost their own throw in when Uni’s middle jumper managed to get a hand in front and slap the ball down onto his side of the line. Carl, who had replaced Shaun at prop, showed great vision to bust through the line and secure the loose ball before anyone else from either side could react. He took off for the line as fast as his little legs could carry him and would have scored, had the ref not pulled him back for a knock on. Uni’s scrum got the usual punishment, but their No 8 managed to scramble the ball out to their fly half who kicked it deep into Wanneroo territory to get out of trouble. It was beautifully fielded by Andrew Deegan, who replied with a high up and under of his own. He chased the kick and did incredibly well to flatten the ball catcher, but Uni managed to hang onto the ball and kick it into touch.
University’s luck was holding and the Dogs were probably trying just that little bit too hard as the clock ran down. But Wanneroo’s ‘never say die’ commitment and work rate earned them a scrum feed. The ball was sent quickly to Andrew King who took into contact, won the collision and bust through the tackle. Leon, who was right on his shirt tail, took the ball and continued the drive aided by his pack. Ethan got the ball, jinked his way into Uni’s 22 and when his progress was finally stopped he set the ball for the next phase. But the ref penalised him for holding on in the tackle and Uni got a welcome reprieve.
Wanneroo worked like men possessed to regain possession and their non stop work was rewarded with another scrum feed on the half way line. Captain King took the ball on again and crashed his way through two tacklers, forcing Uni to concede a penalty just inside half way to stop him. Andrew Deegan kicked for the corner to give his forwards a line out on Uni’s try line. Unfortunately, he overcooked the kick and the ball went dead. The ref blew for full time shortly after.
FULL TIME: University 15 – Wanneroo 12
The whole Wanneroo squad gave everything they had and left nothing in the tank. But they didn’t get what I would consider a fair reward for their endeavours on the day. I thought they did enough to get a win and would have deserved it, but they didn’t get the rub of the green in some of the referee’s decisions. I don’t believe the ref was biased in any way, but sometimes it’s the small things that defeat you. It’s to Wanneroo’s credit that Andrew King and his team were professional enough to cop the refs decisions and abide by them without rancour.
I know it’s no great comfort to the team or the coaching staff, but University coach, Kathal (Budda) Spence, said after the game that Wanneroo was unlucky to lose.
It’s a tribute to the Roo Dog squad’s attitude and application that they can lose a third of the team to injury and absences and still turn on a powerful and competitive game.
So it’s back to the drawing board for the Roo Dogs and look at taking the points against Associates, at home next week.
LEON POWER Today was Leon’s last game for Wanneroo, before he moves to the eastern states to continue his professional career. He has been a great asset and friend to Wanneroo and his departure will not only leave a big hole in the team, but a big hole in the heart of the club. He contributed his extensive rugby knowledge and experience willingly and has become a firm favourite with the players and the members. He is a fine role model and any club will be all the better for having him.
Thank you and good luck from all at the Roo Dogs kennel Leon. You will always be welcome here.
Injuries and unavailability once again saw the seconds struggle to turn a team out. But the third grade guys did the right thing again and filled the void by doubling up to play a second game to support their mates and their club.
Amazingly, Wanneroo jumped out of the box with a try in the opening minutes. Uni had a scrum feed on their own 22 and tried to get the ball away from the base, only for Brock to chase and harass their half back and steal it. He popped it up to Ben Stimson who crashed over to open the Dog’s account (hope I got it right this week Ben)
University 0 – Wanneroo 7
A penalty against Wanneroo almost immediately after the restart enabled University to open their account
University 3 – Wanneroo 7
A loose pass gave University a gift opening that should have resulted in a score, but the home team muffed it. Uni tried hard to create some structured play, but the Dogs stepped up the pressure, constantly disrupted their rhythm, denied them space and generally made life extremely difficult for them. Wanneroo was calling the shots and they used a line out ball to launch an attack through Uni’s midfield. The ball was taken into contact successfully three times before being set for Brock, who grabbed it from the breakdown and planted it over the try line. Kris kicked the conversion.
University 3 – Wanneroo 14
Josh Yoder, one of our two favourite septics (Septic Tank = Yank) playing their second game of the day, took a good clean catch and set the ball up perfectly for his team mates. Jake Radcliffe took it on and Tubs and Ben followed suit, before a good looking Wanneroo kick sent it down town. Unfortunately the ref adjudged the ball to have touched the side line and he gave Uni the line out. They ran the ball strongly from the line and built several phases of play that got them into the Dogs 22. Wanneroo’s much vaunted defensive skills suddenly went walk about and the ball carrier strolled through two weak tackles to score a totally unexpected try just before half time. The try was converted.
University 10 – Wanneroo 14
HALF TIME: University 10 – Wanneroo 14
University restarted with passion and tried to bully their way into the game. The ref gave them a penalty thirty metres out from the Dogs try line, but they had delusions of grandeur and went for the line and a driving maul instead of taking the points. Wanneroo coped with their drive easily and won the scrum feed when they stopped Uni’s forward momentum. The Dog’s stability in the set piece gave them plenty of time for a long clearing kick. Uni caught the ball and ran it back at Wanneroo, who repeated their previous tactic of taking the ball off them and kicking it long again. The home team was still keen to have another foray into the Dogs territory, but this time they got their act together and charged into the Dogs with a bit of organisation. Wanneroo must have put in about twenty tackles to stop their attacks, but stop them they did.
Uni had given their all, but hadn’t been able to crack the Dogs defence and now it was Wanneroo’s turn. Sylvo (another two game man) had a gallop before feeding the ball out to his right where his forwards were waiting in numbers. They rumbled on and took the play right up to the University try line before setting a ruck that enabled Brock to give quick ball out to Broden McCurry. He went over for a converted try.
University 10 – Wanneroo 21
University came back at the Dogs via their forwards and pummelled their way into the Dogs 22. Their No 7 flanker peeled off a ruck and made a dangerous looking run up the right wing. He was stopped by a pile driving tackle, courtesy of Dylan, who also managed to win a penalty. The ball was kicked to the midfield and a period of harum-scarum play commenced, with both sides seeming desperate to take as many chances as possible.
As play progressed, Wanneroo began to settle down again and find their rhythm. They won a couple of scrum feeds close to Uni’s try line and had them in all sorts of trouble. Their half back impeded Bryce at one scrum and the ref penalised him, but other Uni players continued the illegal tactics because it was the only way they could contain Wanneroo. They eventually transgressed once too often and the ref awarded a penalty try to the Roo Dogs.
University 10 – Wanneroo 28
Josh Yoder took a ball on the burst and gave a classic, precision pass to his support runner which created a great attacking opportunity. Wanneroo raced away and someone (?) grubbered the ball behind the defence, into the in goal area where it sat up waiting for the touch down. Uni won the race for the touch down by a whisker.
Josh’s brother, Nate Dog, soared high for a line out ball and gave it on a plate to Brock, who shipped it out to Sylvo. He stood in the tackle to set up Mike Bailey on his outside. Mike made a barn storming run that drew the Uni defence, before sending the ball out to where the three stooges were loitering. Josh, Nathan and Tubs were busy waving to their fans, but stopped long enough to take the ball on. The terrible trio trashed the opposition and trampled their way over their mangled remains to the try line where a score looked to be inevitable. But, yeah you guessed, they bombed it. But they redeemed themselves a little by ensuring Wanneroo got the resulting scrum feed. Brock gave the scrum ball to Sylvo who fed full back Mike on the gallop and he scored an unstoppable try for the second grade to finish the game in style.
University 10 – Wanneroo 35
FINAL SCORE: University 10 – Wanneroo 35
What a wonderful game by this awfully depleted team. Last week they were good, but this week they were better.
The second grade is comprised mostly of young players who always give everything they have, but usually come up short because they lack experience and a little bit of guidance. The high injury toll in first grade has actually been a bit of a blessing for them, because the third graders who filled in brought a huge amount of rugby knowledge and experience to the team. The thirds have willingly helped the young guys by giving them guidance and belief. It’s been a rewarding couple of weeks for second grade and while the third grade guys may not have enjoyed the extra work load, they have certainly found pleasure in helping their young team mates. This is the essence of rugby.
I missed the opening minutes of the game and was dependent on sideline tittle-tattle for the info. So here goes.
University stunned, top of the table Wanneroo, with an intercept try in the first thirty seconds. I hear the Roo Dogs were a bit stunned to have opponents who carry the title ‘student’, when some of them are closer to being octogenarians. I think a couple of them were old when I was playing first grade in the last century.
University 7 – Wanneroo 0
Wanneroo responded when Carl looped round the back of a line out, took the tap down ball and stumbled over for a try.
University 7 – Wanneroo 5
Wanneroo won a line out and the forwards took the ball into contact. They set two phases before Jake Smith powered his way over the line for another try.
University 7 – Wanneroo 10.
Michael (Lovey) Love scored the next points from a line out catch and drive.
University 7 – Wanneroo 15
Jake Radcliffe took a pass well inside his own half and decided to chance his arm. He ran hard and bounced a couple of would be tacklers off, before weaving his way inside and then outside another couple of ineffectual defenders. His run was amazing, as his team mates can testify, because they were all standing like stunned mullets watching him. Jake was foaming at the mouth by now and desperately looking for support that wasn’t coming. He eventually covered sixty metres of ground and any fair minded chap would have let him score. But the drop dead drongo Uni students obviously haven’t heard of the term ‘fair crack of the whip cobber’ and they leapt on him when he only had a metre to go to the try line, causing poor old Jake to knock the ball on.
The Uni players got their just desserts at the ensuing scrum, when they got drilled so hard that their front row’s heads got rearranged, enabling them to see the inside their own anal orifices. Lovey and Carl both had a go at the line before giving the ball to Matthys. He whipped it wide to full back Mike Hepi who strolled over the line untouched.
University 7 – Wanneroo 20.