20th September, 3rds & 4ths Grand Finals
By James Diack
The 2003 grand finals, in which Old Colls had two teams participating, took place at Bailey Reserve on Saturday 20th September. After defeating North Torrens 28-0 in the preliminary final, the Fours earned another crack against minor premiers Port Adelaide, but lost a close, exciting encounter by 2 points in the division 4 grand final. In the division 3 grand final, the Threes survived a torrid second half against Woodville and won by 13 points.
The Fours' team list for the day, including reserves, was T Mills, A Bohlman, G Sutter, T Bird, A Holford, J. Walker, S. Smith (c), R. Sadler, B. Rokoboro, P. Hawker, D. Crawford, G. Lithgow, M. West, J. Pinkerton, P. Policki, J. Bell, A. Howes, D. Pridham, S. Rich, A. Reynolds, P. Norris, G. James, E. Mitchell, R. Waddicor, B. Sinnott, G. Fenner and B. Rutherford. Ray Butler coached the team and Jessie James had the job of manager.
There's a wealth of talent in that list that has served the club so well in recent years. This side produced some good passages of play in the first half of the grand final. Our forwards showed good spirit, winning enough lineout and scrum ball to maintain pressure on the Port defence and hold most of the territory. Port had a battle on their hands to prevent the cohesive combination of our backs and forwards from breaking through the middle ground. We kept the pressure on, but did not have the vital penetration in our attack to be successful in scoring tries. We had some fine runs though, and came close on a few occasions. Port looked threatening whenever we failed to complete a tackle, but we covered ourselves adequately at the next breakdown and regrouped. With a nil all score at half time, we went into the second half continuing to have the upper hand territorially. We used the rolling maul to good effect a number of times when we were inside the Port 22. Once, we won a scrum just inside this area and retained the ball for a couple of phases going forward, which gave our number eight, Rob Sadler, the chance to crash over the try line and ground the ball for our only try. After this, the tussle gradually evened to the extent that Port got more of the ball, and set up attacking moves. They levelled the score when they spun wide quickly, had the extra man there and went on to score their first try. We regained the lead when M. West kicked a penalty goal. With 15 minutes left still, we needed to score again. The Pirates however, hemmed us in our territory and, after hammering away, got their second try.
Although we continued to toil, I think we were running out of steam and were unable to overcome the strongly finishing opposition. Congratulations to our players though, all of whom played well for most of the game. We didn't win the final but, nonetheless, we had an excellent season. Well done!
Here's the day's team list for the Threes - R. Pardoe, B. Brady, C. De Carle, A Welch, N. Porter, A. Raikiwasi, J. Suttell (c), C. MacDonald, B. Suttell, T. Austin, S. Douglas, M. Siaosi, A. Dalton, J. Craven, N. Fisher, J. Gill, J. Forfar, A. Marshallsay, P. Pakuru, M. Nanai and G. Raymond. Ollie Porter coached, and Hamish Cranna managed the side, ably assisted by Murray Curran. At least a third of the starting XV have played for the Ones this year, and the club is lucky to have such depth in reserve.
The team started the grand final against Woodville with a justified air of confidence. We had little trouble in winning a good share of quick, clean possession from lineouts and scrums, whilst in mauls, rucks and general play, we kept the opposition at bay. Joe Suttell, Cameron MacDonald, Craig De Carle and the rest of the pack played so well. Our fine inside back combination of Ben Suttell and the reliable, willing, creative Tim Austin launched many attacking movements. Our defence was sound too, including one crunching tackle by Andy Dalton that stopped Woodville from getting the ball away down the touchline. There were great tackles from others too. Our first score came when Tim threw a long cutout pass that found full back N. Fisher who linked with the outside backs and then Stewart Douglas outpaced opponents to get the try. Stewart had had two previous fine runs.
Quick action by Ben and Tim set up another chance for Stewart to sprint to the try line, and we were two tries up. Late in the first half, Stewart kicked a penalty goal that gave us a 13-0 lead at half time. Woodville fought back strongly in the second term and held us scoreless for the rest of the day, while testing our defence with some gritty attempts to penetrate our line. We hindered our cause by giving away penalty kicks in our territory, but, nonetheless, we withstood everything the Wasps had in their try-scoring armoury. Both sides generated passages of vigorous rugby. Late in the piece, the creativity that we showed early in the match regained prominence, giving us a slight edge in the closing stages of the match, although we failed to score again. 13-0 was a good result against a determined, much-improved team. Congratulations!
6th September, 3rds & 4ths Semi Finals
By James Diack
Saturday 6th September was major semi final day and saw our Fours and Threes play at Gleneagles Reserve in their respective divisions.
The Fours lost a close match against Port Adelaide; their next game will be the preliminary final against the minor semi final winners. The Threes survived a close encounter against the improved Woodville side, earning the right to play in the grand final.
During the minor round, the Fours conceded only six of their twenty matches in division four and gained 5 bonus points, finishing in second place behind Port who had seven defeats but gained 12 bonus points. North Torrens achieved third spot with 11 defeats, so Colls had a good record over the season and deserved their berth in the major semi. Congratulations.
Indeed, the team started the game against Port in splendid style. We pinned them inside their territory for the first 17 minutes. We won a good share of possession and used it judiciously, whether we kicked or passed. The backing up was good, we tackled ably, and we did reasonably well at the breakdowns. Our reward came in the 17th minute with a back line passing movement that culminated when our full back scored a fine try. After the restart however, the Port forwards were in control for the next 15 minutes as they put our defence to the test. We proved equal to the task, gradually got back onto an even keel and, late in the first half, the battle was evenly fought as we strove to keep our 7-0 lead until half time.
The first setback came early in the second half. Port won a scrum, and quick service from the halfback sent the next man through a gaping hole in our line to score an effortless try that was converted. It took us a long time to settle back to rhythm. Although the opposition did not dominate events, they controlled enough of the play to prevent us from completing meaningful try scoring moves.
We defended stoutly; nonetheless Port scored one further try. We pressed strongly in the final minutes, but time ran out. The match score was 12-7 to Port Adelaide.
The Threes were minor premiers in division three. Their for and against record was 603:107, and they suffered one defeat. Second placed Woodville had 5 losses, and scored 467 points to 241 against. Our side should be proud.
In the semi final however, our men faced stiff opposition from Woodville who put the first try on the board soon after play started. The ball sped towards touch inside our 22 where we attempted to keep it in play, but gave it to an opponent who seized the chance to run ahead and score under the posts. Luckily for us, Woodville missed the conversion.
From then until half time, an even battle developed as the teams vied for supremacy. They applied pressure on each other, trying to force errors as well as being creative, but neither side achieved dominance.
After half time, our forwards played with more zest and we strung some sequent phase wins together. This enabled us to drive ahead into Woodville's quarter and stay there long enough to build potent attacking rushes. We levelled the scores when our number eight, Cameron McDonald got our first try. He scored a second one when he stretched an arm over the line and grounded the ball under the posts. This try was converted, but we still needed at least one more to boost our winning chances.
Although we strove valiantly, Woodville regrouped and gave us a tough fight until the end of the day. Little by little, they wore us down to the extent that we conceded a second try. We failed to score again, but held on to win the game narrowly with a final score of 12-10.
30th August 2003, 1sts vs Burnside
By James Diack
Our Firsts scored six tries in the match against Burnside at Tregenza on 30th August. However, the last four did not come until the closing stages of the game after Burnside had led by eleven points. Colls achieved the result we wanted to cap off an excellent day for the Club in the final minor round game, but our opponents could have got a gutsy win had we not regrouped in time.
Things started badly for us when Burnside goaled from a penalty in the third minute. Ten minutes passed before we strung together some good looking phase wins inside Burnside' 22, and in the 18th minute our forwards combined well to send Scot Andrews over the goal line for our first try, which Juan converted. Two minutes later, Juan made a fine dash down the touchline and we were two tries up. Burnside held territorial advantage for most of the remaining first half time. Neither side dominated the set play; indeed much of it was ragged, but we had a marginal advantage in lineouts. We looked impressive when we ventured ahead as a cohesive unit with well timed passing and backing up; however, our ball handling let us down on a number of occasions. Dropped passes cost us dearly. Burnside scored a nice corner try and converted. They took advantage of some loose defence to score again a little later and held a 3-point lead at half time.
They notched a third try early in the second half and followed this with a field goal. Our fortune gradually turned as we began to retain possession more consistently and force play forward inside opposition terrain. Scot Andrews and Tom Secker were two of our impressive players on the day. Charlie Sheppeard and Christian Tedge were other forwards who put in good efforts. Juan Aguiar, Paul McFadden and Chris Walker were notable among the backs. Our resurgence bore fruit in the concluding 20 minutes. A running movement climaxed when Juan swung the ball to Andy McDougall who ran on and touched down in goal. Substitute Kini Tavui was the driving force behind our next try grounded by Bernard Hickey. It was Paul McFadden's turn to score next, before Charlie Sheppeard made the try of the day. As it turned out, this was a satisfying end to the season, however, if we had played consistently well, instead of in patches, then we could have won strikingly well. Come to think of it, that sentence sums up 2003 in general.
16th August, 1sts vs Woodville
By James Diack
In an entertaining match at Gleneagles Reserve on 16th August, the Firsts turned a mid first half 9-point deficit into a 27-18 win against Woodville.
Colls forwards set a high standard of play in the opening minutes. Our scrum-work was a problem, but we won enough usable ball from other facets of play to set up some first-rate moves in which backs and forwards combined well to produce fine passing rushes.
We took an early lead when Juan Aguiar kicked a penalty goal. However, we had to defend stoutly soon afterwards, when Woodville took a tap-kick penalty inside our 22 and held possession during a sequence of breakdowns, before we missed completing a vital tackle that let the runner through to set up at try, which was duly converted. Although Woodville increased their lead by kicking a penalty goal, we continued to look good when in possession, grasping every chance to forge ahead. We just needed a little more polish to finish our runs successfully.
After Juan kicked his second penalty goal, Woodville caught us off guard at the restart, forced us back into our 22 and crossed the try line fruitfully for the second time. We had an excellent spell late in the first half when we won a long sequence of phases deep inside Woodville's 22. They got the turnover finally and cleared the ball when we were just short of the try line, but we surged onward again and, via a couple of our front rowers, got the ball to Juan who crossed for the try. Then another grand passing rush propelled Dean Bradley over the line to give us a one-point lead at half time. Dean scored a further fine try early in the second half. We held most of the territory for the rest of the game. Overall, we had a good day in the lineouts, moving the ball away before the opposition could do much damage. They had a few good forwards, but generally their side was too slow and lacked cohesion. It was heartening to see our lads get to the breakdowns quickly in numbers on many (but not all) occasions this week.
We secured and retained the ball for long spells and, in the main, tackled effectively. We struggled, though, in the scrums. Christian Tedge, Tom Secker, Richard Czeglik, Paul McFadden, Juan Aguiar and Dean Bradley were some of our good players. Juan kicked two more penalty goals in the remainder of the match, while Woodville got one.
Sad to report, we failed to score any more tries.
9th August, 1sts vs Souths
By James Diack
A first half tally of four tries to none scored by Southern Suburbs in the match against our Firsts at Tregenza on 9th August proved too big a start for us to overcome during the second half in which the sides got two tries each. We were lucky to end with only a 21-point deficit as South outplayed us in many aspects of the game.
Juan Aguiar kicked a penalty goal to get us off to a promising start, but, in general, Souths won possession easily during the first 30 minutes and retained it for long periods. They timed their passes nicely, ran swiftly and used the simple but effective ploy of throwing the ball to the wings. They often ran out of space when our defenders closed in on them, but they found gaps on three instances to score their first three tries by going wide. Their fourth try resulted from a rush through the middle. For Colls, it was a matter of defending our line against Souths' forays, and finding the best means of countering. We strove hard to win usable ball from set and phase play. Our new half-five eighth pair started tentatively, improving as the day wore on. It took a long time to get ourselves organized but, just before half time, we produced some passages of gritty play that drove us deep inside Souths' 22. In the second half, we continued our renewed vigour, looking much more competitive. Christian Tedge, Tom Secker, Richard Czeglik and Bernard Hickey made big inputs into guarding the ball and tried to give us the vital impetus needed. Juan Aguiar had some fine runs and also completed a number of tackles. Chris Walker and Paul McFadden were other good backs.
A solid forward drive enabled us to get across the goal line for our first try. Souths still provided stiff resistance, kept up their attack, but their next try didn't come until 25 minutes into the second term. We scored another try after that - again the result of a fine forward incursion. Souths added another try to their tally in the final minutes to complete a well-deserved win.
2nd August, 1sts vs Port Adelaide
At Port Adelaide
By James Diack
Port Adelaide scored seven tries to none in defeating our Firsts convincingly at Port Adelaide Reserve on 2nd August. Injuries and other reasons for absenteeism caused changes to our team makeup yet again and, although members strove to combine well, we were no match for one of the sides likely to contest this year's grand final.
General play by both teams was scrambly in the early stages. Kicking "over the top" was an effective means of gaining ground at first, but Port proved more adept at placement and gradually settled down to good rugby. They won plenty of ball from set play, handled ably and utilised most chances to make forays into our 22.
For Colls, the emphasis was on defending territory. This was gruelling against big fast players, who drew the action, timed their passes nicely and then found open space ahead. Ben Hamer, at outside centre, was the best of our tacklers. He was one team member who kept trying until the end to turn things round for us. We had others, including full back Dean Bradley and some of the forwards, who had good patches, but, in the main, we struggled to find cohesion and creativity.
In our scrum-feeds, the ball came slowly and then our inside backs were hesitant in shifting it away from the opposition. We had to work hard to win lineouts; on a few occasions we lost the ball when we took it down into a maul. We really did need to win quick usable possession and drive the action safely towards the goal line. Ports were just too good on the day.
Port scored four tries in the first half when they dashed through holes in our defence. Dean kicked a penalty goal, which was our only score for the match. We held the opposition at bay for a considerable time in the second half, before a Port man charged down a kick and carried the ball to the goal line for the next try. A strong drive by their forwards enabled them to score another, while their final try followed a run up the touchline.
26th July, 1sts vs Onkaparinga
By James Diack
After an impressive initial half of the match against Onkaparinga at Tregenza on 26th July, our Firsts fell to pieces in the last twenty minutes, allowing Onkas to score three consecutive converted tries and win the day by eight points. Our loss all but crushed our chance of scraping into the finals, but, at our best, we can still win most of our remaining matches.
Our forwards continued their invigorated form from the previous week. Tom Secker, Scot Andrews, Christian Tedge, Richard Czeglik and others supported each other well, retained possession in phase play for sustained spells, tackled effectively and ensured that attempted forays by Onkas were quashed. We took quick clean ball from our lineout throws and stole control from some of the Onkas tosses. We did surprisingly well against Onkas strong front row in scrums. Chris Walker played capably at five eighth again. Our backs tackled soundly and, when in attack, handled the ball safely. Chris created the chance for our new outside centre, Bryce James, to force a breach in the Onkas line and score our first try. Dean Bradley kicked the conversion. Later, our back line went into action again, sending Tim Williams over for our next try.
We kept Onkas scoreless until half time, but ten minutes into the second term, in a brief lapse of focus, we kicked away possession, failed to retrieve safely and allowed the opposition to work the ball wide, from whence they set up a successful try-scoring movement. Still playing ably at this time, we returned to the attack. Chris kicked a field goal that just cleared the crossbar. Then, in a run up the touchline, Juan Aguiar fended off defenders and we eventually got through for our third try, which gave us a 13-point lead - not a comfortable margin against formidable foes.
Soon, we slackened our grip just when we should have maintained a tight line and built up our lead. Onkas began resurgence by spinning the ball wide, found a couple of gaps in our line and grounded for a try. Their next try gave them a one-point lead. Then, in the final few minutes, they put the icing on the cake when a player charged an attempted clearing kick and the ensuing play produced yet another try.
Womens - the Frocs
From the Tregenza Times
Out of his own season due to shoulder injury, Stew Douglas has joined Ray Butler as co-coach to the women's team for the balance of 2003. Under his careful guidance, the Frocs' backline is already performing better than it has in years. Consistently winning against Port, notching up the season's first against Souths and showing very strong performances in all games, the Frocs look more and more likely to be a real chance at finals time. The only blot on the copy book has been the poor performance against Souths on the Sunday after the Falcons game when the Frocs showed themselves to be in some ways like their brother Crocs, with more than a few showing up very hungover (and/or still drunk ...)
19th July 1sts vs Brighton, 14 v 0
By James Diack
One of the high spots of this season's match programme took place on 19th July when our Firsts scored two tries to nil in defeating Brighton at Brighton. The teams were at near full strength and produced good rugby. If we can maintain the standard of play in the remaining 2003 games, we should end the season on a cheery note.
Brighton held steady territorial advantage during the first 20 minutes, without dominating possession. We had a good couple of lineout jumpers on the day and our throw-ins were better than they have been in recent weeks, while our work in the scrums was adequate on most occasions. The return of our Falcon players strengthened our pack and backs; indeed the positional changes to the back line added impetus to our attack. The choice between kicking, running or passing was made astutely by our inside backs as we made headway against sturdy resistance.
Eventually, in the 24th minute, we won quick clean ball from a lineout inside Brighton's 22 which enabled Simon Callaghan and Chris Walker to move the ball wide quickly to where full back Andy McDougall linked in to cross the line, having ample space to continue running and touch down between the posts for Juan Aguiar to kick the conversion. Less than ten minutes later, we won another lineout from almost the same place and our inside backs shifted the ball swiftly along the line, but this time it came back to Chris at five-eighth who got our other try. Juan converted.
Neither side scored for the rest of the match, although each missed shots at penalty goals. We had the edge over Brighton in general play. We handled the ball securely, ensured that we made good position to pass or receive the ball and we retained possession beyond the fourth or fifth phase on a number of occasions. Brighton tackled well enough, but our own tackling was first-rate and we forced the opposition into error by closing gaps hastily. We prevented them from translating any slight gain into serious scoring chances.
In the final minutes of the match though, Brighton pinned us deep in our 22, where we made several mistakes and infringements. They had enough strength to force two 5-metre scrums to the goal line and nearly succeeded in scoring a try. Time ran out, thankfully, and we kept our line intact. We won the match by way of an excellent team performance.
12th July 1sts vs Burnside
By James Diack
At Parkinson Reserve on 12th July, our Firsts notched six tries against Burnside to defeat them by five points in an evenly contested game.
Burnside applied firm pressure inside our area in the early minutes, but we kept our line intact and progressed toward a more attacking situation. We toiled hard, with mixed success, to gain decent ball from lineouts and scrums. However, when things went our way, our inside backs had time to move the action forward, using the kick-ahead more than usual, as well as passing or running. Both sides won two or three sequent phases in general play on various occasions, but failed to keep the momentum going because they made handling errors under stress, or because of good tackling. At such times, ball carriers needed quicker, stronger support at breakdowns to stop turnovers. Nonetheless, we saw some keen ruck and maul challenges in which Colls did well. We scored our tries from a blend of rushes through the centre and expansive movements.
Winger Tim Williams scored the first try when he finished a back line movement by dodging tacklers. Burnside equalised the score after they took a penalty kick into touch and won the ensuing lineout easily to make space and go through for the try. Ben Hamer grounded next for us after we had driven the play forcefully to the line. Dean Bradley ran the ball down the sideline and scored our third try. He followed this up with a dash that ended with a try near the goalposts. Ben converted. We scored these tries during a spell in which we had much the better of play. Burnside, however, touched down again before half time, and grounded yet again early in the second half to reduce the margin to five points. Fortunes fluctuated for the rest of the game, as we strove to boost our situation. Tim capped off a good team movement with another try. Burnside spun the ball, found the extra man out wide who grounded. Mark Fullager produced a determined run which put us in a good position and it was Nick Wells who eventually crossed the line for the try - a good effort. However, Burnside came back yet again with another try late in the match and looked dangerous in the final minutes, but we held on to win the day.
Ben Hamer, Tim Williams and Dean Bradley were among the good players; there were good efforts from others, including those who have replaced Falcon representatives and injured players recently.
5th July, 1sts vs Elizabeth
By James Diack
The Firsts scored seven tries in our home match victory against Elizabeth on 6th July. This 24-point win hardly looked realizable midway through the second half after we had spent 70 minutes fending off spirited, if unsystematic, efforts from the bottom division 1 team.
The day started badly for us when Elizabeth grounded their first try within the first three minutes of the match. It was some time before we scored. This happened when Peter Cross gathered a loose ball just outside our 22 and won the race for the goal line to touch down near the posts. Juan Aguiar converted. Shoddy defensive work allowed an Elizabeth man a 25-metre run for their second try, but we snatched a 2-point lead late in the first half, when Bernard Hickey got the ball down after our forwards had recycled possession in phase play.
Generally, Elizabeth won quick ball from their scrum and lineout throws, although they lacked method in their use of their ball in moving ahead. Gaining usable ball from set play was harder for us, but we valued it more, retained it better and put together some good passing movements. There was some scrambling and substandard efforts by both sides in general play, but we improved as the game wore on and the opposition deteriorated. Elizabeth held territorial advantage for a long spell early in the second half however, which was a fretful time for us until we swung play inside their quarter. There, we rolled a maul forward, then got the ball to Chris Walker for the try of the day. Juan converted. Elizabeth converted a try that reduced our lead to two points again soon afterwards, but our next converted try was good quality and well earned. This really turned fortune in our favour now as Elizabeth wilted.
We scored three more tries after that; these came from Ben Suttell, Dean Bradley and the nifty Rob Porteous.
21st June, 1sts vs Souths
By James Diack
Injuries to key players, together with the absence of Black Falcons team members, must be giving the selectors an interesting exercise at present. Nonetheless, the side that faced Southern Suburbs Firsts at Bailey Reserve on 21st June didn't play too badly. True, Souths scored four easy tries in the first 20 minutes, having the better of things at that time, but they didn't score again until the last 15 minutes when their substitute left-winger got through twice.
Full credit must go to our lads for overcoming Souths' early dominance of events, although neither team played brilliantly thereafter. Both sides lacked the necessary cohesion to retain possession in general play and secure enough sequent phase wins to control the rest of the game.
We got our fair share of ball from set play and worked hard to make headway against ordinary opposition. However, inadequate support at breakdowns, together with mishandling and inaccurate passing stymied our progress towards the goal line on a number of occasions.
Among our forwards, Tim Williams, Rob Porteous, Leigh Marsland and Bernard Hickey defended well and used the ball well at times. Chris Walker and Kini Tavui did good things in the back line. Our play was more expansive in the second half. Kini, at outside centre, dashed past defenders to score our first try (converted by Simon Callaghan) and later charged ahead to set up our second. At that point we had reduced a 20-point deficit to 8 points, but were unable to produce the extra zip needed to snatch a win in the final minutes; instead, Souths forged ahead with two more tries to seal victory.
14th June, 1sts vs PortAt Tregenza
By James Diack
Port Adelaide defeated our Firsts at Tregenza on 14th June when they ran up six tries to three in a match that featured strong cohesive play from the victors against vulnerable defence from Colls who also failed to capitalise opportunities when in possession.
Within a couple of minutes of the start, Port had us on the defensive inside our quarter where we gave away a sequence of penalties. Port elected to take tap kicks and eventually worked the ball out wide to score their first try. Although the opposition won set play from their throw-ins relatively easily, and pressurised us for long spells in general play, we seized a one point lead by kicking a penalty goal and scoring a neat try after a scrum win. Simon Callaghan was responsible for both. However, in the main, we found usable possession hard to achieve. Port had too much strength in scrums for us to get quick ball, whilst we had mixed fortunes in lineouts. We did not provide enough support quickly at the breakdowns. Yet we produced enough periods of good play to give us hope of winning the match. C DeCarle was one of our good forwards who tried to drive play ahead as did Ryan Nielson and Tom Secker. Simon Callaghan improves his skills week by week. Dean Bradley had many runs with the ball, and Paul McFadden played strongly. One of his dashes through enemy lines culminated with his scoring a try just before half time, but only after Port had got two more easy converted tries.
Simon kicked another penalty goal early in the second half to reduce the deficit to 5 points. Port took advantage of a couple of defensive errors and scored another try, but after that we improved our standard of play for a long stretch of time. The match looked winnable. We were getting clean lineout ball at that stage and our lads were able to retain possession by displaying more gusto in general play. Nonetheless, we didn't do enough to pierce big enough gaps in the Port defence and score the tries we needed.
In time, our efforts petered out and we let Port score two more easy tries when we failed to react quickly enough to danger. In the closing minutes, Paul broke through for his second try but we were well behind on the scoreboard.
31st May, 1sts vs BrightonAt Tregenza
By James Diack
Our Firsts were without six top players, due to selection in the Adelaide Falcons, when we lost to Brighton at Tregenza on 31st May. Brighton, with only three men available for interstate duty, overran us in the second half after we had put in a respectable effort during the first term.
We outplayed the opposition for at least the first ten minutes of the match. Our forwards gained some early possession and retained enough of it to form some attacking rushes. A superb back line movement resulted in M. Cox scoring a try near the corner post. Brighton equalised the score soon afterwards and from that moment showed us they were going to make things difficult. Their front row and number eight gave them quick ball from their scrum feeds and enough thrust to upset our feeds. We had a few good lineout wins, but at other times we failed to clear the ball. Our defence was under enormous pressure but Brighton didn't break through again until late in the first half. Bernard Hickey, Tom Secker, Ryan Nielson, Dean Bradley, Nick Wells and Kini Tavui all had good spells, but we really needed consistency from the whole side to overcome the relentless drive ahead spearheaded by the tough Brighton pack. Simon Callaghan kicked a penalty goal, while Brighton's other first half scores were a penalty goal and a try, which gave a half time score of 8-13. We ran out of steam in the second half and, although we tried hard, we lacked enough energy and speed to wrest sufficient ball from our opponents to turn defence into meaningful attack.
Brighton, in contrast, scored six more tries. Four of these resulted largely from strong forward drives, while the other two involved back line movements.
24th May, 1sts vs BurnsideAt Tregenza
By James Diack
The Firsts were hosts to Burnside at Tregenza on 24th May and, although we did not dictate the manner of play throughout the match, we displayed enough pugnacity to score five tries, winning the encounter by 9 points. Now that we have started winning games, we must climb the ladder and move into the top four group, securing a spot in the finals as we head through the second round of ties. Every point will be valuable.
We gained possession at the start and confined Burnside to their area for a lengthy spell. We kept the ball moving as we held on to it through phase play and soon spun it out wide, from where it went back to Simon Callaghan who made the vital break for our first try. Shortly after the restart, Burnside looked threatening when they broke out into open space but we countered strongly, forced the turnover and went on the attack. However, this was transitory because Burnside won a lineout later, retained the ball from two phases and broke through for a converted try. They soon added another converted try. This occurred during a time when we fared poorly. We had too little ball, lost it in mauls and rucks, while Burnside showed speed through the centres and backed up well. The tide turned late in the first half when our forwards and backs combined to produce some fast attacking rushes. We drove forward strongly, giving Burnside little chance to counter. During this period, Ben Hamer scored two tries and Richard Czeglik scored one. We did not convert any of our four first half tries.
Burnside had us on the defensive in the early stages of the second half. They were able to win turnovers and retain the ball in phase play. Their reward came when they worked the ball wide, making enough room to cross the goal line for their third try, which they converted to give them a one-point lead. About mid way through the term, our fortune turned again. Juan Aguiar tackled one of the opposition's fastest runners, we gathered the loose ball and the ensuing play saw Andy McDougall break free, beat defenders and dash away to score a try for Juan to convert successfully. In the remaining time we produced some of our best rugby so far this season, in both attack and defence. Ben Hamer, Ryan Nielson and Christian Tedge had played well throughout the match, giving inspiration to others. Andy McDougall and Paul McFadden were other good players. True, we failed to score any more tries, but the promise of good things to come is there if we keep improving and play well for 80 minutes a match.
Juan kicked a penalty goal to give us the 30-21 victory.
WOMEN'S RUGBY - THE FROCS
The Frocs have suffered from a few injuries, losing Lusia Raikiwasa in the trial match (out for four weeks) and Imogen Hume in the first game of the season (out for at least eight weeks). Imogen had just been elected vice captain and leader of the forwards, too. ZoŽ Woodstock will ably fill that position until Imogen returns. Otherwise, the Frocs have been playing well and although they have won only one of their first four games, they are competing strongly and all games have been closer than the scores suggest. Thanks go to guest coaches Stewie Douglas, James Bradley and Rob Sadler! The Frocs are particularly pleased to have played two 15 aside games, in contrast to the entire season of 10 aside in 2002.
A number of the girls have been selected to play for SA in June, including Tiana Hume, Lusia Raikiwasa, Liz Dean, Elysha Skipper and Tara Naige.
17th May, 2nds
By Andre Brummer
UNIVERSITY 31 v OLD COLLEGIANS 0
This was a mess from beginning to end which started on Thursday training attempting to organize 4 teams at 4 different locations whilst accounting for reserves and injuries. Put simply: a logistics nightmare. The game itself was very scrappy with College never putting on an attack of meaning. This was due to the fact that our recycling was abysmal which allowed the defense to restructure and make the following recycle abysmal, etc. etc.
This game was good to have early in the season since it showed us these critical areas of our game and subsequently what we need to improve. Our defense was tight such that all of their tries came from well placed grubber kicks through our defensive line. College dominated all set plays giving us quality ball. There were many Collegians which had an exceptional game hopefully next time we will do it together. Watch out Uni - we'll reverse the score next time. Best on Ground: Leigh "Lefty" Marsland.
10th May, 1sts vs Woodville
By James Diack
Our Firsts won their first match of the season when they met Woodville at Gleneagles on 10th May, established an early lead and shielded it against dogged opposition during a rainy second half.
We started well. We took possession and retained it for long periods so that most of the play during the first half was in Woodville territory. It was good to see the forwards get to the loose ball quickly this week and provide good support for each other and the rest of the team, giving Woodville few chances to turnover. The opposition only looked dangerous when they won set play and their inside backs tried to make breaks. This was as far as they got on most occasions, as our tackling and defence withstood the strain solidly. In one instance, the Woodville five eighth kicked long to where Andy McDougall made good ground, caught the ball safely as he usually does, continued on at speed through the hapless defence and grounded for the try. Juan Aguiar converted. Chris Walker scored our second try, which was the culmination of a good team rush. Woodville hit back when they won a lineout adjacent to the goal line and carried the ball over. The other first half score was a penalty goal kicked by Juan.
The second half saw a more even tussle. Woodville strengthened their tenacity and held territorial advantage early in the piece, but neither side handled the wet conditions well. Generally, our standard of play was not as good as it was in the first term as we struggled to control the ball. There were many interruptions to the flow of play due to rule infringements and mishandling of the ball. There was one spell when we gave away a series of penalties in our quarter and Woodville took various options to score tries from these chances. This tested our defence and we performed adequately for quite a while until our opponents finally broke through for a converted try. With only one point in our favour at this juncture, we had to sharpen our attack, and, although the level of play from both sides was ordinary, we did score one more try to end the match six points ahead. Andy McDougall, Richard Czeglik and Ben Hamer were among the good players.
2nds, 1O MAY 2003 - NORTH TORRENS 7 v OLD COLLEGIANS 10By Andre Brummer
College dominated the first half as we starved the Torrens boys of any ball possession. College was wining all lineouts thanks to Bernard "The Air up There" Hickey (This altitude light-headedness could possibly account for Bernard nearly taking his jersey home after the match. We ran immaculately structured game for the whole 1st half but never converted our hard work into points. We started the 2nd half with a well deserved try from "Mullet" Fudali.
Unfortunately the wheels seemed to come off the collegians onslaught until Torrens scored and converted their try. This was the turning point in the match - College spurred into action with a commitment to break the line. Minutes later College replied with a try by Major Mick Renfrey. This victory proves that 2nd's have the heart and courage to pull through. Best on Ground: Bernard Hickey.
3rd May, 1sts vs Souths
By James Diack
Numerous rule infringements cost our Firsts dearly in our match against Southern Suburbs at Tregenza on 3rd May. Souths' total of 28 points comprised seven penalty goals and only one try, while we scored three tries.
We won the ball from Souths' kick off, won sequent phases to carry play into their quarter, and soon scored a converted try. After this, our forwards won a good share of ball from lineouts and scrums, giving our inside backs chances to set up attacking moves. Simon Callaghan and Stewart Douglas showed growing confidence in themselves, dictating the direction of play to advantage many times. The ball moved well along the back line. Our forwards met stubborn resistance in mauls and rucks, and although we did not dominate this part of play, we were good enough to prevent Souths from breaking free inside our quarter. The passage of play that ended with their scoring a try began with an intercept and proceeded with retention in phase play, before the player crossed our line. Other scores in the first half were three penalty goals kicked by Souths and one to us, kicked by Juan Aguiar.
Our competent defence prevented Souths from scoring any tries in the second half. For the most part, we tackled well and forced their fast men into error. Although our own attack was not perfect in the handling, passing and backing-up aspects, we looked the better side generally. Ben Hamer scored a try near the corner after we did well to get the ball out wide. Then came periods of play when Souths made forays into our territory and, in these times, Souths kicked four goals from penalties. Needing to score at least 14 points to win in the closing stages of the game, we pressed hard but only scored one more try when M. Cox grounded the ball after a good back line rush.
2nds, 3 MAY 2003 - OLD COLLEGIANS 20 v SOUTHERN SUBURBS 0By Andre Brummer
This was a hard game from beginning to end. Souths made hard work for us in both rucks and scrums. An opportunistic try by Robbie "Bugger off - this one is mine" Porteous gave the southern onslaught something to think about after charging down a Souths kick (if not how the hell that happened). College followed up soon afterwards with a long range try by Marc Fullager after a successful centre switch. The second half was a scrumming nightmare for Souths as College showed that we can not only win our own ball but push Souths off their own ball too. The good work by a committed forward pack and further good ball handling in the backline rewarded tries to Damian Johnstone and a 2nd to Marc Fullager.
We are on the board with a comprehensive first win of the season. Well done to the 2nd grade! Best on Ground: Rob Porteous.
The Frocs's season has commenced, with Tiana Hume at the helm in the role of team Captain and (cousin) Imogen Hume as Vice (and Forwards) Captain. Their first outing from the year was a scratch match against the combined Port Adelaide/Woodville team on the 27th April, which the Frocs won 27 to nil.
The women's league is still hoping for a fifteen aside competition this year, and both teams turned up with 13 (but played only 11 aside). The scrums were pretty appalling, largely due to the inexperience of the Wortville front row, but every one of the Frocs played an excellent game, with many putting in performances which surpassed anything they achieved last year. Kate Reynolds' spectacular efforts in the Sevens were proved not to be just a fluke - she scored a magnificent try down the wing, helped set up another and made good ground whenever she got the ball, brushing tacklers aside with ease.
Bob's kicking was great and Tara's first game of Rugby saw her stop any attempt the opposition made to break through our centres. Let's hope this trial game heralds a great year for the girls.
... Tregenza Times March 2003
26th April, 1sts vs Port Adelaide
At Port Adelaide
By James Diack
At Port Adelaide Reserve on 26th April, our Firsts showed encouraging form in patches against last season's champions, but lost by 11 points after holding a one-point advantage late in the second half
Port held better territorial advantage than us early in the first half, without dominating proceedings. Although they had strong runners with good ball handling skills, they failed to penetrate our defence successfully on more than one occasion, this being when they shoved a maul over the line and grounded. Earlier, they had kicked a penalty goal. Overall, our defence was solid against forceful opposition. Although our lineout play started falteringly, we improved as the match wore on, although neither side was dominant. The ball came quite well through the scrums, while in mauls and rucks; we showed improvement over the previous game. Ben Hamer, C. DeCarle and Christian Tedge did good things in the forward ranks. In attack, our ball handling and passing was of mixed quality, but we gave Dean Bradley and Juan Aguiar opportunities to produce an infiltrating run each. Then just before half time we came close to scoring tries on two more occasions.
We continued to improve in the second half and did most of the attacking; matching Port's vigorous play. Andy McDougall had another fine game; with one of his runs culminating in a corner try. We had a setback when Port kicked a penalty goal, however we surged onward when Paul McFadden received the ball while he was on the run in a set piece, and charged through the withering Port defence to score an excellent try.
Juan's conversion gave us a one-point lead very late in the match. The Port outside backs took advantage of our slowness in reacting to danger when they spun the ball wide to go over in the corner, and then in a similar move went over again - this time, after passing to the player inside. Two quick tries, and we had lost the match.
26 APRIL 2003 - 2nd grade
By Nick Malone
PORT ADELAIDE 5 v OLD COLLEGIANS 0
It's rare that during one game, every player on a team gets the opportunity to drop the ball, kick possession away or just throw a wild pass that goes to ground - but that's exactly what must've happened for the 2's to lose against Port.
With about 70% of the possession for the game, very strong scrummaging, top work in the line outs, backline moves finding big holes in Port's line and some very promising breaks in play - we weren't able to get on the score board because we dropped the f#^ing ball!
Very strong defense kept the 2nd grade premiers to only one try and OC's were in the game right up to the final whistle. The whole gamed showed that with tighter midfield play, and some refined ball handling the 2's will be a force to be reckoned with. Good work Peter 'Crossy' Cross who was Best on Ground but failed to stick around for his pint (which was well necked by Bernie).
12th April, 1sts vs Onkaparinga, at Tregenza
By James Diack
The Firsts struggled dourly against Onkaparinga at Tregenza on 12th April but were unable to lead at any stage of the match and eventually lost by four points.
Colls held possession in the first few phases, but the Onkas forwards then took control of play, drove ahead strongly in the mauls, giving Colls few chances to regroup and counter the attacks. Onkas half-five eighth pair was nippy and tried to keep the momentum going. Our defence withstood the onslaught well, with some solid tackling and tight field play All of Onkaparinga's scores in the first half came from penalties - two goals and a try after a tap kick taken close to the goal line. We turned the tide late in the term and produced a fine spell of attacking play inside Onkas quarter. Our outside backs got usable possession at this stage and pressed hard.
This trend of play continued early in the second half and, despite windy, wet and greasy conditions we had some good runs. Yet, Onkas increased their lead, when they chased a loose ball down the touchline and grounded it in the corner. Juan Aguiar kicked a goal from a long penalty kick, which made the score 3-16. In general, we continued to play better than Onkas, but gave away possession at vital times just when we looked like scoring tries. Our lineout performance improved this week and the ball came slightly faster from the scrums. Colls scored two tries late in the match. One came after Dean Bradley had a long run and Richard Czeglik beat a couple of tackles to give us the chance to drive a maul over the line and one of our men grounded. Andy McDougall scored the other when he linked into the back line after a scrum-win and had a fast, strong run. We were one point behind now and showed every chance of winning. Another penalty kick, however, put paid to that notion; this time Onkas scored the goal from directly in front of the posts.
Andy McDougall was one of our best players. Onkas gave him plenty of ball catching to do and he showed good handling and running skills. Chris Walker and Paul McFadden contributed solidly in attack and defence. Christian Tedge and Richard Czeglik were among the other good players.
12 APRIL 2003 - 2nd Grade
By Nick Malone
OLD COLLEGIANS 15 v ONKAPARINGA 15
Can't remember shite about this game other than we missed a few tackles on their fast and elusive outside centre and were outpaced by the bugger down the sideline. Nick Weeks crossed the line under the posts for our second try which leveled the score with 10 minutes to go. Unfortunately, our three tries went unconverted, which could have made all the difference. Onkas also missed a penalty goal attempt with about five minutes to go. Missed opportunities cost both sides this game. Best on Ground was Mark Saiosi.
5th April, 1sts vs Brighton, at Brighton
By James Diack
Summer's over; let's go to Brighton on a balmy autumn afternoon and get the rugby competition off to a dream start by thrashing the local side. Promising signs of this happening existed during the first eight minutes of the match played on 5th April, but reality set in for the remainder of the game as Brighton shifted through the gears into cruise mode to crush our Firsts by eight tries to one.
The first try came when Brighton gained possession inside our quarter, worked the ball down field through sequent phase wins and, in the final move, found the extra man out wide. They scored their second by ripping a ragged defence and slipping through wide gaps. A penalty goal put them further ahead before we got our first score, which was a penalty goal, kicked by Juan Aguiar. Brighton passed the ball around quickly, giving themselves plenty of time to set up their next try. Collegians' main means of gaining the ball were from set scrums and turning over possession in tackles. When we were quick enough with our passing and skilful enough to retain the ball at the breakdown, we looked good, and when we've honed our skills we'll be a strong force in the competition.
Juan provided a highlight of the match when he beat defenders then kicked ahead and chased the ball before grounding it for our only try, which he converted. Brighton scored a further five tries in a good team performance that combined speed, good backing up and safe handling. Collegians tried hard, but struggled to gain enough usable possession to drive forward and create chances to force gaps upon which to capitalise. Our efforts in the lineouts gave disappointing results until late in the match. Ben Hamer, Christian Tedge and Dean Bradley were among the best players.
5 APRIL 2003 - 2nd Grade
BRIGHTON 18 v OLD COLLEGIANS 12
By Nick Malone
This was not a very inspiring performance by OC's, with hamstring injuries decimating our backline.
We hauled the score back to 13-12 with about ten minutes to go but some loose tackling by OC's and well recycled ball by Brighton saw them through for the game-clinching try.
Honourable mentions go to Joel 'Mullet' Fudali (for pulling his hammy during the pre-match warm up, even though no one actually saw him warming up...), Matt the winger (who scored a fantastic 80m intercept run-away try in his first ever game of rugby, chased by 3 Brighton players and no OC support - and pulled his hammy) and Graham Raymond (who had to leave the field shortly after the start of the second half with... a sore hamstring. That's his story anyway - rumour has it he just wanted a beer.)
Thanks to the Crocs who filled in for our back line. Best on Ground was Charlie Shepard, but thanks to the Crocs for filling in here too - the pint was well sculled by Boofy!