Wombats Overwhelm Depleted Vikings

MatchReportDefending Premiers Avondale has leapfrogged Vikings into the top four of the IDRU Builders Club Premiership with a grueling 36 – 11win at Vikings Oval. Vikings competed strongly in the first half going to the break just one point down at 6 – 7 but couldn’t stay with the Premiers after the time-out. The Wombats found their expansive attacking game in the second stanza to run in five tries to the Bluey’s one.

Vikings jumped out of the blocks at the start and with a very energetic game plan managed to dominate possession not allowing the Wombats to build any attacking momentum. With most of the play taking place in the Avondale half of the field for the first five minutes Blue Half-Back Tom Sawden opened the scoring with a penalty goal.

Depriving the Wombats of the ball and slowing the pace of the game to their advantage Vikings continued to curb Avondale’s attacking opportunities until Wombat winger Jesse Leng scored a try against the run of play. Leng showed blistering pace down the beach side touchline to score in the far corner. Silipa Tuigamala’s conversion from the widest angle gave Avondale the lead at 7 – 3 after nineteen minutes.

With their representative backrowers Dane Nethery, Jack Hobbs and Cody Roman along with Fullback Jason Reid prominent, Vikings continued to frustrate Avondale’s usual free flowing style. Avondale’s new Country Lock Taiti-Taanoa Tuumuliileuao and No.8 Gus Faleauto produced several opportunities for their side with strong runs but the swarming Vikings defense held strong through to the break. Sawden added another penalty goal just before the break as Avondale went to oranges one point up.

The second half started disastrously for the Blueys when they knocked on from the kick off and things just went downhill from there as the Wombat attacking machine clicked into gear. Young Country Colts representative Mani Tuigamala finished off the very first Wombat raid to score in the left corner. Minutes later The Tuigamala brothers combined down the left again after fullback Jacob Kara sent Mani away on the halfway line. Mani sprinted down the line to within ten of the Blueys line before finding brother Silipa in support who crossed for the five pointer. Silipa missed both conversion attempts from wide out but the Wombats now led 17 – 6 after nine minutes of the half.

Wombats were reduced to fourteen players when Tuumuliileuao awkwardly ended up with a handful of Tom Sawden’s long flowing hair, stopping the halfback in his tracks. Referee John Maughan marched the apologetic Lock for ten in the bin. In his absence the match continued at break neck pace with two tries coming during his stint in the bin.

One of the Wombat’s best on the day Fly-Half Antonio Ale who lit up his backline throughout the half, took an intercept inside his own half and raced away to score without a hand being laid on him. Tuigamala converted for a commanding 24 – 6 lead after sixty minutes of play.

The next few minutes belonged to Vikings in what were their brightest moments in an otherwise disappointing forty minutes. Rangy Lock Cody Roman stole the ball from the hands of the Wombats from the restart after Ale’s try, and then finished off a strong forward drive from the Blue forwards to score under the posts. Sawden missed the conversion from in front to sum up Vikings unhappy second half.

Avondale ran in two more tries in a spirited finish as replacement winger Blake Spencer scored on the left before Jesse Leng added his second try for the day on the right.

Avondale’s performance today was right up there with some of their best form from last year. Fly-Half Antonio Ale was impressive with Tuumuliileuao leading the charge up front until his binning. No.8 Gus Faleauto and Flanker Davidson Muliaga were also prominent in attack and defense. Silipa Tuigamala, Jacob Kara and Andre Itula were as always a constant threat in the backs.

Dane Nethery put in another whole hearted display for Vikings carrying on from his outstanding form of last week in Warren for Illawarra. Back rowers Cody Roman, Jack Hobbs and Tom Claridge were busy all afternoon. Fullback Jason Reid had some outstanding involvement throughout the match both in attack and defense. Vikings will be keen for the return of several unavailable first graders in the coming weeks if they are to match last season’s form.  

Avondale 36 (Jesse Leng 2 tries, Mani Tuigamala 1 try, Antonio Ale 1 try, Blake Spencer 1 try, Silipa Tuigamala 1 try, 3 goals)

Def Vikings 11 (Cody Roman 1 try, Tom Sawden 2 penalty goals)

Other Match Results

Tech Waratahs 36 Def Camden 10

Campbelltown 45 Def Bowral 42

University 62 Def Kiama 15

Shamrocks 43 Def Shoalhaven 27

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