Bowral Outsmart Premiers

MatchReportThe Bowral Blacks have closed the gap at the top of the IDRU Builders Club Premiership ladder with a clinical and disciplined 20 – 12 victory over Avondale at Eridge Park. With Vikings winning against University the Blueys and Blacks are now just four points adrift of the reigning Premiers after 12 Rounds. With today’s Round 11 match Results University retains fourth, while Shamrocks leapfrog Shoalhaven into equal fifth spot six points back.

At Eridge Park, Bowral played a strong tactical game to blot out the Wombats attacking potential and after scoring the first three tries of the match, took a strong grip on the match when leading 20 – 0 shortly after the break. The Blacks denied Avondale any chance of producing their best attacking game by employing a very effective fast moving compressed line of defense stifling the Wombats usual free flowing style of play.

Bowral got away to the perfect start scoring their first try after less than one minute of play. From a Bowral kick off Wombat Fly-Half Silipa Tuigamala immediately returned the ball up field using the strong tail wind. Blacks Fullback Ryan Hutchings-Knight fielded the ball on halfway and ripped through the Wombat defenders in a forty meter run setting up No. 8 Tim Lewis for the try in the left corner for an early 5 – 0 lead.

In a gripping first forty minutes the Blacks defensive structure repelled all that the Wombats attack could throw at them. The Avondale scrum dominated at the set piece but the Bowral forwards competed strongly at the breakdown with No.8 Tim Lewis leading the way winning several turn overs. The contest in the backs was equally as absorbing with both center pairing competing strongly trying to get the better of their opponents throughout.

With seven minutes left to the break, Bowral Halfback and Captain Tim Small started a play from a scrum deep in his own half. Going to the blindside Small took the ball down the right and kicked ahead for his winger Thomas Mooney. The wingman got the perfect bounce some forty meters out from the Wombat line and took on several defenders in a powerful run down the touch line to score his sides’ second try. Fly Half Lachlan Huntington couldn’t convert the try into the wind but added a penalty goal three minutes later and Bowral took a 13 – 0 lead to the interval.

Bowral had another dream start to the second stanza when Mooney got his second five pointer ten minutes in. Huntington created the play with a quick dart at the Wombat defensive line drawing plenty of attention before producing a sweet pass to Mooney who once again powered away in a forty meter run to the line. Huntington converted and Bowral were out to a strong 20 – 0 lead.

Things went a bit sour for the Blacks four minutes later when they lost their inspirational front rower Todd Pearce to a Blue Card after a head knock left him nursing a tender jaw. The Blacks lost their way for a period without Pearce’s leadership in tight and the Wombats lifted. Two tries came for the Premiers as the Wombats camped in the Bowral half for the next ten minutes. With Country Player of the Year Tuu Taiti-Taanoa leading the way up front the Avondale attacking flair returned. Avondale opted for a scrum after they were awarded a penalty twenty from the Blacks line. Tuigamala worked one of the Wombats backline plays which saw Skipper Andre Itula career away to score their opening try. Tuigamala converted for a score-line of 20 – 7.

Within minutes Avondale were on the attack again deep in the Bowral quarter. After a quick tap penalty close to the Bowral line Flanker Davidson Muliaga was pulled down cm’s short. From the ensuing ruck the ball went quickly to the left where Hooker Jeremy Cairns was lurking and the youngster crossed for his side’s second try. The try went unconverted and the Wombats still trailed by eight with just on twenty left on the clock.

The experienced Mitch Hardy joined the match for the host side and helped to bring back some composure to his side with Bowral getting back to their game plan, once again frustrating the Avondale attack through to the final minutes of the match. With Bowrals defensive effort nullifying the Avondale attacking game it was Bowral who dominated the closing stages of the match holding on for a very well deserved eight point victory.   

Prop Forwards Pearce and Clancy Donan were strong up front for Bowral with back rowers Max Jenkins, Jack Parsons and No.8 Tim Lewis all getting through a mountain of work. Center Sebastian Sell was outstanding in both attack and defense up against the strong Avondale center pairing. Fullback Hutchings-Knight, Tim Small and IDRU Player of the Year major points recipient Lachlan Huntington were standouts.

For Avondale Anthony Amone produced many strong charges throughout with Taiti-Taanoa, Gus Faleaato and Kieran Jack busy. Although overshadowed on the day by their opponents Tuigamala, Itula and his center partner Nua Alone were solid.

Bowral 20 (Thomas Mooney 2 tries, Tim Lewis 1 try, Lachlan Huntington 1 goal, 1 penalty goal)

Def Avondale 12 (Andre Itula 1 try, Jeromy Cairns 1 try, Silipa Tuigamala 1 goal)

Other Match Results

Campbelltown 29 Def Kiama 12

Tech Waratahs 27 Def Shoalhaven 14

Vikings 14 Def University 10

Shamrocks 49 Def Camden 12

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