Fourteen Straight For Avondale

MatchReportFor the second consecutive week Avondale have cast aside the challenge of a top three side with a 33 – 13 victory over Bowral at Gerry Cappetta Oval. In posting their fourteenth straight win of their unbeaten season, the Wombats now hold a commanding fourteen point lead at the top of the table with four matches to play.

The early stages of a keenly contested first forty minutes of the Round 14 match was played at pace with Bowral having the better of the first twenty minutes of play. With the benefit of six straight penalties the Blacks were able to dominate possession and field position but found it impossible to break through what is proving to be the competitions best defensive structure. A penalty goal to fly half Lachlin Huntington was all Bowral had to show for virtually twenty minutes camped in the Wombat half on the back of strong play from their forwards led by front rowers Todd Pearce, Mark Minter and Manu Feilo’ivao.

In the twenty first minute of the match impressive Wombat Silipa Tuigamala, playing in the centres this week, scored the first of his three tries for the day. With the Wombats putting on a well worked backline play after a scrum just in their own half, blind side winger Blake Spencer took an inside pass from Andre Itula and broke through the Bowral line. He found Tuigamala in support and sent the centre away on a forty metre run to the line. Tuigamala converted the try for an Avondale 7 – 3 lead.

Tuigamala’s second try was a long range effort as well with both the Wombat wingers combining to put the goal kicker away. The younger of the Tuigamala brothers, Mani, playing on the right wing joined the Wombat backline in another set play and burst through from sixty out before finding Spencer in support again down the left. Spencer drew the defence and took a heavy knock as he set Silipa Tuigamala on his way to the line for try number two, which Tuigamala converted for a 14 – 3 lead.

With the Wombat forwards starting to take control of the match with big runs from Shane Makea, Ilai Taufa and Steven Fuka, hooker Makea crossed for try number three when cleverly set up by Man of the Match Fly Half Antonio Ale. With three minutes left in the half Avondale now led 19 – 3 and were in total control. Bowral Fly Half Huntington added a penalty goal as the break arrived for the halftime score of 19 – 6.

Both sides struggled to match their first half effort during the second term as the size advantage enjoyed by the home side took its toll on the smaller but enthusiastic Bowral side. Tuigamala crossed for his third try after four minutes of play when he ran off the inside shoulder of fly half Ale changing the direction of the attack. In another strong run he bumped off several defenders to score and convert the try to take the lead out to 26 – 6.

In what must be of concern to Avondale coach Murray McDonald, the Wombats conceded five consecutive penalties as their discipline deserted them. Despite once again being able to dominate possession and field position for a period, the Blacks were unable to break through the Wombat defence and mount a challenge for the result. Replacement forward Jiah McKinnirey added a late try with five minutes remaining in the match and with the try converted by Mani Tuigamala, Avondale were out by 33 – 6. Bowral flyer Henry Yuill showed all his speed and evasive skills when he put on a last minute converted try from halfway to bring up the final score.

Wombat Antonio Ale took maximum points in the Player of the year with hooker Shane Makea and big No. 8 Steve Fuka also prominent along with three try hero Silipa Tuigamala. For Bowral, front rowers Todd Pearce, Manu Feilo’ivao and Mark Minter all toiled hard and centres Justin Madden and Feterika Sage had a day long battle with their opposite numbers.

There was a high standard of play throughout the first half today but inexplicably the form of both sides fell away in the second term. Bowral retains third spot on the ladder despite todays’ result but after three weeks in which they have conceded 116 points, Coach Gene Fairbanks will be working to improve his side’s concentration in defence with the finals just five weeks away now. Likewise Coach McDonald will be looking for better discipline from his side leading into the big end of season games.

Avondale 33 (Shane Makea 1 try, Jiah McKinnirey 1 try, Silipa Tuigamala 3 tries, 3 goals, Mani Tuigamala 1 goal)

Def Bowral 13 (Henry Yuill 1 try, Lachlin Huntington 1 goal, 2 penalty goals)

Other Match Results

Shoalhaven 52 Def Camden 0

Campbelltown 27 Drew with Vikings 27

University 27 Def Shamrocks 6

Tech Waratahs 54 Def Kiama 23

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