Avondale have completed the 2019 season in emphatic fashion
with a completely dominate 41 – 23 Grand Final victory over a gallant Shamrocks
side at WIN Stadium. Despite being on the end of a horrendous penalty count and
having two players spend ten in the Bin in the first half the Wombats powered
to a three try lead at the break. Going on with things after the break putting
on four more tries for a thirty point lead Avondale were never in danger of
defeat at any stage of proceedings.
A gutsy Shamrocks outfit put in an eighty minute effort scoring
three late consolation tries but could not compete with the Avondale power game
up front. The big Avondale forwards provided plenty of go forward for the brilliant
Wombat attacking machine to take full toll on the smaller Rocks outfit.
Wombat’s first try came after just two minutes of play on
the back of a big run from Prop Anthony Amone. Amone charged through the Rocks
line twenty out finding wingman Jesse Leng in support. Leng took play to within
ten of the Rocks line passing back inside for Amone only to see the ball
knocked down by a Shamrocks defender. The ball rolled into the Rocks in goal
with Avondale Lock Kyle Moody winning the race to the ball to score.
On the back of a string of penalties Shamrocks spent a
considerable portion of the next twenty minutes in the Avondale half. Unable to
break the stoic Wombat defensive line The Rocks wisely settled for two penalty
goals to take a 6 – 5 lead after twenty two minutes.
The lead was short lived when on their next visit into
the Rocks half Prop Vaigafa Leota finished off a three phase attack on the
Rocks line when running wide like a center he crossed for the Wombats second
try. Leota missed the conversion as Avondale went back into the lead 10 – 6.
The Wombats played one short for the rest of the half as
first Leota and then hooker Jeromy Cairns found themselves both in the Bin on
the back of continuing penalties. In fact the side was two short for couple of
minutes as both were on the bench at the same time.
On the back of more penalties, Shamrocks had field
position for a lot of the remainder of the half but could not break through the
outstanding Wombat defense. Choosing to
attack rather than take points from penalty goals the Rocks failed to rest the
initiative from a committed Avondale side.
The Tuigamala brothers came to the fore in this period
putting on one raid from a long way out that broke down just short of the Rocks
line. Within minutes of half-time after another strong run from Amone, Allan
Tuigamalla showed all his pace to score wide on the right. Leota missed his
third conversion attempt but the Wombats went to the break 15 – 6 up.
In contrast to the first half it was Avondale who enjoyed
a succession of penalties after the break which they took full advantage of to
establish their supremacy. With prolonged possession the tries came. Putting an
exclamation mark on a fine season Half-Back Andrew Duggan scored from a scrum when
No.8 Tuu Taanoa broke with the ball and went to the blind linking with Duggan
for the Half to score in the corner. Another missed conversion from the widest
point by Allan Tuigamalla left the Wombats 20 – 6 in front.
Lock Kearin Jack got the next five pointer barging over
from close range and then with about fifteen left on the clock Allan Tuigamalla
finished off a lightning raid to score. Tuigamalla converted both the tries as
the Wombats went out to an unassailable 34 – 6 lead.
Shamies earned some field position with a typical gutsy
late effort with Lock Heath Mercer forcing his way over after a series of forward
rushes from the never say die Rocks forwards. Minutes later however Wombats
Kearin Jack scored his second from close range running off the back of a line
out five out. With the try converted by Antonio Ale it was game over at 41 –
Wombat center Nua Alone spent the last minutes of the
match in the bin after a shoulder charge, as the energetic Rocks put on two
late tries. Winger Luke Tonegato chased down a kick from twenty out to score
and the Rocks finished with a penalty try on the bell after the Wombats
collapsed a scrum on their line for the final 41 – 23 score-line.
The seven tries to three score-line was a clear and fair
indication of the Avondale supremacy on the day with the Avondale forwards led
by Anthony Amone up front completely overpowering their smaller but none the
less committed opponents. The Rocks played out the full eighty minutes but were
clearly never in the hunt to take the title from a powerful clinical Avondale attacking
The Geoff Shaw Medal for the Player of the Grand Final
went to Andrew Duggan capping off a fine season from the Half Back. The power
game of the Wombat Forwards laid the foundation for the win allowing the side
to mount their best attacking form entertaining the strong WIN Stadium crowd. Along
with Amone Wombats were well served up front by Vaigafa Leota, Locks Moody and
Jack, Flanker Michael Malaki and the ever dangerous No.8 Tuu Taanoa. The
freakishly talented Allan Tuigamalla proved a constant threat throughout the
match working closely with brother Silipa at Fly-Half. Centers Andre Itula and
Nua Alone caused the Rocks defense much angst providing many opportunities for
the players around them throughout.
Shamrocks can hold their heads high in their 50th
Anniversary year. Their Grand Final effort was full of merit as they put in a
full eighty minute performance but were overwhelmed by a more powerful on song
Avondale side. Prop Jesse Roche was inspirational up front in trying circumstances
with Lock Mercer and center Dale Sullivan showing a strong preparedness to take
on their opponents all day. An amazing run to the Grand Final in their
Anniversary year will be proudly recalled in the years ahead and their effort on the
big day much appreciated by their faithful supporters.
Jack 2 tries, Kyle Moody 1 try, Vaigafa Leota 1 try, Andrew Duggan 1 try, Allan
Tuigamala 2 tries, 2 goals, Antonio Ale 1 goal)
Shamrocks 23 (Heath Mercer 1 try, Luke Tonegato 1 try,
Thomas McDevitt 2 penalty goals, 1 penalty try)
Geoff Shaw Medal Player
of the Grand Final Andrew Duggan -
Lower Grade Results
Shamrocks 33 (Tod McCole 2 tries, Kalem Smith 1 try, 1
penalty try, Ryan Schoupp 1 goal, 2 penalty goals, 1 field goal)
Def Bowral 20 (Mark Minter 1 try, Hunter Schrader-Wright
1 try, Mitch Wellman 1 try, 1 goal, Alex Debbs 1 penalty goal)
Player of The Grand Final Ryan
Vikings 28 (Mathew James 2 tries, Michael Henry 1 try,
Mark Curtis 1 try, Michael Maidment 1 goal, 2 penalty goals)
Def Vincentia 21 (Cameron Dagger 1 try, Ava Raboitoga 1
try, Corey Wydell 1 try, Nathanial Hampton-Olive 3 goals)
Player of The Grand Final
Jared Constable Vikings