Late Lee Martin Goal Secures Tech Waratahs Win

A last minute Penalty Goal by veteran Fly-Half Lee Martin, has earned Tech Waratahs their third straight win to complete the Peter Woods Challenge Shield. In a close fought match played in difficult windy conditions each side scored five tries with the Martin goal snatching the hosts a narrow 30 – 29 victory.

Tech Waratahs dealt with the strong westerly wind the best early taking a 17 – 5 lead into the break before Vikings built pressure in the second half, taking the lead with just eight on the clock. Despite conceding four tries to two in the second half and playing one short for most of the half Tech Waratahs were rewarded with a courageous win which saw Vikings drop from third to fifth on the Points Table.

Led strongly up front early by Prop Ratu Apolosi Kuitakeivuravura, the Tech forwards outmuscled a mistake ridden Vikings pack creating opportunities for their outstanding attacking duo of Center Misieli Sinoti and Fullback Aisake Tuevu.

Sinoti scored after just two minutes play from a scintillating fifty meter run which left several defenders in his wake. Ten minutes later with the Tech forwards dominating proceedings Tuevu made a strong run down the left before positioning winger Tonga Tongotongo to score in the corner. With one conversion from Martin Tech led 12 – 0 after eleven minutes.

Vikings struggled throughout the first half to advance past the advantage line as the Tech forwards took control of the middle of the field. Eventually after being able to string together a period of sustained possession Center Chris Ravarua took full advantage of several phases of play at the Tech line to post Vikings only score of the half.

Tuevu did all the work in the lead-up to his sides third try drawing defenders in a speedy run for winger Iminoni Batimala to score in the corner to Post a 17 – 5 halftime lead for the Hosts.

The second term took a bit of a different complexion with Vikings finding some form after an indifferent mistake ridden performance thus far. With a high penalty count in the first half against both sides, Referee Ethan McIntosh went to his pocket a couple of minutes in and sent Tech Prop Kuitakeivuravura to the bin. Vikings put on a tap play from the penalty which saw Lulia Lulia score in the corner to reduce the Tech lead to seven.

Five minutes later with the contest becoming very willing Vikings center Ravarua joined Kuitakeivuravura in the bin evening the sides up. On the back of some more forward dominance from the Tahs, Fly-Half Martin turned back the clock producing a powerful run bumping off several defenders to score in a twenty meter run to the line. No.8 Mick Bruton missed the conversion for Tech to lead 22 – 10 after fifty five minutes.

Ten minutes later disaster struck for the home side when after a succession of penalties to Vikings, Tech Prop Kuitakeivuravura was shown his second Yellow Card which resulted in a red and the big Prop was finished for the afternoon.

The send-off sparked a renewed effort from Vikings with big Front Rower Joel Diggins barging over to score a converted try from the tap kick restart. Within minutes Vikings were in again when the ever busy No.9 Tom Sawden toed a loose ball through outsprinting everyone to the ball in the in goal for the try which evened things up at 22 - 22.

With the heavy workload beginning to take effect on the tiring Tech forwards and Vikings finding consistency in their play things appeared to be swinging the Blueys way. Out of nothing Tech Tahs Cockatoo rep fullback Aisake Tuevu produced a scintillating run down the left flank to score and put the Tahs back in the lead at 27 – 22.

Vikings were now getting the better of the forward exchanges but desperate defense enabled the Tahs to cling to the lead. After a run of penalties and several strong forward phases at the Tech line, Vikings replacement Kiniora Kavana scored from close range to equal the scores. Sawden converted the try for Vikings to lead for the first time in the match at 29 – 27 with less than eight to go.

Martin’s Penalty Goal came with a minute left on the clock after Tech had spent a considerable period in the Vikings quarter unable to break through.From the restart Vikings almost snatched the lead back when Fly-Half Nick Lupian just failed to score. Lupian chased his own kick through into the Tech in goal just failing to touchdown as the ball went dead. All in all the one point margin to Tech was a just result in the local derby.

Vikings coach Phill Green will be disappointed in his side’s first half clumsy effort but can take some comfort from the sides resurgence in the second half. Forwards Jack Hobbs, Mathew Handcock and William Rakua worked well with Halfback Tom Sawden and centers Chris Ravarua and Lulia Lulia contributing.

Tech Tahs finished this year’s shortened Tournament with three wins on the trot with the sides conditioning improving noticeably towards the end of their campaign. Coach Tim Olsen has plenty to work with for next year on the back of a strong performance from his forward pack in this match and must be happy with the attacking talent available to him in his backline. Untill his send-off Prop Ratu Apolosi Kuitakeivuravura was a significant factor in this match. He was very strongly supported by Taniela Tuipulotu, Bryn Edwards, Mick Bruton and Thomas Ciot. The experience of Lee Martin at Fly-half gave plenty of opportunity for outstanding attacking players in Misieli Sinoti, Aisake Tuevu along with strong games from Tonga Tongotongo and Iminoni Batimala.

Tech Waratahs 30 (Misieli Sinoti 1 try, Tonga Tongotongo 1 try, Iminoni Batimala 1 try, Aisake Tuevu 1 try, Lee Martin 1 try, 1 goal, 1 penalty goal)

Def Vikings 29 (Chris Ravarua 1 try, Lulia Lulia 1 try, Joel Diggins 1 try, Kimiora Kavana 1 try, Tom Sawden 1 try, 2 goals)

Other Match Results

Shamrocks 43 Def Campbelltown 7

Shoalhaven 27 Def Kiama 10

Avondale 40 Def Camden 12