By Ron Wood
In a game of two
halves at Ocean Park, Woonona on Saturday, Shamrocks have hung onto a share of
third spot on the ladder with a 19 – 17 victory over a strong finishing
Campbelltown outfit. Shamrocks showing all their customary enthusiasm raced to
a 19 – 5 lead at the break with the Quinnies lacking effort in the first
The second half was a
different story with the Quinnies producing a much more vigorous effort holding
the Rocks scoreless as they put on two second half tries. Both s ides scored
three tries in a match that could have gone either way. Another workaholic
defensive effort from the outweighed Shamrocks side saw the Rocks hold on over
the last fifteen minutes of the match to get the all-important four competition
Shamrocks ran with a
strong breeze in the first forty with Fly Half Ben Ridgeway contributing
fourteen of their nineteen points. Ridgeway crossed first after twelve minutes
as he ducked under a poor attempted tackle to score from twenty meters out.
Three minutes later Rocks Captain Damien Clark, playing at No.8, took full advantage
of some clever attacking play from jockey sized center Liam Rountree. Rountree
ran the ball from his own half drawing several defenders before putting Clark
free down the western touchline. Clark scored wide out and with Ridgeway on target
with the conversion the Rocks led 12 - 0 after fifteen minutes.
Minutes later Alex
Sherwin pulled one back for the Quinnies scoring after several phases of strong
forward play in the Rocks quarter. Capping off twelve frantic minutes of
scoring Ridgeway chased through a kick to regain the ball and score and convert
giving the Rocks a 19 – 7 lead after twenty five minutes of play. Both sides
struggled to put any quality attack together as defense became the order of the
day through to the break.
Campbelltown came out
after the break with a different mindset with wingman Onisimoemosi Rokotuinasau
setting the tone of the half with a strong run down the touchline in which he
beat four defenders to score. Giant Quinnies No.8 Laitia Tuitatava began to
dominate with some power running which troubled the Rocks smaller forwards.
Tuitatava’s impact on
the game bore fruit at the midway mark of the half as he powered his way down the
eastern side touchline to score and with the conversion by fullback Robbie
Labalaba the Quinnies found themselves within two of the lead at 17 – 19.
All things suggested
that the Quinnies were going to power away with the game but the fighting
defensive spirit that the Rocks have become renowned for enabled the side to
deny the best the Quinnies could muster in attack as the Rocks got away with
the competition points.
Best for the Rocks
were skipper Clark and hardworking forwards Xavier McDevitt, Dale Sullivan and
Hooker Harry Devine in his 100th game. Halfback Corey Aylett provided
extraordinary service to his outside backs, taking three points in the IDRU
Player of the Year Award. Fly half Ridgeway remained busy throughout with
center Liam Rountree and Fullback Ben Stewart also busy.
For Campbelltown No.
8 Tuitatava was prominent especially in the second term, with Flanker Saisamoa
Laga strong and prop Alex Sherwin toiling all day.
Shamrocks 19 (Damien
Clark 1 try, Ben Ridgeway 2 tries, 2 goals)
Def Campbelltown 17
(Alex Sherwin 1 try, Onisimoemosi Rokotuinasau 1 try, Laitai Tuitatava 1 try,
Robbie Labalaba 1 goal).
Other Match Results
Avondale 45 Def
Shoalhaven 47 Def Bowral
Kiama 42 Def
Tech Waratahs Def
Vikings by Forfeit