Following the convincing defeat of Paul’s in the previous week, Drew’s went into this game tipped as the favourites. Despite this recognition from supporters, we knew that ‘second game syndrome’ was a rampant condition in Rawson, and a huge difference existed between a mindset of cockiness and confidence. As such, the Drew’s 15 ran onto the field prepared for an ambush.
While these preparations were made for a thrilling beginning of the game, the reality was that both sides took a while to warm into it, numerous errors meaning the first 10 minutes developed into a stop start affair. Drew’s were plagued by ill-discipline, an aspect much talked about before the game which disappointingly was not improved after it nearly tipped us the wrong way against Paul’s. John’s had a chance to grab an early lead but failed to convert multiple penalty goal attempts before Stu Goodman was sent to the bin at the 25 minute mark for a late tackle.
Before the binning of Goodman however, Drew’s were able to build pressure and phases in the John’s half, reaching at times a stalemate as the John’s defence held strong – an element of their game which was commendable for the full 80. This phase play around the park and dominance at the set piece by the Drew’s forwards allowed Daniel Potts to set the blue and white crowd alight as he dived over in the corner closest to the Arena Sports Centre after a 30 metre run. Consequently, after John’s finally managed to put one through the uprights and Drew’s had grabbed a couple more, (one try coming from a pushover scrum with 7 men) it was 17-3 at the turnaround.
Again the message at the break to the Drew’s squad was to pick areas of the game to target, specifically focussing more on developing an offensive defensive movement rather than attacking the breakdown where more penalties were likely to be conceded. This improved, and while John’s scored a well taken try after consecutive phases in our 22, the penalty count was more balanced in our favour.
Therefore through another solid game by pivot Cameron Mason, and an outstanding forward effort at the set piece, Drew’s were able to cash in on some momentum gained throughout the second half. Freshers Chris O’Donnell and Ed L’Estrange stepped up in their debuts to deliver awesome performances at halfback while the fResher hooker come goal kicker Tommy Wilson got the radar working in between some barging runs into the opposition backline.
Altogether another solid win by the Drew’s machine (45-13), putting us in a good stead for the final against Wesley. The final is a game where the team is aiming to play its best footy of the campaign, rugby that is exciting and uses every ounce of talent available – some of which is yet to be fully unleashed upon the opposition. It would be great to get as much support as possible down for this one, as it should be a great spectacle for students, parents and alumni.
The final will be played at 7.30pm on Wednesday 5th June on Sydney University No. 1 Oval. We encourage everyone to come along and support Andrew’s!