KOBs had a lean week against Oatley away, with only 3rd grade getting up. There were still plenty of positives though, and the signs are good for this Saturday’s Back to White Day.
The day started with Colts, who were amped to beat Oatley in a double points game. It was a tight first half but Oatley took the upper hand early in the second period after KOBs had had much of the ball. We fought back with a try to Wol but Oats hit back quickly again to put the game out of reach. The final score was 26-10 and Colties will have plenty to work on before they face comp frontrunners St Ives this weekend. I thought Sam Renzag was a standout, as was Wol, Kyle, Josh Andrews and Carter.
As soon as the colties final whistle was blown, you could feel the ripple of anticipation go around the grounds. The junior leaguies stopped playing, the BBQs were turned to low and you could hear people rustling through bags looking for cameras or phones. This could only mean one thing- 4th grade were about to take the field. Once the screaming and cheering died down and the smoke from the fireworks cleared, the game kicked off, and as usual it was an absolute cracker. The score stood at 0-0 for the bulk of the match, with both sides having opportunities to score points. In the end it was Oatley who broke the deadlock sadly, scoring a try with just minutes to go. The final score would be 7-0, disappointing but still a good effort for a team who had not trained or played for three weeks facing off against an Oatley side that was stacked with talent (if you know what I mean). Hoskins, Haydon, Dellow, Stokes, Meggison, Whittington and OC were all standouts.
After the game the field was invaded by spectators and autograph hunters, as always. Chests were signed, pictures were taken, marriage proposals were refused. This concluded after an hour or so and Third Grade were allowed to take the field. Obviously inspired by the actions of 4th grade they started like a house on fire, with crisp execution and brutal physicality. MacVicar bagged a couple of tries in the first half and we went to the break 13-0 up and looking comfortable. With just ten minutes left in the second half it looked like we had the chocolates, but then we switched off briefly and Oatley pounced. First they scored a try from 60m to make it 13-7, and then they crossed again soonafter to make it 13-12 with a conversion from next to the goalposts. Surely the kicker couldn’t miss. But thankfully he choked like Gus Rutherford on a big Friday night and a few hairy minutes later we had taken the game. Derek, Ravin, Dave, Zach, MacVicar, Mark and new Canadian recruit Ryan all had good games.
Seconds started well and held the good Oatley side at bay for most of the first half. We were pretty undermanned, with most players already playing a game or two that day. Try as we might we couldn’t hold Oats out forever, and in the end they ran in a number of tries to take the game 40-3. It was still a gutsy effort from our guys, with Sam Renzag having yet another cracker, with Kyle, Coatesy and Nunez all catching my attention as well.
Then came firsts, who would be pushing s#!t uphill to compete with an Oatley side who were a clear second on the table behind Blacktown Balmain. Sure enough Oatley started quickly, racking up a couple of early tries and putting us behind the 8-ball. We hit back with a try to Jordan ‘Lachie Piggott’ Phelan before the break, but we were still down 24-5. I left the game at this point, and so I asked President and captain Toby Buchanan for his take on the second half:
“We battled valiantly in the second half but just couldn’t hold out Oatley who scored a few more tries to run away with it. And frankly the result would have been bloody ugly if I wasn’t out there. A conservative estimate would suggest I made at least 60 tackles, most of them dominant. Standard. Took a few hitups as well, but shared the load around a bit because I want to save myself for next week on the White. At the end of the game the Oatley boys made a tunnel just for me (although I don’t think the rest of the boys realised this, as they walked through behind me like it was some kind of team thing- haha tell em they’re dreaming!). From memory the 3-2-1 went like this: 3 points to me (I think the team sheet comes with that pre-done anyway, just saves time I suppose), 2 points to some passenger, and 1 point to some other passenger.”
Thanks for that Tobes. In the first half I was also impressed with the work of Lagudi, Wol, Carter and new recruit Luke Warwick-Smith.
A special mention must also go to club legend Whitto, who played three games on Saturday, finishing it off with a solid performance in 1s that included taking a tight-head off the big Oatley pack (adding weight to the opininon that the 4th grade pack would eat most 1st grade packs for breakfast, including our own). Rumour has it he also fronted up in one of the junior league games before Colts kicked off, which wouldn’t at all surprise me. The man is a collosus. If Brad Thorn, Maximus Decimus Meridius and Black Caviar had a baby, it would probably die at birth. But if it somehow managed to survive, it would grow up thoroughly depressed as it would know in it’s heart of hearts it could only ever be second best. It would be in the shadow of Whittington. We all are.
This weekend we have St Ives on the hallowed turf of White Oval. This is our annual gala day and promises to be huge. Tell your friends, tell your family. Details are on this very website or the facebook page. Get excited.
On a serious note this is the club’s most important day and thus we will need all hands on deck to help. This means staying for an hour or two after your game if you are in Colts, 4s or 3s, or coming a few hours before your game if you are in 2s and 1s. We need everyone to commit to helping out for at least half an hour in some capacity- running the BBQ, behind the bar, running touch or water, selling raffle tickets. There will be a bus going back to the Nags after- make sure you are on it.
Finally make sure you get to training on Thursday. We suffered badly on Saturday due to a lack of training and match fitness. If Wenty Park is washed out we will go for a run or do something else.
Get amongst it.