Eagles defeat Owls on frosty Thursday at The Nest
A cold night at The Nest for Thursday night rugby saw two of the best sides in the John I Dent Cup battle for 2nd place on the ladder. It was an electric atmosphere with Eagles juniors and seniors flocking in after training.
Bring on more weeknight footy we say!
The Eagles knew what they had to do to move up to 2nd on the ladder, take down the Owls and get a bonus point in the process and that’s exactly what they did, winning 29-10.
The win means that the Eagles keep the Bob Hitchcock Territory Shield, with two home games remaining (Queanbeyan and Tuggeranong). The move to 2nd spot comes after beating the top 3 sides on the ladder (Vikings, Wests and Owls) in consecutive weeks, which is a positive sign with four rounds until finals.
The Eagles welcomed new faces Kylan Edwards (replacing Jamie Marrazol Kotz) and Kristian Jensen into the side for the first time this year in a pivotal clash that would shape up the finals positioning.
It was a slow start with a lot of errors made on both sides as the teams were adjusting to the cold and breezy conditions.
Our centres combined as Haddad placed a perfect kick from halfway, which landed inside the Owls 22m and sat up perfectly for Toole. Just four passes in some sublime ball movement led to Tamati Ioane scoring the opening try in the right corner.
The Owls hit back just a few minutes later, and they too couldn’t;t convert in the windy conditions and the game was locked at 5-5 for the next 10 minutes.
The Eagles fed a scrum in our own half, where Tamati Ioane carried from the back and offloaded to Toole with some room to showcase his scintillating speed, he then found another speed demon in Isaac Crowe for a brilliant Eagles try. It was truly something out of nothing thanks to some great team play and individual brilliance. Haddad converted, 12-5 Eagles.
The next 15 minutes saw plenty of defence for the Eagles, and the Owls’ sustained pressure on the Eagles goal line led to a cross-field kick, gather and try for the visitors.
They say a kick is only as good as its chase. Fines-Leleiwasa place a kick that rolled over the sideline just 5m out from the Owls defensive try line. The Owls Fullback took a quick throw, but the chase of Pete Samu and Connor Jones was too much, with a tackle and pilfer resulting in an Eagles penalty.
Their efforts led to a powerful scrum which allowed Finesy to put Sammy Hyland in for a try. The main break came and the Eagles went into the sheds leading 17-10.
The next Eagles try saw two of the most unlikely suspects turn it on, as tall-boys Levi Shaw and Dom Taveo combined to break through a gap in the Owls defence.
Sam Hyland was able to capitalise on another great opportunity to go over for his second of the game after some great team play from the Eagles.
A big moment for the club as young Canberra product, and NSW Waratahs A captain, Kristian Jensen made his Eagles 1st Grade debut when he replaced Kylan Edwards who had been excellent on the wing.
The Eagles defended for 80% of the second half and created opportunities to score off our defence, this was particularly special as usually with the amount of possession the Owls had, they would be able to score but our boys didn’t allow any points from Owls in the second half.
With the bonus point just one try away, it was debutant Kristian Jensen who took an intercept and ran all the way under the posts for a five-pointer.
Haddad added the extras with ease to put the icing on the cake of a very big win by the Eagles, 29-10 the final score from the Nest.
Our next match is on the 24th of July at The Nest against the Queanbeyan Whites who are running hot, trying to get themselves a place in the finals picture.
This weekend also marks two amazing milestones for the club; Tia Baxter becomes the first Eagles female player to notch up 50-games for the senior club, and Luke WIld becomes the 29th Eagle to play 200 games.
The Craig Morton Medal will be presented for the best on ground and the celebration of 2nd grade reunions of 1981 and 1991 as well as our 3rd grade reunion of 1991.
There will also be a jersey presentation for 1st grade and a massive Heritage Round Function at the Cornerstone Pub in Gungahlin post-match.
Be sure to get down to The Nest in what is the biggest day for the club this season as we celebrate our club’s past history in Heritage Round and Old Boys Day.
Click the below video to watch the 9-minute highlights package of our win over the Owls