Never Looked Back: Eagles continue their winning ways after a dominant first half
After a frustrating wait for rugby after rain wreaked havoc on the competition, the Eagles took to the field at Phillip Oval and returned to their winning ways, handling their business by taking down Royals, 41-17.
The win edges us closer to Vikings for the top spot on the ladder after they were beaten by Wests on the weekend.
Some great runs up the middle combined with scintillating speed at the breakdown allowed Issak Fines-Leleiwasa to put Levi Shaw through a hole in the Royals goal-line defence.
Tom Haddad added the extras as the Eagles jumped out to an early 7-0 lead.
Both teams struggled to score points early because strong defence from both sides led to a lot of errors and penalties.
The Eagles took the ball in good field position thanks to a great run from Finesy, he then followed up with an incredible high-arching pass onto the chest of Dom Tevao who scored just inside the right corner.
Haddad added two more to the tally to put us further in front, the score read 14-0 Eagles.
Royals had really good opportunities to score points in the first half but our boys were fantastic defensively, particularly on the try line to keep them out.
A strong rolling maul from Royals allowed them to break down our defensive line and they snuck in for a try, but they couldn’t convert.
A picture-perfect kick-off from Isaac Crowe allowed Haddad to show off his incredible athletic ability to gain possession, this was then followed by some silky smooth footwork from Brendon Taueki as he fended off a defender and went over. 19-5.
A strong scrum from our forwards gave us a huge penalty in our own 22 and then a barnstorming run from Tamati Ioane up the middle gave Haddad an opportunity to run and offload to Finesy who found Taueks for an incredible team try. 24-5.
The scoring flurry continued just before the main break as a strong rolling maul of our own saw the ball come out to Jamie Mazzarol-Kotz who side-stepped his way in for another meat pie.
A change of the kicking duties saw Taueki slot through another two as we went into the main break with a commanding 31-5 advantage.
The second half started with strong scrum from our forwards followed by some slick skills and ball movement from our backs. Kotzy did what he does best – breaking a few tackles and bustling his way over for another try. 36-5.
Some strong resistance defensively from our boys but time in possession for Royals won out and they managed to get over and an extra two points, dropping our lead back to 36-12.
Some penalties and a yellow card against us (Tevao) allowed Royals to remain on the attack but again our defence stood tall and prevented them from scoring back-to-back tries.
We were able to capitalise on a penalty from Royals through strong line breaks from Kalaveti Kunatuba, Tamati Iaone, and Tauati Chan Tung which paved the way for some good ball movement as the ball came out to Toole who finished in the left corner. 41-12.
A late consolation try to Royals with a missed conversion on the full-time siren saw the Eagles run out 41-17 winners and continue their charge for top spot on the ladder.
We take on Owls next week at ANU North followed by Vikings at The Nest for Heritage and Old Boys Round, both matchups are huge if we want to finish top of the ladder and ensure we have the best chance heading into the business end of the season.
Get down and support the Eagles as they start their run into finals at ANU North Oval!
On a separate note, the Gungahlin Eagles are calling for expressions of interest for the following club coaching positions in 2022:
- Head Coach & Premier 1st Grade Coach
- Premier 2nd Grade Coach
- Premier Colts Coach
- Rugby 7s Coach
Everything you need to know: http://www.gungahlineagles.com.au/featured/2022-coaches-eoi/
Written by Josh Dunstall
Photos by Jayzie Photography