New-look Eagles complete a Blackout at Jamison Oval
With 4th, 3rd, Colts and 2nd Grades all coming up winners, the Eagles 1st Grade side (with three new-starters, and six positions with a different player than the week prior) had the weight of the club on their shoulders.
The Eagles defeated Wests 45-31 at Jamison Oval in what was a back-and-forth affair.
Taueki, Crowe and Marrazol-Kotz starred in the victory, but it was a combined team effort that gave the Eagles a 14-point victory on the road.
Taueki started the party when he put Crowe through a hole in the Wests defence before the ball found its way to Mazzarol-Kotz who went over in the corner.
With Caputo signing in Italy and not with the Eagles anymore, Taueki took over the kicking duties and kicked 100% for the day (6 conversions, 1 penalty).
Wests responded with a try of their own, despite a lengthy defensive effort on our own try line. The scores were 7-7 early on.
Our second try came again from more Isaac Crowe brilliance, breaking through and passing to Rous who went in under the posts for his first 1st Grade try. 14-10.
The speed and line braking ability of the Eagles was on full display off the very next kick off as starting debutant Tully Keegan took the ball and carried for 30-metres. He found Sam Hyland who ran across field to find his other winger, Mazzarol-Kotz who forced himself into the corner for his second. 21-10.
Wests scored under the posts at the back-end of the first half to keep the game close. However, we took the lead into half time, 21-17.
Wests struck first after the break to give them their first lead of the match, however, Taueki slotted a penalty goal to even the score up at 24 after an Eagles penalty.
We started to take control of the game from this point on and left Wests in the rear-view mirror through awesome carries from our forwards and speed and skills from the backs.
A series of carries past the advantage line, followed by some short, sharp passing led to Taueki going over for another Eagles try.
Tauekiand Marrazol-Kotz couldn’t be stopped. Taueki broke free before some fancy footwork allowed him to score his hat-trick in the corner. 38-24.
Kalaveti Kunatuba put the result beyond doubt by feasting on a poor lineout from Wests to go over. Taueki converted again.
There was still time for the home side to potentially steal the game. However, we managed to close the game out with some great defence, preventing Wests from scoring on numerous occasions in the final stages of the game.
The win edges us closer to Wests on the ladder for a spot in the top 3.
The Eagles take on the reigning premiers Royals away from home next Saturday, for Matt Hawke’s 200th game before the long weekend break.
Make sure to get down to Phillip Oval to support the squad as they search for a place in the top 3.
Written by Josh Dunstall
Photos by Jayzie Photography