02 Oct, 2017, 03:00 pm
It was the Eagles who registered first points as they seem to be making a habit of when a beautiful last pass from Andrew Kellaway was well finished off by Alex Gibbon in the corner in the 7th minute. Adams couldn’t add the extras, and the score sat at 5-0 as the troops regathered on halfway.
The next 10 minutes was a different story, the Rays taking advantage of the troublesome Eagles lineout to win turnover ball and go 70m up field through their outside backs. Four minutes later, and it was Simone who was just denied by the TMO after a dive in the corner. They weren’t to be denied for long, however, as Josh Turner found the right side of the TMO decision in the 13th minute. Saifoloi’s conversion crept over, and the Rays had their noses in front after 15 minutes.
The Eagles scrum was dominating, however, and after a scrum penalty on the Rays 5m line, the ball shifted left. Under advantage, Adams’ pass to Kellaway was ruled forward, and two minutes later, the Eagles heads were left shaking after another raid from Godwin ended in him being held up. Two scrum penalties followed as the Eagles rolled into their 10th straight minute in the Rays 22. Something had to give, and Sam Ward was the beneficiary after another dominant scrum let the Warringah no.8 fall over the line. The kick was a formality, and after 27 minutes, the Eagles led 12-7.
Three minutes later, and it was the Eagles who were singing again, some opportunistic work from Alex Newsome and Maclean Jones around halfway ended with a delightful inside ball to the trailing Jake Gordon who went 40m to score untouched. Adams continued his good work with the boot, and the Eagles all of a sudden had shot to a 12 point lead.
Adams had a chance to extend the lead to 15, four minutes later – but he couldn’t steer his penalty attempt through the sticks.
At half time, that was how the score remained, the Eagles with the 12 point ascendancy.
The second started frantically – Adams’ restart not going 10, before the Eagles went 40m off an inside ball to Rohan O’Regan. A few phases later, and after Staniforth’s 17th carry of the afternoon – the Rays turned the ball over and cleared, although they were struggling to exit with any considerable yardage.
The 48th minute saw the Eagles win another scrum penalty, but the Rays superiority at the breakdown was starting to become evident, and Paddy Ryan and his men were struggling in the red zone to string together considerable attacking phases.
The Rays were next to score points, this time going end to end through Brown and Latu Latunipulu whose finish in the corner in the 52nd minute was world class. Saifoloi couldn’t add the extras, and the Eagles led by seven with 25 to play.
Alex Newsome provided what the crowd at Goulburn thought was the highlight of the match four minutes later with a stunning 50m solo effort. He fended off Saifoloi, swerved past Burey and ran 50m untouched to score a pressure relieving try which was converted by Tayler Adams.
Tom Connor decided he in fact wanted to have the highlight of the day with a simply ridiculous offload in the 59th minute to hit back almost immediately through Angus Sinclair. Saifoloi again couldn’t add the extras, and the Eagles had a nine point buffer with one quarter of the game to play.
From there, there was somewhat of a stalemate for the next 15 minutes. The Eagles continued to dominate at scrum time, however the Rays wouldn’t let Coleman’s men gain any ascendancy in the breakdown. Alex Gibbon nearly had his second for the afternoon in the 74th minute after a lovely break from Andrew Kellaway, Tom Connor flying from nowhere to save the Rays lollies.
Despite some enterprising raids from the Rays into the Eagles territory in the dying stages, it was the Eagles who held solid and came away with their second win of the season.
NSW COUNTRY EAGLES 26
Tries: A. Gibbon, S. Ward, J. Gordon ,A. Newsome
Cons: T Adams 3/4
Pens: T Adams 0/1
SYDNEY RAYS 17
Tries: J. Turner, L. Latunipulu, A. Sinclair
Cons: Saifoloi 1/3
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COLEMAN MAKES ONE CHANGE TO THE SIDE THAT DEFEATED THE VIKINGS IN A LAST START THRILLER
Darren Coleman has made just the one change to the starting XV that snatched an unlikely victory against the UC Vikings in Armidale last weekend.
In the second row, NSW Waratah Ryan McCauley returns to the starting side alongside the impressive Tom Staniforth who currently leads the competition in carries and tackles.
Lachlan Anderson comes onto the bench, joined by Nick Kellaway and Pat McCutcheon who return to the match day 23.
TEAM TO TAKE ON THE SYDNEY RAYS
MON 2ND OCT, 3PM.
SIMON POIDEVIN OVAL, GOULBURN.
1 – PATRICK RYAN (C)
2 – BRANDON PAENGA-AMOSA
3 – SAMUEL NEEDS
4 – THOMAS STANIFORTH
5 – RYAN McCAULEY
6 – ROHAN O’ REGAN
7 – MACLEAN JONES
8 – SAMUEL WARD
9 – JAKE GORDON
10 – TAYLER ADAMS
11 – ALEX GIBBON
12 – KYLE GODWIN
13 – ALEX NEWSOME
14 – HENRY CLUNIES-ROSS
15 – ANDREW KELLAWAY
16 – CONNAL MCINERNEY
17 – MATT GIBBON
18 – HARRY JOHNSON-HOLMES
19 – TIM BUCHANAN
20 – NICHOLAS KELLAWAY
21 – PATRICK MCCUTCHEON
22 – LACHLAN ANDERSON
23 – TOM HILL
Match Day Sponsor – Goulburn Mulwaree Council