Junior Reps Wrap Up – Round 1
Monday 11 February 2013 2:00 PM
The Canberra Raiders Harold Matthews side narrowly went down 16-6 against Western Sydney Academy (WSAS) in the opening game of the season.
Despite the loss, Co-Coach Adam Kyle was proud of his troops in the hard fought affair and believes that the game will serve them positively as they learn to adapt to the rigours of representative rugby league.
“The match was a really tough contest,” said Kyle. “WSAS started very quickly and a few errors led to us conceding an early try. The boys bounced back quickly though and our strong defence allowed us to got into an arm wrestle with them."
The Raiders were well in the contest at halftime with WSAS leading by a slender margin of 10-6 however dropped ball proved costly for Canberra in the second half as WSAS capitalised on their glut of possession.
“We turned over a lot of possession and never really settled,” said Kyle. “Credit must go to WSAS, they kept pressuring us all game and got away with the points in the end.”
Kyle was impressed by the young Raiders’ resolute defence and passion and believes that as combinations in attack develop over the coming weeks, they will put a real dent in this year’s competition.
“Our defensive efforts were really good. At times we had back to back sets against us and I was impressed by how hard the boys worked for each other.
“It was a great learning curve for us on how to adapt to certain game situations and it gave us an understanding on staying in the contest. We’ll be better for it next week.”
The standouts for the Raiders were lock Kalani Going and five-eighth Tre Williams.
“Kalani had a very good game, carrying into contact strongly and pulled off a really solid defensive performance and Tre Williams also played strongly, scoring a great try and winning WSAS Player of the Game.”
The Harold Matthews will look to register their first win of the season when they take on the Cronulla Sharks this Saturday at West Belconnen Leagues Club at 1:00pm.
Cronulla were defeated by the South Sydney Rabbitohs over the weekend.
The Canberra Raiders SG Ball side kicked their season off to a great start with a hard-fought 24-12 victory over Western Sydney Academy (WSAS).
After trailing 12-0 at the break, a double to Captain Luke Bateman and a half-time grilling from Coach Peter Marrapodi inspired the Green Machine to prevail by 12 points in their first game of the season.
“The game started pretty quickly and even though I felt we were the dominant side in the first ten minutes a couple of errors and penalties gave WSAS the first points,” said Bateman.
“After that it was a bit of an arm wrestle with WSAS scoring again to make it 12-0. Unfortunately we went in 12-4 down at halftime but after some motivation from Marra we came back out in the second half and dominated the game and scored four unanswered tries to win.”
Given that it was the first game of the year, combinations and team structure is still developing however Bateman is adamant that it will improve dramatically as the team gets used to playing with each other on a regular basis.
One aspect of the game that needs little improvement is the side’s defence, if the Raiders can improve on their concentration in the opening stanza.
“Our defence was strong and when we had possession and built pressure we really controlled the game,” said Bateman.
“We need to focus on improving our set structure and everybody knowing their roles and executing them well. If we can get that right then we’ll be hard to beat.”
While he is too humble to blow his own trumpet despite his two try performance, Bateman listed Issac Hamad, Jamal Nchouki, Jules Webley and Matt McIlwrick’s
brother Jarred as the team’s top performers.
“Our hooker Isaac Hamad played really well and created a lot of breaks through the middle of the ruck while Jamal Nchouki and Jules Webley both played big minutes for us in the middle and were consistently strong in attack and defence.
“Jamal and Jarred McIlwrick are in their second year of SG Ball and their experience really showed and Jarred topped his great game off with a try.”
The SG Ball side will look to register back-to-back wins when they take on the Cronulla Sharks this Saturday at West Belconnen Leagues Club at 2:30pm.
Cronulla defeated the South Sydney Rabbitohs 28-14 over the weekend.