The Woden Valley Rams kept the UC Stars to one try in their 22 – 4 Grand Final victory at Seiffert Oval.
The reserve grade clash was a tense physical battle between the sides, but the near perfect defence of the Rams proved to be just too tough for the Stars.
The Rams opened the scoring with a try to Mitchell Swadling early in the first half. A successful conversion from Jesse Taws extended their lead 6 – 0.
The Stars looked dangerous as they made their way down the field, but the Rams took them into touch and earned themselves a subsequent penalty in the next set which helped them out of their own end.
Luke Ellis crashed over for the Rams just before the end of the quarter for the second try of the match, and a successful conversion from Taws put them in front 12 – 0.
An early penalty to start the second quarter helped UC down the field but Woden’s goal-line defence held strong for back to back sets.
As tensions grew between the teams, the sSars forced a number of goal-line dropouts late in the first half, putting the Rams defence to the test.
Jayleel Fa’amoe Ioane cracked the Rams defence, scoring in the corner with one minute before the break. Dave Turner couldn’t add the extra two and the scores were locked in at 12 – 4 going into half time.
A line-break from Shaun Gordon opened up the Stars as Tobias Moore planted one down in goal with two to go before the final quarter. Taws successfully converted for an 18 – 4 lead over the Stars.
The Rams forced an error with 10 to go on the clock on the Stars 40m line and they looked like scoring but were held up in goal as the stars worked it away from their line.
A line-break from Harrison Leadbitter helped the Stars deep into the Rams half and they threatened the line with back to back sets, but the Rams held them out.
Gideon Afemui returned from a stint on the sideline to make a break down the field and open up the Stars.
A long ball to the left put Liam Howard over in the corner with four minutes to go. A successful conversion put the Rams up 22 – 4 to end the match.
Photo by Karleen Minney