1sts run riot over UWSH
3rd Grade also pick up the points.
Epping Rugby has started the year in impressive fashion, with a clinical 47-5 victory over UWSH. The demolition lifted the Rams to the top of Clark Cup on points differential after the opening round. The win highlighted how far the club has come in 12 months, when last year a disorganised Epping outfit showed little promise in a 14 point loss to Hills at home.
The Rams once again started strongly with captain Ben Tuminello scoring in the opening minute. Amena Bushell and Sam Attfield crossed soon after on the back of good team play, as the Rams went out to a 15-0 early.The score remained 15-0 at halftime.
The Rams ran away with the game in the second half, with tries to Daniel De Santis, Angus Trickett and Edward Tootell. Sam Attfield also crossed for his second try late in the game, winning the race to a nicely placed kick by replacement five eigth Scott Palmer. UWSH would cross in the dying minutes for a consolation try, however the day belonged to Epping, as the Rams had their best opening day of a season since 1998.
In 2nd Grade, the Rams will be scratching their heads at the one that got away. After leading 6-0 for most of the game, UWSH crossed late in the game to snatch a 7-6 victory. In a game that was marred by penalties to both sides, the game didn’t reach any great heights. A difficult penalty attempt for the Rams in the closing minutes went wide, as UWSH won a close affair. Matt Cooney and Jordan Mulhearn were the best for the Rams, who will be looking to avenge their loss against Briars next week.
In 3rd Grade, the Rams raced away to a 20-0 victory at halftime, thanks to tries to Jason Poutowa, Adam Edwards and Nick Miller. However the second half was a different affair, as UWSH mounted a spirited fightback to get within a try of the Rams. The Rams held on bravely at the end to record a bonus point 27-21 victory. It was a important victory for a 3rd Grade side who claimed just 1 victory in their 2013 campaign. Impressive debuts by Tim Macalpine, Rob Keely, Jeremy Reinhart and Berend Du Plessis were also positive signs looking ahead.
4th Grade’s 0-0 stalemate, was a game that once again didn’t reach any great level of quality. The Rams had many positive attacking raids, but some great scrambling defence by UWSH denied the Epping side on several occasions. The game finished at 0-0 and both sides walk away with two points to start the year. New man Nomia Nowau was very impressive in both attack and defence, to start his career at the Rams. The Rams had a 30 man squad in 4th Grade, and their cohesion was somewhat disrupted by the large amount of subs throughout the game. With a more balanced side, and continued hard work at training, the boys will be confident of picking up their first win when they head to Rothwell next week.
Unfortunately colts were outplayed by a very determined Hills side in the Grand Final replay to start season 2014. Hills came out of the blocks well and never looked back, crossing 5 times in a 36-12 victory over the home side. Epping were marred by a disorganised opening to their game, as they scrambled to get a side together. The Rams will be better for the run, with many new combinations still yet to be formed. Next week Colts will be playing at Macquarie University Fields against Macquarie University.