BLUES HOLD THE LINE OVER LIONS
Sunday 3 June 2012
Taroona Blues maintained their undefeated run atop the Tasmanian Rugby ladder, subduing Hobart Lions 15-10 in an arm-wrestle at Rugby Park on Saturday.
Both teams were troubled by a slippery ball after the interval, but Taroona showed the advantage of territory and vision to post all their points within the first half-hour, a fine driving charge from Jay Alexander and a controlled maul bringing two tries. In between they conceded the Lions’ only try when Adam Johnston bustled over from a tap penalty. Fly-half Christo Le Grange’s kicking pressured Hobart forcing them into line-outs to re-contest possession.
Taroona dominated set-plays but conceded territory to a recovering Hobart who dominated territory in the second half, mixing pick and drive with kicks behind the defensive line and tackling strongly to turn over possession. In the end Hobart could not penetrate, poor passing through the midfield closing any overlaps that materialised. For the Blues James Holman and young wing Tom Marlow were enthusiastic. Wilhelm Koch, Mark Playle and Jonathan Cook battled hard for Hobart.
Conditions were ideal on Friday night for the North Warrane floodlights launch, but Eastern Suburbs Roosters conceded three tries in the first 20 minutes to a charging Harlequins combination before settling and taking advantage of some line-breaks to secure a try to centre Judd Sherratt and trail 17-10 at half-time.
Within a minute after the break Sherratt had a double, finishing a sweeping line move from left to right. A fine conversion and handy penalty from Jake Hyland produced a lead for the hosts, urged on by a healthy crowd. Quins’ dominant scrum and territorial presence eventually prevailed when Viliama Via crossed for a try, the conversion leaving the final margin 29-20 to the visitors. Vaha Afa and Ivan McLean impressed for Quins and Marc Whitfield and Cyron Prouse backed up the exciting Hyland for the Roosters.
Devonport Bulls emerged 24-13 victors Burnie Emus at Don in a hard contest, home coach Derik Joubert attributing the win to resolute defence, identifying front –rowers Hayden Mulder and Alistair Nesham and fullback Connor Mack for mention. Burnie felt short-changed in return on a consistent hit-ups and sound scrummaging, Emus Rhys Weber, Dayne Apiti and Ollie Crawford continued consistent form.
Launceston returned to the winners’ circle with a tight 15-11 win over Glenorchy Stags, opening with outstanding tries to Jake Shayer and Tua Agaiava. Glenorchy produced their best display of the season to dominate forward exchanges, final pass execution robbing them of a win in the dying stages. Jonno Tunks and Glen Morgan played well for the Bees. Josh Dorahy and Chase Scott were the Stags’ best.
University overcame improving AMC Vikings 22-14 in the early Royal Park match, scoring four tries before half-time, but didn’t capitalise further on a good forward performance. Michael Kadjiolka scored two tries for the Red Men, receiving support from forwards Brad Doran and Mark Loader. Hugh Kanely, Rory McLaren and Dylan Hamill led the way for AMC.
Taroona 15 def Hobart 10
Harlequins 29 def Eastern Suburbs 20
Devonport 23 def Burnie 14
Launceston 15 def Glenorchy 11
University 22 def AMC Vikings 14