Over the weekend the Old Soldier competed once again in the annual Crescent Head 7’s Tournament…From all reports everyone is alive and well!
Game 1 – LRU 26 def Old Bar 0
Ready, set, GO!
The enthusiastic Lindfield starting 7 began at a frightening pace as the bigger Old Bar team were bashed and battered at the breakdown. Forced to secure the breakdown with 4 men in light of the twin jackal threats of Mal Gandar and Eddy Turk, Old Bar struggled to find any room out wide and when an eventual turnover did occur the ball was quickly shifted to the wing.
With his first touch of the ball, in his first EVER game of rugby, Xavier Costa set the ground alight with a blistering turn of speed that resulted in a try down the left touchline. Not a bad start to his career!
From our next penalty tap, Matt Cary cleverly recognised space in the backfield and put in a cheeky grubber that Sean Townsend regathered for an easy score.
The playing styles couldn’t be more different, with Old Bar’s one out hit ups no match for the passing game of Lindfield that continually found space on the flanks. In the blink of an eye, Sean Townsend and Josh Rickard Ford were able to take advantage of our attacking overlaps for two more length of the field tries.
An impressive first up performance.
Game 2 – LRU 28 def Mudchooks 5
Against a much tougher opposition, we spent much of the first half defending as the Mudchooks retained possession through the efforts of their creative flyhalf. The pressuring defense of Felix Buddy saved us time and time again. Pleasingly, every breakdown was ruthlessly attacked by us, and after three legitimate turnovers were controversially ruled illegal by the ref, we lost our cool. Ellis Freedman was unfairly sent to the bin (after some dominant work at the breakdown) and we conceded our first try after being down to 6 men.
In the second half the Sussman brothers ran riot, with Mik and Drew linking on the edges to set each other up for their own tries. With the Mudchooks resolve weakening, Rig muscled his way through the defensive line for a try and Xavier Costa added to his tally with a neat in and away that left his opposite man grasping at thin air.
Game 3 (CUP QUARTER FINAL) – Drummoyne 20 def Lindfield 0
Our reward for topping our pool was a cup quarter final against Subbies heavyweights Drummoyne. For the first time in the day we met our match in the breakdown, with Drummoyne comfortable retaining possession and happy not to contest our own ball. The net result of this was their defensive line enjoyed the benefits of an extra defender effectively negating the speed advantage we held out wide.
Down 5-0 at the break, we felt like we were in with a shot, but an early yellow card in the 2nd half meant we would have to do it the hard way with just 6 men. Drummoyne quickly capitalised with 2 tries and the game was effectively over. Mal Gandar was solid from kick off receptions and McWannell logged big minutes when players wilted around him.
Big efforts all round but outclassed in the end.
Tournament Most Valuable Player – Xavier Costa
A star has been born! Not since Daniel Bozic has a soccer turned rugby player made such an immediate impact. Known for his lethal speed, it was Xavier’s courage in contact that was most pleasing. His efforts at the breakdown in defense had many convinced he was born to play openside, but his nose for the tryline most certainly indicate a hugely successful future in the 15 man game. Well done Xavi!
Congratulations to Josh Rickard Ford and Xavier Costa also on their dead heat in the 100m sprint, beating the fastest sprinters from all other clubs!
Big thanks to Josh Rickard Ford and Manager Cam Smith for their huge effort organising the weekend and ensuring the whole operation ran seamlessly – much appreciated guys.