On a warm and sunny Saturday afternoon Burraneer travelled to attempt to make it two in a row against the Dukes at Centennial Park.
A day that most would have preferred to be at the beach saw a bumper crowd on hand to see the Dukes make amends for their previous weeks loss against the boys form the Shire. Thoughts of the ref had long since dissipated and all that was on the minds were that of starting well, making first up tackles and laying a platform for some open running rugby.
With a few key players missing in the forwards and backs as well as their inspirational coach the Dukes had a quick low key warm up due to the heat and then had a talk amongst themselves.
Their were a few new Dukes into the team and a little bit of reshuffling saw James Pederson moved to fullback (and play an outstanding game) Gavin Addison start at hooker and play his first 80 minutes of football in a long time.
Dukes had the 1st kick off an immediately set up some pressure on the Burraneer pack who would have had to be expecting a strong and eager start by the Dukes forwards compared to the week before.
The Dukes put a few plays together and the Burraneer defence was forced into their first error or the game just left of the posts about 30 out. Captain Tom thought he would reward his forwards for their tough start and pointed to the posts. David Hopper back in the team stepped up and slotted the 1st kick to take a 3-0 lead.
Mick Bruno then suffering from an asthma attack / heat stroke was forced to leave the field but things were moving along nicely for the Dukes. There was a good rumble and lots of talk, which had only in the last few weeks started to come back to the Dukes. The play went back and forward a number of times before Dennis Lee crashed over for yet another try to add to his tally this season. The defence on Dennis had been increased 3 fold form the previous week when he put 3 tries on the Shire boys. The kick successful to bring up 10 for the Dukes
Half time blew and the Dukes whilst happy with the 1st 40 knew there was some work to be done. Captain Tom had words and laid the plan for the next 40. The plan was clear, keep the ball in hand and don’t force the last pass. When a kick was needed, it needed to be put into the top left corner where the sun sat nicely waiting anyone looking up to the heavens
The 2nd half started much the same way as the 1st with the Dukes starting well and playing some open running rugby. The scrum was dominant and the lineout was finally working well. The Dukes were awarded a penalty around the Burra 40m line about 10 in and Dennis put a nice touch finder in setting up a lineout about 10 out. Lineout secured and Big Bad Bill with the ball at the back of the maul saw the Dukes surge forward and Billy peel away to the blind to crash over for his 2nd try of the year
The conversion again from closer to the sideline was successful by Hooper and the Dukes now sitting at 17. Play going backwards and forward again until the Dukes managed to screw a Burra defensive scrum through 90 degrees. The Dukes feed was picked up by Richie who ran blindside over the top of an unsuspecting winger to bring up his first try of the year and put the Dukes onto a 22 point score
The game was a nail biter with both teams within a score of each other. A scrum on half way to Burra right on full time saw an almighty coordinated shove by the Dukes who pushed Burra off their own ball. With the referee signalling it was the last play, the Dukes set a solid final scrum. Fed by Hayden who kicked it straight out to finalise the win. With Sneakers leading the boys in song (as most had forgotten it, it has been a while) the boys celebrated a win at Centennial Park
Points went to James P, both Scultz’s and Captain Tom
Special thanks to Jessica for running the canteen and scoring Sunshine for running touch and Christian for running Marshall when he wasn’t on the field. Even if he failed to eject the Burra streaker in a green Mankini
Some additional injury woes for the Dukes, may keep a few out for the next week or so.
- Ball control,
- Solid defence,
- Lineout and scrum,
- Goal kicking
A special, congratulations to Luke Greer and his partner Karissa and the newest member of the Dukes Family, with Cooper Greer born shortly after the Dukes Win.