A 78th minute penalty try was all that could separate the Dukes and Burraneer this last weekend in a tense 31-24 loss for the boys.
The Burraneer side were clearly shocked and not prepared for the Dukes to put up the level of fight that they did to the 2018 Grand Finalists. After an early 12-0 lead, the Dukes came roaring back with a 2 fleet footed tries to fullback Andrew Johnson and centre Israel Seufale to draw even by half time.
Moving into the second stanza, the Dukes had their tails up and looking to play attacking football as much as possible. Lead by scrumhalf Manuel Grundy creating opportunities for others around him, winger Vlad Yershov cashed in and dotted the ball over the line for the Dukes to take the lead for the first time in the contest, 19-12.
Burraneer hit back with another two tries through the power of their scrum to retake the lead 24-19. Some skillful rugby saw Liam Pakau link up with Israel Seufale to streak away for another try. Unconverted though and the scores level at 24 a piece.
With 5 minutes to go on the clock, Burraneer camped themselves in the Dukes 5m and hammered away with multiple scrums before the referee had to cave in and award a penalty try with 2 minutes left on the clock, 31-24 to Burraneer and that’s the way the scores would have to stay. The Dukes coming away with 2 bonus points for their efforts on the day and providing a massive scare to the table topping Burraneer side.
Coaches point went to;
3 – Israel Seufale (Centre)
2 – Manuel Grundy (Scrumhalf)
1 – Chris Stephenson (Second Row)
* After this week, coaches points will be kept off the website as the end of season awards will be based off these.
Over on the Duchesses’ side of the ledger, the girls continue to notch up wins, pushing forward to a 44-16 win over UNSW White and into equal 3rd spot on the ladder. Well done to all the ladies who show up and play their hardest week in and week out for the team. Special mention this past week to Jen Marsden who put up her first goal for the Duchesses, fingers crossed there’s more where that came from!
On a club related note, a thanks must go to Clay and his team at One Drop Brewing in Botany for his support towards the club. Here’s to a few brews and a growing relationship between the Dukes and One Drop!