16 Apr Whites Edge Owls in Thriller
A brilliant contest shone through miserable conditions at North Oval as Queanbeyan emerged victorious against the Owl, claiming a 24-15 success. Rock solid defence was the key for the Whites holding off a barrage of phases from the Owls and capitalising with the ball in hand.
Owls were the first try scorers, winger Callum Richardson crossed the line following some skilful backs hands but Queanbeyan responded in minutes with centre Billy Chalker crashing over, Will Goddard’s conversion levelling the score.
The Whites scored again off a strong rolling maul, a real weapon for them with OJ Noa the man with the ball and Goddard again adding the conversion. Just before halftime Owls second rower Nick Jones scored after sustained pressure on the Whites try line, the conversion was missed however leaving the halftime score at 12-14.
The second half started slowly, the weather had deteriorated, and a war of attrition had begun with many big collisions and Owls showing a dominant scrum. Owls took the lead through fly half Jordan Thompson knocking over a penalty from 40 metres putting the Owls ahead by a point.
The home crowd hearts were broken however when winger Jamie Marmont scored, and Goddard converted to put the Whites ahead. Goddard kicked a final penalty through to seal the deal.
The two teams had faced off in the preseason with the match finishing in a draw, Queanbeyan First Grade Coach Paul Dillon was very satisfied with his team getting the win. Dillon thought there are some good positives from the match but plenty for the team to work on.
“it’s a good feeling,” Dillon said. “It’s hard to get a win out here. That trial match was a bit disjointed and today’s match was a genuine contest.”
“I thought our defence won us the game. We’re still struggling under pressure, we’re getting charged down, having trouble controlling territory, so that’s something we need to keep addressing.”
Owls coach Tony Doherty was focused on the positives following the tough loss, stating a lack of vision in attack led to lack of line-breaks. The Owls are now two losses from two games, however Doherty is hopeful the team can turn its luck around.
“I think our set piece today was really dominant, got a lot of penalties with the feed and against the feed,” Doherty commented. “At times today, we stuck with our attacking structures, we just didn’t penetrate wide enough and allowed them to cover us in defence.”
“So, we’re pretty close, we just have to get those couple things right and then a win not far away.”
Despite the wet and windy conditions, the atmosphere at the North Oval was buzzing as the club celebrated its Old Boys Day. Ex-players form Universities, Norths, and Owls filled the upstairs deck in support of the team and to remember old times.
The Owls first grade played their first game in an all new jersey which was of great delight to the returning players and supporters.
Words: Eamon Moore