The Uni-Norths Owls have won the Barry Drive Derby against rivals Wests 25-19 at North Oval. For the second week in a row Wests had an impressive start to the match and a half time lead, only to squander it in the second half.
The second half revival by the Owls can also be described as a repeat as they were also down at the halftime break in their win against Queanbeyan the week before. The Owls scored 19 points in the second half to overtake Wests who were kept scoreless from the 35th minute.
It took until the 53rd minute for the Owls to breach the Wests try line and from there it was all one-way traffic until full time. Owls fullback Jordan Thompson opened the scoring with a penalty goal in the 7th minute and kicked another nine minutes later. These were the only points the Wests defence allowed in the first half.
Wests were displaying their firepower throughout the first half. Lock Hayden Scott was the first of the try scorers for the Lions, followed by a powerful try by returning Brumby Chance Peni. The talented back showed his strength and dynamic speed as he brushed off his opposing centre, the try making the score 6-12.
With five minutes to go before the intermission, Wests crossed for their third try. A well-formed maul by the Wests pack drove the Owls over the line, flanker Mitch Tye was the man to score. Declan Meredith kicked a great conversion from the sideline to make the halftime score 6-19.At the break there was feeling of concern among the Owls fans at North Oval.
Two converted tries were needed to take the lead and Wests hadn’t given the Owls a chance of crossing the line in the first half. However, the Owls men had rallied tremendously and returned with plenty of energy in the second half.Owls hooker James Lynch crossed to score his team’s first try, lunging from the back of charging maul.
Thompson converted to bring the Owls within a converted try, the score 13-19.Ten minutes later the Owls were in again for the second decisive try. Former Wests winger Byron Hollingsworth-Dessent showed tremendous pace, he burned down the touchline from 60 metres out to score next to the posts.
Then tragedy struck the Owls, their comeback momentarily derailed. Having not missed a kick all day, Jordan Thompson made his first error in missing the conversion attempt from in front. This cruel twist meant the Owls were one point behind, the score 18-19.
With ten minutes left in the game the Owls needed to get back down into Wests territory and seal the deal. Damaging backrower Phil Ferreira was the man to score for the Owls. He scooped the ball of the deck 20 metres out from the Wests line, slid through the defence and placed the ball under the posts.
Thompson made sure of the conversion leaving the final score 25-19.A clear issue of finishing games and securing wins is now apparent for Wests, who take on Royals after the Easter break. For the Owls, the converse, a slow start may prove costly as the season continues, they take on Vikings after the break.