Finals Footy-Is there anything better. This weekend the U12 Silver team take on the Taren Point Titans on Saturday afternoon at Sutherland Oval and the U15 Silver team take on Penshurst Kookaburras on Sunday afternoon at Bexley Oval.
The U12 Silvers finished in fourth place on 14 points and their opponents also finished on 14 points in fifth place. The Tigers finished higher on account of having the better differential at +58 against the Titans +18. Both teams have played each other twice this season with the Titans taking out the first game in Round 2, 32-10 and the Tigers taking out the second game in Round 8, 34-14. This promises to be a cracking game against two evenly matched teams.
The U15 Silvers finished in sixth place on 19 points and their opponents finished in third place on 23 points. The teams met once in Round 5, with the Kookaburras winning a tight contest 16-10. This also promises to be a cracking game with the Tigers looking to turn the tables on the higher placed Kookaburras and continue with their late season form in the Semi Finals.
U12 Silver Tigers 20 Taren Point Titans 30
The Tigers received the ball and Levi Dawson collected the kick and fed it to Mason De Luca. A good run by Hudson Wilcox and then Zac Porter finished off the set and the Tigers were in decent field position. A couple of good defensive sets by both teams kept play near the halfway line before an injury to Ethan Coleman halted play. In the next set a run by Hudson Lane worked the ball to the right wing, it was worked back to the left through Dylan Sammut and Bede Staniforth and a good run by Zac Porter got the Tigers close to a first try.
A penalty to the Titans allowed them to break the Tigers pressure and a bruising run up the middle by the big Titans centre, opened up the Tigers defence and put the Titans ahead 6-0. The Titans scored again straight from the kick off, a Tigers error gave the ball back to the Titans and their other big centre was allowed to run and put the Titans ahead 10-0. Some good work by Zac Porter and then Billy Mackenzie created space for Mason De Luca, who was able to run across the field looking for a gap in the defence. An infringement by the Titans gave the Tigers another six tackles and on the first, Zar Mackenzie scored to get the Tigers on the board 10-4. Unfortunately for the Tigers, the Titans went out to a 16-4 lead after a quick break up the middle, created space for the Titans wide men who were able to get across the try line and put the Tigers on the back foot again.
The first half saw the Tigers make several handling errors and the Titans speed and size through the middle was creating all sorts of problems for the Tigers defence. It seemed as if the Tigers were constantly working to get back in the game and in the final minute this effort was rewarded with a try to Levi Dawson. The Tigers showed some urgency and attacked the Titans in an effort to get another score. The ball was worked forward and a brilliant cross field kick by Zar Mackenzie, landed perfectly in the left corner and the Tigers had two players chasing, with Levi Dawson diving on the ball to get the score back to 16-10 at the break. This gave the Tigers confidence at the break and they were looking forward to apply some pressure to the Titans in the second half.
The Tigers kicked off to start the second half and the Titans two big centres were able to make easy metres up the Tigers middle. The Tigers held them out for four tackles but on the last the Titans managed to get over the line and go out to a 20-10 lead. Some good attacking play by the Tigers put some pressure back on the Titans and Billy Dunn was quick out of dummy half, worked himself into a gap and scored to get the Tigers back to 20-16. In the next set the Tigers managed to hold out the Titans but were pushed back in goal on the second tackle. More good defence forced an error and the Tigers made good ground before getting a kick away into the Titans half. The Titans gathered the ball and another clean break down the left wing saw the Titans score again and take a 24-16 lead with five minutes to play.
The Titans then scored again with one of their centres stepping through the defence before unselfishly passing to set up an easy score and go out to a 30-16 lead. This deflated the Tigers but to their credit, they continued to play and search for another score. This came in the final minutes when Billy Dunn got his second try and got the score back to 30-20. This is how the game finished with the Tigers going down by ten points.
This was a brave effort by the Tigers, who were in the game for long periods. The Titans were the better team on the day and the Tigers just had no answers to contain their two big players who created panic every time they had the ball. We wish the Titans well next week and the Silvers can reflect on a season that numerous highs despite today's defeat.
Player of the Game: Billy Dunn
U15 Silver Tigers 12 V Penshurst Kookaburras 4
The Tigers received the ball from the kick off and was passed off to Blake Burke who made a solid run up, quickly followed by another good hit up by Harry Melbourne. A penalty was awarded to the Tigers for lifting and Albie Lamaro made a solid run and some enterprising play by Blake Burke, Kobi Porter and then Jai McEwen got the Tigers close to the line but the kick was too deep and went dead in goal. The Tigers held out the Kookaburras on their first set and progressed the ball back to the Kookaburras try line. More good pressure by the Tigers forwards forced an error and the Tigers had a scrum in front of the posts.
The Tigers spread the ball from side to side looking for a gap. First it was on the right through Tommy Robinson and Jacob Way and then back to the left through Kobi Porter and Alex Moussa. It was eventually worked out to Alex Mantik who stepped inside the covering defender and then dived over the line to get the first points and give the Tigers a 6-0 lead. On the next set the Tigers made easy metres up the middle, first through Blake Burke and then Coby Wilson and was finished off with a good kick by Albie Lamaro top get the Tigers to the twenty metre line. The Tigers forward pack of Albie Lamaro, Harry Melbourne, Blake Burke and Coby Wilson were punishing in defence and forcing the Kookaburras into numerous errors.
More solid defense hurried the Kookaburras into another mistake and Bailey Murray went close, as did Alex Moussa but the covering defence was well organised. On the next Tigers set the ball was worked forward again and a cheeky kick by Albie Lamaro, nearly created a chance for Jacob Way who made good ground on the covering defender. The Tigers were looking well organised and anytime the Kookaburras got close it was sniffed out by the Tigers with Kade Bergman, Bailey Murray and Luke Fenton all making excellent covering tackles.
In the dying stages of the first half there were more chances to Alex Mantik, Kobi Porter and Jai McEwen but they were unable to get over the line. Alex Moussa was also looking to get on the scoresheet and was taking on the Kookaburras defensive line at every opportunity. Dylan Kerr made some solid runs and was well supported by Coby Wilson and the Tigers harrying defence was concerning the Kookaburras who were unable to play their attacking game. The Tigers went into the halftime break 6-0 ahead and were hoping that they wouldn't regret scoring more points after being in the ascendency for most of the half.
The Tigers started the second half like they finished the first, punishing in defence and hunting in packs. The Kookaburras did create a chance and advanced the ball to the Tigers twenty metre line. A quick break down the left looked like it would result in a certain try, but a fantastic tackle by Bailey Murray left the Kookaburras empty handed. The Tigers were awarded a couple of quick penalties and advanced into the Kookaburras half. Quick play by Kobi Porter and Alex Moussa got the ball out wide and Alex Mantik nearly crossed but was held up on the line. In the next set a solid tackle by Kobi Porter forced a dropped ball but then spilled it himself on the next set. This allowed the Kookaburras to go forward but the Tigers held firm and forced an error on the last to pack in a scrum near the Tigers line. The ball was worked quickly by Jai McEwen who through a bullet pass to Alex Moussa who was able to run eight metres down the left wing and put the Tigers ahead 12-0. This was no less than the Tigers deserved who looked strong across the park.
In the next set the Kookaburras were awarded consecutive penalties and were camped on the Tigers try line. Another penalty late in the set allowed the Kookaburras to create an overlap on the right wing and score in the corner to get the score back to 12-4. With nine minutes remaining the Tigers had another good chance after a bruising run by Blake Burke. The ball was worked to Albie Lamaro who saw a gap and ran for the line but was held up by the Kookaburras. More consecutive penalties to the Kookaburras saw them get over the line again bt great cover defence by Bailey Murray, Alex Moussa and Jai McEwen held the ball up and the Tigers started the next set on their try line. In the final minutes the Tigers were looking for the winning try but coughed up the ball near the line and were unable to get the score. It was a fitting end to the game with the Tigers on the attack and the final whistle blew to give the Tigers an impressive 12-4 win.
This was a fantastic team performance by the Tigers and each player contributed to the win. A strong defensive effort and some creative play by the centres and backs had the Tigers on top for most of the game, but they were unable to convert their chances. Next week the Tigers meet the Colts in another tough game for a spot in the Grand Final.
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