Friday night saw the 1st XV amped and ready after a good, heart pumping warm up. The scene was set under a clear sky, windless but chilly Brookside for an epic battle.
The first 20 minutes saw NNK throw everything but the kitchen sink at us, this was a far bigger and skilled side than the first round fixture and saw the boys in white once again having to put in tackle after tackle.
An early penalty conceded saw NNK take the lead and everyone hoped that this was not a repeat of old. But we held out strongly and soon converted our own penalty by Yale Jameson to equalise. NNK ran in a try and converted to give them a 10-3 lead. Having got our hands on some ball the forwards and backs linked up with some enterprising play resulting in Donny “Danger” Venter crossing the line to score.
Half time saw us huddled around 10-8 down and the game looking within our grasp. The weary sweaty faces looked hungrily around in anticipation of the second half. NNK hit back hard throughout the second half and worked in a good try to take them 15-8 up. We still had our opportunities but the dreaded “mistakes” word reared its ugly head again and we coughed up good quality ball while attacking in the red zone.
Time was ticking by and with not much time to go, patience, which was required at this time was ignored and play became disjointed, chasing points we ran everything wantonly and regrettably this resulted in an unfortunate intercept try which was converted for a 22-8 lead.
It was a valiant effort, however the lads had it in their hands to win this game and like sand slipping through fingers they let it go. As coach I would love for my boys to get a win under their belt for all the damn hard effort they have put in weekly on the park. There are two more games for them to realise their potential and savour the sweetness of success.
– Bruce Fraser
Catch the Dirty Whites in action again on Saturday 31st August at Brookside where they take on Hamlets. Kick off 4pm