There is always an air of anticipation about an opening fixture. Village were prepared and ready after completing a solid pre-season with conditioning being the focus. With the team largely the same as the one that that finished off the 2015 season the expectations were high coming into this game, a tricky one away from home, at Macassar.
After a good start to the day with the U20s and 3rds both notching up their first wins of the season we got to the main affair at a blustery Macassar rugby club. Right from kick off Village were all over their opposition as they dominated in all facets particularly scrums. Phase after phase of relentless Villager attack was held off by gutsy Macassar defense. Eventually Village were awarded a penalty and Clarke converted. 3 nil Village.
Villager continued the pressure with some slippery running from the back by fullback, Reece Gregg. New boy to Village, all the way from Tuks, Donald Crawford, at outside centre also impressed with a few strong and straight bursts. However it was the forwards who got over the line for the first try with a clinical display of continuous pick and go’s as prop Nic Vetsos went over. Clarke converted 10 nil.
Villager sensed that another try would put this one in the bag. It was crucial to do so before halftime. Eventually this happened, rather fortuitously it must be said, as scrumhalf Zubs Abrahams cheekily stole the ball out of one of the Macassars’ forwards hands and managed to snipe through and get over the white line. Clarke converted 17 nil.
With halftime looming Macassar hit back hard with great phase play and effective use of their nippy backs. The Villager defense held though. 17 nil halftime.
Straight after the break Macassar came back and piled the pressure on Village. The Village defense eventuality succumbed and gave up a penalty. Macassar converted. 17-3.
Village were determined not to let Macassar into the game as they hit back right away with a very well worked training ground lineout drive as tireless 8th man Kwaks Ngwanya bustled over. Clarke missed the conversion. 22-3.
At this stage Village were clearly dominant as their hard conditioning work from pre-season started to tell. After another super lineout drive the pack once again opted for what worked and continued with a number of pick and go’s. Dan Clarke finally muscled over. Village playing a very clever game as they hit their opposition in their weak areas. Clarke converted 29-3.
Macassar came back now playing with free abandon and eventually finished off an amazing inter passing try from the half way line. The conversion was converted 29-10.
Village weren’t going to let the game finish with a whimper as they once again used their now very effective lineout drive to finish off a great try. Scotty Pitcher claimed the try. Clarke missed the conversion. 34-10.
Macassar finished off the game with a good try after some tired Village defense. Final score 34-15.
A brilliant start to the 2016 season for Villager. A bonus point win away from home. Never an easy task in Super B. In the forwards prop Nic Vetsos stood out putting in a trojan display in the loose. At the back Reece Gregg on attack and Joel Murphy on defense were outstanding.
Villager play Pniel-Villagers at home next Saturday. As much support as possible would be much appreciated by the guys.