The Redbacks travelled to Canberra on Saturday to take on the Gungahlin Eagles.
With the luxury of a five-man reserves bench, the Redbacks started the game with flair, posting a sleek five-pointer to fullback Ben Howard within the first two minutes. The try was converted by Tommy Watson.
Unfortunately, these were the only points posted by the Redbacks in the first half.
Instead, the Eagles used their large mobile forward pack to carry out multiple raids down the centre of the field.
While the Redbacks defended admirably, the Eagles were able to post three unanswered tries in the first half.
Going into the break, the score stood at 21-7 to the Eagles.
The second half started much the same as the first half ended.
The Eagles were making vital metres on the back of their large forwards.
The team showed no signs of tiring, and the resulting play saw them place another five-pointer, pushing the Eagles out to a 19-point lead.
The Redbacks refused to give up, however, and started playing football in the Eagles’ half.
This resulted in a strong forwards’ try to Cade Graf, which reduced the deficit to 14 points.
This was Graf’s first-ever try at a senior level!
The Redbacks continued to create opportunities. The team won a series of penalties, only to be let down by the line-out, where the Eagles continuously turned the ball over.
From these turnovers, the Eagles were able to post two more tries.
On the last play of the game, the Redbacks showed what their backline can do. The team spun the ball wide, allowing Robbie Bell to cross over leaving the final score 37-17.
Players’ Player was shared between Mitch Gough, Tommy Watson and Ben Howard.
Best and Fairest: 3 points Mitch Gough, 2 points Cade Graf, and 1 point Tommy Watson.
A huge thank you goes to Dave “Thommo” Thompson, the ex-Norths Rugby Union Club strapper from the ‘90s, who came out from retirement to look after the Redbacks in the absence of the forwards coach.
Thanks also to the usual strapper, Nick Kemp, who is currently working in the UK.
Next week is a home game against Jindabyne.
The following weekend is a Redbacks Sponsors’ Day on July 15, at the Rec Grounds.