Paul’s Round 4 Preview 2017

Round Three was again successful for Woods with five wins from seven games against Eastern Suburbs. Third grade lost by just a point attacking the line at the death while Colts 2 were held up over the line after the final bell when a try would have won the game. It was a much tougher outing then the first two rounds and this Saturday will see the intensity lift again with a couple of top of the table clashes across the seven games. Last week’s results see Woods still at the top of the two club championship ladders. This week opponents are fifth on the club championship and are always up for challenge especially on this ANZAC weekend.

Again grade are away playing at Pittwater Rugby Park. Warringah have proven tough to beat on their home soil in recent years and it will be no different this time around. A clash between the two forward packs will be one of the highlights of the day in all four grades. Please note game time changes below.

Colts played three very entertaining games against Eastern Suburbs last week and were unlucky not to win all three. Ground Controller, Squizzy Taylor kept proceedings flowing. Squizzy will be missing this week as he competes in a bike race at Falls Creek. We wish him well. He will return to duty for Colts next home game in Round 7. The sides made a statement last week against Easts and will be keen to extend it against Warringah when they host them at Millner. With the North Ryde seeding the main field for winter they have moved the games to the top oval. Also making a statement last Saturday was University Colts 1 who demolished the highly fancied Randwick 69 – 5.

Game times this Saturday.

Pittwater Rugby Park

Fifths 9.25 am

Fourths 10.35 am

Thirds 11.50 am

Seconds 1.15 pm

Firsts 3.00 pm

T G Millner – Top Oval

Colts 3 Noon

Colts 2 1.30 pm

Colts 1 3.00 pm

GRADE

FOURTHS 1st Place.

With Monster away the team did play. Woods Sevens Head Coach, Matt Briggs stepped in to help out and Fourths came up with a 62 – 5 win over Eastern Suburbs. Woods were clinical in their execution against an Easts side that had no answers. Woods scored 10 tries, six of which were converted. Doubles to James Sarks, Jack Parker, James Day and replacement Matt Collins. Matt Briggs left straight after the game to return to his family up the coast on holidays.

This week it is Warringah’s turn to face the on fire Woods who are sitting at the top of the ladder. Warringah has not won a game this year with their points coming from last week’s bye against Penrith and two bonus points. They had a one point loss to Northern Suburbs and a 5 – 28 loss to Gordon.

This week’s announced side has a few changes as you come to expect with Fourths. Dave Fangaloka comes back into the side at prop replacing Joel Whitlock. Henry Walkerden replaces Sam Frogley in the second row, while Dan Gilbert comes in at number 8 for the promoted Mark Quadrio. In the backs Matt Collins after scoring a double last week as a replacement comes in on the wing for Sam McCaffery.

THIRDS – 2nd Place

Thirds had their first loss of the season going down 21 – 22 to Easts. Both sides were under par as they traded try for try and were at 14 all before Easts kicked ahead with a penalty. A yellow card to Manasa Rokosuka late in the match and a try to Easts put them out to a 22 – 14 lead. Woods hit back with their third try which was converted. With 4 minutes to go and within a point Woods tried desperately to get another score but they couldn’t break through for those allusive points. A knock on 1 metre out from Easts line finally brought the game to a halt and Easts came away with the win. It was good to see Max Page run on as a replacement after returning from playing in Hong Kong.

The loss puts Woods four points behind competition leaders Warringah who are the only undefeated team in Thirds making for a top of the table clash this Saturday. Woods have the best defensive record in the competition and will need to bounce back from last week’s disappointment this Saturday against a side who have beaten Northern Suburbs 26 – 17 and Gordon 29 – 24.

After his return last week off the bench Max Page has been named at half back replacing Matt King. Sione Tangi gets a call up at prop replacing David Fangaloka while Mark Quadrio comes in for Josh Harris at number 8. Only other change is James Sarks replacing Alex Del Moro on the wing.

SECONDS – 2nd Place

Second grade remain only one of two sides undefeated after they accounted for Eastern Suburbs 23 – 13 last week. Seconds got the first points of the day with a penalty kick from Jackson Bird but Easts responded with 13 unanswered points and went into the half time huddle up 13 – 3. Eastwood leveled it up before a yellow card to an Easts forward and a penalty goal gave them the lead for the second time in the game. Another converted try and a yellow card to Easts William Maddocks saw Woods come away with a hard fought 23 – 13 victory. Woods scored just two tries. One by prop George Francis, who ran 20 metres to score. George was in the thick of it all day in his first run on for Seconds after Daniel Minto was ruled out late last week from the injury sustained in the first half against Penrith. The other try was by winger Mike Bureta. Both were converted by Jackson Bird, who also kicked three penalties.

Warringah are sitting one place back after losing to Northern Suburbs in round 1. This was followed by good wins against Gordon and Penrith. Based on games against Penrith both teams would appear to be in for a grueling afternoon of rugby with the spoils going to the team who take their opportunities and maintain their defensive lines.

Only two changes to this week’s side. Daniel Minto has been named at prop and Alex Del Moro comes in on the wing for Mike Bureta who moves to centre to replace Tim Williams.

FIRSTS – 1st Place

Woods are one of three undefeated sides and are on top due to points differential. Woods scored five tries including a double to Liam Windon and Tom Murphy’s first try in first grade. Easts scored two tries in the first ten minutes and were looking good out wide while Woods were strong in the forwards. Woods knew they were in for a battle. Woods battled back from 12 – 0 down and a penalty right on half time saw them go into break ahead 24 – 19. The second half saw Woods push the lead to 32 – 19 before Easts scored and brought it to within six points. A dropped ball gave Easts a scrum feed but a huge tight head win from the scrum saw the ball move along the back line and Liam Windon cross for his second try. Jai Ayoub converted giving Woods a 39 – 26 win. It was a hard fought win that was closer than the final score indicated. Having Damien Fitzpatrick and Makoto Tosa as fresh reserves certainly helped as did the return of Jed Gillespie.

On Saturday Warringah recorded the same score against Penrith as Woods did the previous week. Their one loss was a last minute loss to current premiers Northern Suburbs in round 1. This is the game of the round against a side who have been tipped to be among the top sides in 2017. Playing against ex Woods Sam Needs will add extra interest to the contest. Woods have had several intense battles against the Rats and this one should be no exception.

Michael McDougall was injured early in the first half and was replaced by Tim Williams. Tim had already played a full game in Seconds and as the afternoon proceeded he cramped several times but in true Woods spirit got up and kept going before being replaced by Zac Southern. Mike has been ruled out this week and Tim has been selected as his replacement. The rest of the team remains unchanged.

COLTS

Colts 3 – 1st Place

Colts 3 took on the undefeated Eastern Suburbs who had a surprise win over University in Round 1. Easts got on the board first but Woods took command with Zac Hickey (no relation to super coach Chris) scoring a double and setting up a third. In the end Woods ran out 42 – 12 winners and have stamped themselves as a team to watch.

Warringah are undefeated, sitting two points behind Woods having had a 24 all draw with Northern Suburbs in Round 1. Having seen off Eastern Suburbs it will again be a top of the table clash to kick the games off at Millner.

This week John Oxford comes into the front row, Jack Talafua drops back from Colts 2 to number 8. In the back a slight reshuffle with Thomas Nicita on the wing, Aaron Evans moves back to the centres along side Luke Wiseman.

Colts 2 – 5th Place

Colts 2 turned into a nail biter after Woods were well on top 20 – 5 at half time. Easts came out for the second half determined to get back into the match and on the back of a growing penalty count against Woods (10 – 4 at one stage) got themselves back into the match. The scores see-sawed with Woods getting a chance to take the match after the full time bell but were held up over the line. The referee blew time and Easts took the match 29 – 25.

This week they are up against Warringah who had their first win last Saturday, 68 – 15 against Penrith. They are sitting in ninth place and on the strength of last week’s performance Woods should bounce back to the winning circle, especially if they can play for the full 70 minutes and keep the penalties down.

Jack Dalton comes back into the side at hooker, Luke Gibbs is the new flanker. The back line sees Joshua Bass return to the centres after missing last week and Zac Hickey taking over at fullback for the promoted Jacob Harrington.

Colts 1 – 1st Place

In was another nail biter in Colts 1 up against a much older looking Eastern Suburbs side who jumped out to a early lead scoring three tries in the opening 20 minutes. Woods, to their credit, stayed in the contest and at half time they were behind 15 – 21. Jonte Witt came on at half and Woods took the lead scoring a try early in the second half setting up a exciting final 40 minutes where the lead changed several times. The loss of Sam Cale and Jared Odgers to injury and a yellow card to Barton Picone put the pressure on but Woods defence continued to repel Easts attacks. With a one point lead with four minutes to go Woods scored a converted try increasing their lead to eight points. A lead that proved too much for Easts to over come. The win puts Woods at the top of the ladder one point ahead of University who had a a stunning 69 – 5 win over Randwick last Saturday.

Warringah with 2 wins and a loss are sitting in 5th place. They lost 32 – 40 to Northern Suburbs in Round one and had a good win over Gordon in Round 2 25 – 19. This will be another close contest.

With Jared Odgers and Sam Cale both expected to be out for a number of weeks (still waiting on results of scans and MRI) we see Robert Peden from the Central Coast making his debut in place of Jared. Rob is part of a group of players who come down from the Central Coast each week to train and play for the Woods. After some eye catching performances in Colts 2 Jacob Harrington will also be making his Colts 1 debut on the wing. Connor Moran moves from centre to flyhalf to replace Sam Cale, while Brad Meehan moves from the wing to the centres. The other change to the side is the return of Jack Morrison to the front row.