It was business as usual for the
Don Forster’s Dive Iguanas over the weekend as they continued their unbeaten
run through the PSM Alex Alexander memorial trophy competition.
The team claimed their third
straight win in a hard-fought 31-24 encounter with the DHL Storm.
The game threatened to be a walk
over win for the Iguanas if the Storm failed to field a team a for the second
time this season, however a resurgent Storm side appeared on Saturday welcoming
back local rugby talents Phil O’Connor, Rob Robinson and Byron Solomon to the
Storm ranks to bolster a team still ravaged by injury.
The Iguanas, still looking to
polish their play after lacklustre performances against the Queensgate Pigs
Trotters and the BPC Buccaneers, started the game with fervour and pinned the
DHL Storm in their half for the opening exchanges. A frustrated Storm forward
pack then committed a series of errors in desperate attempts to retrieve the
ball but instead gave kickable penalties to Johnny Doak of the Iguanas. Doak
himself recorded 16 of the 31 Iguana points with four penalties and two
Whilst the Iguanas managed to
control the bulk of the ball possession and field position, the final score is testament
to the talent of the Storm’s Fijian stars who have so far managed to keep the team
with a competitive edge this season. All four of the Storm tries were scored by
DHL man of the match Raqtoi. The last was set up by Venassio Tokotokovanua
running half the length of the pitch before being tackled and handing off to
his Fijian team mate for the score. Michael Sumares kicked two conversions in
his first game for the Storm.
The Storm tries were scored in
opportunistic style after minor errors by the Iguanas provided the breathing
room necessary to spread the ball wide to the dangerous Storm backline. The
Storm pack offered little assistance to the team’s cause with very few solid
line outs and a string of turnovers in the scrum that starved the back line of
set piece ball. The Storm are still reliant on the experience of Ron Arscott
and Jim Johnson who both put in big performances by stopping the Iguanas making
meaningful advances off the fringes of the breakdown.
Whilst the DHL Storm had managed to
make some headway against their long injury list on Saturday, the BPC Buccaneers
are still barely treading water after a torrid fourth straight loss of the
season. The team went down 43-17 to the Queensgate Pigs Trotters.
The game started in promising
fashion for the Buccs, who even with a two player deficit managed to hold the
Pigs Trotters off for 20 minutes whilst putting 14 points on the board, much to
the shock of the crowd. The game looked to be building towards an epic David
vs. Goliath battle and a classic underdog win.
The Pigs were guilty of complacency
early on as they felt the game was already won before kickoff due to the player
advantage. However, after the first 20 minutes the Queensgate team put their
foot down and strangled the Buccs attack once and for all whilst running in 43
points to a riposte of a Harrison Foster penalty kick for the Buccaneers.
The Buccaneers will be scratching
their heads in the coming weeks trying to figure out how to deal with their
injury problems by coercing the return to the field of some of 2009’s solid performers
like James Brendling and Warren Wills who have been absent from the field so
far this season. Meanwhile, Mick Kehoe has to settle for a makeshift front row
long enough to allow the likes of Mark Lea to return at prop.
The Buccaneers, who have managed to
cause bigger teams a laundry list of problems even when playing undermanned
will no doubt be a team to watch in the second half of the season once they can
field 15 men on the pitch. The Queensgate Pigs Trotters meanwhile will be satisfied
with the bonus point win which saw seven tries scored by the men in red after a
nervy start. However, being in second place after a strong opening performance
against the Iguanas and a gift win by the Storm, who could not field a team,
this is the first real win of the season for the Pigs. A win by such a large
margin will no doubt be a big confidence boost to the team.