30th MARCH, 2019
EASTERN SUBURBS ROOSTERS vs UNIVERSITY RED MEN
The Eastern Suburbs Roosters ended 18 months in the wilderness to return to competition with a hard fought win against a speedy but typically scrambling University team.
With first game coach Jason Parremore guiding a team mixed with players having their first game ever, veterans who have lost count of their number of games, and some playing their first game for Easts, the army of Easts faithful were filled with excitement.
In windy, but fine conditions, on a good playing surface, the Roosters ran with the wind.
On the back of some nice hit-ups by first year Rooster Andrew “Fos” Fossati, centre Judd Sherratt showed all his renowned elusiveness to go over out wide and the ever reliable new Captain Jake Hyland slotted the extras to take the Roosters to a 7-0 lead.
Soon after, the un-heralded new second-rower Conrad Mitchell went over on the other side of the ground. A truly great coaching call putting Conny at #5. Again, Jake added the extras. 14-0.
Then it was the Red Men’s turn to have some fun. After several penalties conceded by the Roosters, they made a big break down their right wing. But they hadn’t accounted for our flying winger Muhammad “Mo” Rashad, who covered from his own wing and stopped that raid dead. Someone suggested we chip in and buy him a cape.
Closing on half time, and again on the back of some good hit-ups from our tight forwards and some width by the loosies, Judd again went over out wide and Jake did the job again, the Roosters taking a 21-0 lead into half time.
The Red Men came out after half time re-juvenated and running with the wind. Ably assisted by a heap of penalties from the Roosters, they rattled on two converted tries and a penalty goal to make the score an uncomfortable 21-17 lead to the Roosters.
Again, with some nice hit-ups wide of the rucks by the loose forwards B, Gobbles and Ric, the veteran Robbie Casboult crashed over in the left corner to make the score slightly more comfortable at 26-17, but Jake’s boot let him down this time.
Not to be out-done, the Red Men surged forward and a converted try under the posts taking the score to 26-24, had the Rooster faithful nervous. No need to worry though, Judd applied the steadier with his third meat pie almost on full time to take the score to 31-24. The Roosters weathered a couple of nervous minutes before the final whistle brought so much joy to the faithful.
The Roosters best players were centre Judd Sherratt, prop Robbie Casboult and half-back turned winger Richie MacNair. King Rooster was Jake Hyland.
Written By Les Marshall
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