27th July 2019
EASTERN SUBURBS ROOSTERS vs LAUNCESTON TIGERS
Our beloved injury ravaged Roosters on Saturday travelled across the bridge to Eady Street, determined to inflict some pain on the visiting Launceston Tigers. Season 2019 has seen the win count even, with wins going to the home teams in each round. The Roosters, suffering an horrendous injury count were helped out once again by our Glenorchy Stags friends, enabling us to have a decent bench.
In almost perfect rugby conditions, the Tigers kicked off to the western end, and as has often been the case this season, the Roosters turned over the ball for a Launceston scrum. A simple switch to the blind side by the visitors that the Roosters failed to cover resulted in a try wide out two minutes into the game. A failed conversion, and with plenty of time to go, 5 – 0 down wasn’t so disastrous.
After a period of consolidation by both teams, the Tigers found themselves with a scrum on the Rooster 22 line. Blind side worked last time didn’t it? Why not try again? So they did the identical move, and once again, the same result. 10 – 0 down and 15 minutes gone. The Roosters really needed to improve.
The big Tiger forwards were having a great time, and the plan to shift them around was breaking down. Leon Thompson at tight head was keeping the scrum organised, and Rick Miller’s defence was once again outstanding. The Launnie boys were on top, and the Roosters needed to improve.
With 35 minutes gone, the Tigers gained a penalty on the Rooster 22 and decided to run the ball. A couple of rucks later, their big loose head prop strolled over for the easiest try you will ever see. This time the conversion was successful and the Roosters trailed by 17 – 0.
Closing in on half time, the Tigers once again tried to test out the baby of the team, Glenorchy’s Tye Hart with a kick in behind him. 39 minutes gone, it was a bad move. The youngster picked up the ball on the Rooster 22, and then proceeded to run everywhere, finding holes and avoiding tackles until he finally linked up with Richard Miller about 10m out, and the big fella did the rest. The conversion missed, but 5 – 17 at half time was cause for optimism.
A couple of changes in the backs, designed to shift the big Launnie forwards around appeared to pay dividends. Tye’s brother Leroy came in to 10 and began to play with less structure than we had been. Eventually, 12 minutes in, Leroy found a hole and went over, with the unsuccessful conversion leaving Easts at 10 -17.
Two minutes later, Leroy got his hands on the ball again, another try. But another missed conversion. 15 – 17 with the Roosters surging wasn’t too bad. The ball was coming wide to Jonathon Elliott and Jason Parremore, and the Rooster faithful were feeling optimistic.
However, the Tigers weren’t to be denied. As the Roosters became more adventurous, Launnie stuck to their game plan. They got us in Eady Street’s equivalent of Death Valley and after a series of rucks scored under the posts to extend their lead to 15 – 24. Now Launnie were surging. From the kick – off, a ruck win and ball through the hands…a try out wide and into the comfort zone at 15 – 31. The Roosters weren’t playing like winners.
Forty minutes gone, with only injury time left, the Tigers started to move the ball around themselves. Several rucks and runs through Death Valley had them move the ball wide and a simple 2 man overlap had them in again. Referee Adam Brancher called a halt to the Rooster misery with the score-line at 15 – 38.
The Tigers were worthy winners. The Roosters finished the roster games top of the ladder and will come to Rugby Park next week to play the victors in the major semi final.
The Roosters best, voted by independent observers:
3 votes Leon Thompson
2 votes Richard Miller
1 vote Jonathon Elliott
King Rooster Jacob Donnelly
LADDER AFTER 15 ROUNDS