Spirit Haunt Country prior to Halloween - Green and Gold Rugby
National Rugby Championship

Spirit Haunt Country prior to Halloween

Spirit Haunt Country prior to Halloween

So here we are at the tail end of the season. On a very hot afternoon in Ipswich. QLD Country playing for the minor premiership. Perth Spirit playing for bucket loads of pride and a place in the finals.

 

Chris Feauai-Sautia scores

Chris Feauai-Sautia scores

First Half
For the first nine & a half minutes seemed like each side was just testing what the other had to offer. But eventually QLD Country settled the play and after a nice little wrap around play by the loosehead prop (Slipper) and the hooker (Ma’afu), Jock Campbell went over to open the scoring. Tuttle converted to make the score 7 – 0 inside ten minutes.

Not long after Tuttle was again involved when he was on the end of a turnover, and sprinted from halfway to score their second try in the corner. He duly converted taking the score to 14 – 0. This was looking to be a long afternoon for the Spirit.

QLD Country was clearly playing a territory game, taking every opportunity to kick in behind the Spirit defence. And it didn’t seem to take long to break Perth’s spirit. Chris Feauai-Sautia crossed the line in the 20th minute and Tuttle converted to take the score out to 21-0.

The Spirit kept battering away though, and eventually, Richie Arnold lay down from about 6 meters* out a planted to the ball to open their score. And when Peter Grant scored maybe all was not lost.

Didn’t take long for QLD Country to hit back however. After a mistake from a 22 drop out by the Spirit, Teti Tela made a beautiful break and put Patrick James over in the corner to put Country up 26-7.

Slipper departed just before half time. Hopefully, it is not serious.

* Maybe an exaggeration

 

Filipo Daugunu tackled

Filipo Daugunu tackled

 

Second Half
Spirit seemed to take their angry pills at half time. Or maybe the coach just passed his around. They kept pressing the Country defence and eventually Tevin Ferris barrelled his way over. After the conversion was successfully by Grant the score came back to 26 -14.

Despite QLD Country threatening the line from one of the best turnovers I have seen this season by Angus Scott-Young, the Spirit were the next to cross through a try to Nick Jooste taking the score to 26 – 19. My lord didn’t this game turn around…..

The second half was turning out to be the polar opposite of the first. The Spirit had got it together & QLD country was making all the mistakes. In the 64th minute, Perth equalled to scores up with a try to replacement hooker Sama Malolo which was converted by Grant. With the storm clouds gathering this was going to close.

With less than one minute to go QLD Country scrum failed…. Grant kicked the resulting penalty as the fulltime hooter sounded to take the win and the Horan Little Shield for the Perth Spirit. What. A. Game.

 

Jock Campbell scores

Jock Campbell scores


 

The Game Changer

Well. It was a game of two halves. No really. Two bloody halves. Half time was the game changer. That and whatever the Spirit Coach said to his team.

The G&GR MOTM

This is going to sound strange but best on ground has to be James Verity-Amm. He started on the bench for the Spirit and come on early, around the 23 minute mark. When he did he straightened the Spirit attack & was a real handful for the QLD Country defence. Best for QLD Country was James Tuttle. He is just non-stop all game and was responsible for bringing down many of the big men in defence.

Oz Baabaa Watch

Other than Verity-amm and Tuttle… watch out for Sama Malolo, the Perth replacement hooker. After he came on he made some big hits and busting runs. Angus Scott-Young is also showing his breeding and turning into an excellent number 8.

 


 

The Details

QLD Country:

Tries: Campbell, Tuttle, Feauai-Sautia, James

Conversions: Tuttle (3/4)

Penalties:

Perth Spirit:

Tries: Arnold, Ferris, Jooste, Malolo

Conversions: Grant (3/4)

Penalties: Grant (1/1) (Bastard….)

Rob Puli'uvea

Rob Puli’uvea

  • Bobas

    Wow. What were the odds on Perth making finals before the round start. Such an unlikely turn of events.

    • Brumby Runner

      That’s right. All the talk before the weekend started was that the Brisbane City and NSW Country sides would fight out the last spot.

  • Chris Keo

    My boy Malolo! Always good to see an old teammate in action.

    • SuckerForRed

      He is showing some real talent. Hope it continues.

      • Bernie Chan

        How is CFS going…? I know he scored, but is he looking good for the Super Rugby season? We’ve been waiting for him to sustain a performance level befitting his talent…

        • SuckerForRed

          He did alright. He was captain for the game. I never know if it is my expectations that are too high where he is concerned…..

        • Bernie Chan

          SFR…I think you can be assured that you are “no Robinson Crusoe…” in that respect. Reds fans generally want CFS to take the game by the scruff of the neck…and fulfill his potential after a few years blighted by injury.

  • Perth girl

    Well done Perth Piggies! Considering the amount of players we had out for the Wallabies v Baa Baas game these guys played out of their socks!. By the way we are renaming the Shield the Hodgson/ Cowan Shield!! It just goes to show the depth of WA rugby.

  • Who?

    So, Qld Country games have been free all season, wherever they were played. They get a semi final, and send it to Toowoomba. And charge entry… :-

    • HJ Nelson

      The two home games at Bond University were $5 entry.

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@@SuckerForRed

Rugby fetishist. Reds & Wallabies supporter. Have been known to watch all grades & levels. Warning - gets fired up! And yes I am a GIRL..........

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