The Footscray Bulldogs downed Power House in the third game of the Victorian Competition. A red card against Power House at the 28th minute changed the match.
Thanks to a bye for the Melbourne Rebels a record 17 contracted Super Rugby players were on display in the Dewar Shield today.
In the match between Power House and Footscray, four Rebels were on display: Tom Sexton and Tom Kingston for The House, and Cadeyrn Neville and Cruze Ah-Nau for the Doggies. All of them contributed to the quality of the game and showed passion and commitment to their host team.
Footscray won due to better usage of their backs and better possession in House territory—particularly in the second half when House was a man short. Flanker Blaise Tuisia got a red card for the House in the 29th minute for punching and although Martin Naufu of Footscray got a yellow card in the same fracas he was back on the field afterwards.
Footscray was able to build on the numerical advantage in the second half and put the match behind Power House’s reach with two tries in the first 16 minutes.
The first half of the game was even: the first quarter of dominated by the Bulldogs and the second quarter by the House.
Footscray started the game well pushing the opponents deep in their 22 and capitalising on the possession with a superb try to Xavier Siola’a in the left corner.
The try woke up Power House, who started playing more open rugby and gaining more possession. When the cards came it was 14 against 14 but the House was still on top and 8 EJ Tyrel propelled him self across the line with a powerful push to score. Neither try had been converted:
Half-time score Power House 5 – Footscray 5
With 15 against 14 Footscray was easily able to make the most of their numerical advantage and scored two tries in the first 16 minutes of the second stanza to put the game beyond the reach of the House.
Firstly, Naufau was able to redeem himself for the yellow card and cross the line for a try in the eighth minute. Secondly, Footscray’s no. 8, Danny Hartwell, matched his direct opponent by scoring the third try for the Doggies.
The two Footscray try-scorers in the second half are serving the Bulldogs well. Naufau, has been one of their leading lights in past seasons and was in the Melbourne Rising squad in the NRC last year. Newcomer Hartwell is a welcome addition for this season—an Englishman who has been part of several Premiership Academy programmes.
It got worse for the Power House men in black, white and green, who already struggling to compete with one man down, when their scrumhalf Mark Bouma received a yellow card in the 68th minute. The Bulldogs were quick to capitalise and reserve prop Josh Ngauamo scored the bonus point try.
The game looked almost done and dusted, with the Bulldogs slowing down, but Power House was courageous and skilled enough to fight back. Ephraim Lesa scored their second try with six minutes to go.
Final score: Power House 10 – Footscray 24
The Wrap Up
After two wins and a draw Footscray remain undefeated at the start of Dewar Shield 2015 season, but Power House still have to taste victory after a draw and a loss.
The game was a good contest for the first half, but the extra man proved to be a crucial advantage for the Bulldogs against the tired legs of Power House after the break.
The Game Changer
Tuisila’s red card in the 29th minute was the defining moment of the game. Power House was in the contest with equal numbers but lost momentum in the second half of the game.
The G&GR MOTM
Danny Hartwell has been a fine addition to Footscray, he brings order to the back row and can attack the line: a very good prospect.
Today’s 2015 NRC prospects are Bulldogs centre Harry Key, flyhalf Shane Imo and lock Ikuna Takunafu; also Power House’s lock Ryan McKennon.
Score & Scorers
Power House 10 (5)
Tries: EJ Tyrel 34′, Ephraim Lesa 74′
Conversions: J. Schmidt 0/2
Footscray 24 (5)
Tries: X. Siola’a 14′, M. Naufau 48′, D. Hartwell 56′, J. Ngauamo 69′
Conversions: H. Key 2/4
Cards & citings
Power House: B. Tuisila 29′
Power House: M. Bouma 68′-78′
Footscray: M. Naufau 29′-39′; O. Walker 73′
The other results of the round
Large victories for Melbourne Uni and premiers Harlequin and a thriller between Box Hill and Melbourne:
Melbourne Uni – Moorabbin 58 – 20
Box Hill – Melbourne 32 – 31
Harlequin – Southern Districts 50 – 27
Endeavour Hills bye.
Photos by 22metri