The Paddy James and Jack Tuttle show rolled on through another challenger yesterday as they stamped any threat Ipswich Grammar posed to them with some classy play that left the men from Ipswich stunned. Another outstanding performance on Jack Ross firmed Nudgee as one of the premiership favourites for the 2012 season.
Nudgee 40 – IGS 21
Some great initial intent was shown by the Ipswich men who defended extremely well from the outset, negating 8 or 9 Nudgee phases before a wayward pass from Jack Tuttle playing at outside centre lead to Ipswich’s first touch of the ball. However after a couple of strong runs from Australian Schools prop Aaron Pleash and fellow front-rower Latham Takau the ball was turned over providing No. 11 and crowd favourite from Nudgee Charles Tenakanai with his first real chance who again looked dangerous from the outset, making a dazzling a run only to be cut down extremely well by Ipswich full-back James Todd.
Following the clearing kick and some nice defense by Ipswich a penalty for not releasing the ball was awarded and Ipswich entered the Nudgee red zone for the first time in the game. Some great runs by the Ipswich forwards getting some consistent momentum before a nice dummy from half-back Lloyd Simms-Chambers fooled the Nudgee defense and stretched out for the first points of the match. The conversion was made and Ipswich lead Nudgee 7-0 after 10 minutes.
A nice restart from Tuttle caused some serious pressure to be placed under the ball and upon deflection Nudgee were awarded the line-out. Aaron Pleash showing his Australian representation credentials with two or three fantastic runs straight up the heart of the Nudgee defense, bringing a number of defenders with him. After Pleash got a fantastic offload away a loose carry gave the ball straight back to Nudgee and some smart play by fly-half Paddy James gave Nudgee some great territory inside the Ipswich 22. Some great work by openside flanker Henry Fitzgerald earnt Nudgee a penalty directly in front of the posts but a quick tap and some sloppy ball handling gave the ball right back to Ipswich. Ipswich immediately returned the favour after Todd tried to push a pass and a few phases later Nudgee were awarded a penalty after Ipswich had been judged off-side. Another decision was made to not take the points which paid off after a sly line-out move put No.3 Graeme Wessels over for a try. Tuttle missed the conversion and the score sat at Ipswich 7 – Nudgee 5.
A few phases following the restart, a great run from Nudgee flanker Jayden Rodwell put Nudgee in some fantastic space, only for the pass to be intercepted by Ipswich No. 11 Thomas McKitrick. The next phase some sloppy passing from Ipswich allowed James to swoop on the ball, draw the last line of defense and put Nic Fordyce in for his first try of the match. Nudgee lead 12-7.
Some poor defense from Ipswich immediately off the restart allowed Nudgee to fly down the sideline with a 2 on 1 advantage, only for the final pass to be thrown forward in front of the Nudgee supporters who were outraged. Had it not been for the forward pass Tenakanai was in for Nudgee’s third try. Some poor ball handling from both sides eventually ended up with ball in the hands of James who sliced through the line and offloaded Sonny Bill Williams style mid-tackle to create another line break. Some desperate defense held Nudgee out and an eventual 5 metre scrum came after the ball was unplayable. A set play from the scrum between James and Tenakanai gave Nudgee their third try, they lead 19-7.
Both sides showed signs of fatigue after only about 25 minutes of play with some poor rugby being played, penalties and handling errors aplenty. Pleash and Takau the clear stand-outs for Ipswich but they were not being backed up well by the other forwards, as they were often isolated. With 5 remaining in the first half Pleash was isolated for the second time and some class was shown by James who put in a great kick in behind the Ipswich line, giving Ipswich no option but to put the ball out. From the ensuing line-out a number of strong pick and drives by No. 1 Postale in particular allowed Nudgee to cut the numbers in the Ipswich defensive line before a great kick from James put the Nudgee full-back in for his first try, Nudgee went into the half-time break up 26-7.
Ipswich seemed to be flat coming out of the break, kicking the ball at all costs but in all fairness were showing heart in defense. A nice scrum move early in the half from the Ipswich backs put Todd straight through a hole only for McKitrick to drop the ball cold, a real blow as this would have provided some serious spark. The clearing kick from James gave Ipswich the ball 40 out from the Nudgee line and off the following phase they were awarded a penalty. A great run from Ipswich No. 4 Jack Parcell gave Ipswich the first points of the half but they still trailed 26-14.
The first of a few questionable calls from the referee went against Ipswich quickly after the kick-off, only for Nudgee to waste the ball and turn the ball over. The Ipswich backs again had another chance with ball in hand but elected to kick and James made them pay, with a great kick to earn Nudgee some territory inside the Ipswich 22. After some nice counter-attack play following the Ipswich kick from the Nudgee back three, a professional foul 5 metres out from Ipswich was lucky to not earn a yellow card. Nudgee elected to kick for touch and a rolling maul gave hooker Alex Mafi his first try. Nudgee had increased the lead to 33-14.
A knock on from the kick-off gave Ipswich the ball immediately and they earnt a penalty after some stupid play by the Nudgee loose forwards. Ipswich gave Nudgee a taste of their own medicine with a rolling maul lasting 10 metres giving them their third try, again cutting the lead to 33-21.
From this point on, the story of the day was Ipswich blowing any chance that they had, almost looking as though they were trying too hard. Too many pushed passes, incorrect execution at set piece time and poor decision making really costing them a number of times. Paddy James really coming to the fore, getting a pilfer for himself followed by a fantastic kick to put Nudgee in the Ipswich red zone again. The line-out proved costly for Ipswich, with the loose ball being cleaned up yet again by James. 4 or 5 pick and drives followed only for Ipswich to be awarded a penalty after Nudgee killed the ball.
Set piece time again cost Ipswich, this time Takau being popped by Postale and the ball at the back was extremely messy, leading to a knock on. The clearing kick going straight up the middle to Todd, who was isolated after pure laziness was shown by the Ipswich forwards, resulting in a Nudgee penalty 35 out from the Ipswich line. A nice kick in behind from half-back Mike Tweedy gave winger Tyrone Hussey a chance to score but he could not gather the loose ball. Two phases after the ensuing scrum, an enormous hit from Mafi lead to a Nudgee pilfer and a great run from the No. 8 gave Wessels his second try following a great pick and drive. This was the last act of the game as Nudgee finished on top of a spirited Ipswich Grammar 40-21.
2. Alex Mafi (NC): Fantastic at set piece time, a number of strong runs and big hits to cap off a great game.
4. Nic Fordyce (NC): Key line-out jumper, getting through a number of tackles and always supports any runs from his inside backs.
6. Jayden Rodwell (NC): Breaking tackles with every run, took nearly every restart and made immediate metres, menace at the breakdown.
9. Mike Tweedy (NC): Passed superbly to James all day, great organisational skills as well.
10. Paddy James (NC): Man of the match, showed class with every touch and was unstoppable.
11. Charles Tenakanai (NC): Again showing why he is a crowd favourite, 6 or 7 runs with multiple tackle breaks always getting over the gain line.
1. Aaron Pleash (IGS): Great scrummager and had 7 or 8 runs with big gains, struggled for support at times.
3. Latham Takau (IGS): Consistently got over the gain line but did struggle at scrum time.
8. Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz (IGS): Huge boy and showed good skill in the tackle to get a few good offloads away.
15. James Todd (IGS): Cleaned up a few Nudgee breaks and showed some good class with a number of nice kicks.