There was a faint smell of victory this morning as the Highlanders woke to their first Southern Districts 7’s competition and first real hit out for the season. 23 players, three coaches, two team managers and one physio constructed the boys from north of the bridge to take the southerners by storm. Two teams were to play, Gordon one being made up of Grade players and Gordon two all Colts.
Gordon’s Colts pooled to play Norths at 11:10 this morning but an inability from Norths to also cross the bridge meant Gordon Colts took the game in a forfeit.
Gordon Grade took on West Harbour 2 in their round one clash following the forfeit of Norths to Gordon Colts. It was good start from the boys who ensured their Coach Expo Mejia they played their game. Gordon the first to cross through a hot headed Rohan Pixley who also scored the next two posing a lead of 19 – 0. From there it was all Gordon, taking the game 45 – 0. Standouts were Michael Manners, James Hackney, Matt McDougal and Brandon Quinn.
Gordon Colts were scheduled to play Souths White in a scorching second round clash. The game started with Souths holding onto the ball most of the half and crossing for a few five pointers. However it wasn’t all Souths. Gordon were able to claw their way back into the contest with three quick tries to Ben Butler and Tom Harding. Had the game gone on another few minutes it could have been Gordon Colts progressing to meet Gordon Grade in the Cup final? The score finished 22 – 12 in favour of Souths White. Gordon Colts now able to contest the Plate.
Gordon Grade took to the field against Souths Blue with a higher confidence after their thrashing of Wests in round one. It was Souths Blue who drew first blood however, going in under the posts after two minutes. However this was to be all Souths Blue would muster up as Gordon were able to cross for a total of seven tries in the clash. Special mentions go to Luke Papworth, Beau Hape and James Hackney who all scored tries and defended greatly. This victory allowing Gordon Grade suitable eligibility for the Cup Finals.
Plate Semi Final
Gordon Colts were greeted to the field by West Harbour 1, primarily made up of Grade players. It was a physical game that saw Wests cross for numerous amount of tries. However the boys did not stop playing their game, communicating and defending their line until the final whistle was blown. The boys should be very proud of their efforts, being the only Colts team at the tournament. Final score 36 – 0.
Cup Semi Final
A very physical game kicked off at 3:20pm at Forshaw Park where Gordon Grade were to contest the semi final for a place in the tournament final with Souths Red, the competition favourites. Souths Red were able to cross moments into the game through a set piece move. However it wasn’t to be all their way with Scott Pursell sending a great ball to Brandon Quinn to cross under the sticks and James Hackney to convert ensuring the game would be locked at 7 all going into half time.
The second half began with two quick tries to the competition favourites, putting them ahead 17 – 7 with three minutes left on the clock. A stray kick off from Souths Red landed plum on Matt McDougal’s chest who was able to not only turn on the pace but bust through the defence and score under the sticks. This hailed as the game changer turning Gordon’s fortune around. James Hackney converted to put the scores at 17 – 14 with just over a minute on the clock. Gordon then able to get possession in the final moments of the game and deliver the ball to the team speedster Brandon Quinn who was able to cross with 38 seconds on the clock, putting Gordon ahead 19 – 17. The competition favourites were stunned as were the crowd who anticipated an all South Final now realising none of their teams would take the top honours.
The whistle blew at 1700 hours to commence the final of the Southern Districts 7’s final between Gordon and Easts. Easts had progressed through the competition on the back of a few close games and were very interested intaking the honours for the day.
As the skies began to grey the boys took it to Easts at every breakdown, every scrum and lineout. First try scoring honours went too Luke Papworth. The boys from north of the bridge had a new found confidence and Easts knew they were here to play. Easts were the next to score of a nice bit of footwork by one of their speedsters. Halftime around the corner, Gordon were gifted a penalty where Beau Hape was able to put on an ankle breaking step and cross just beside the uprights. Halftime score 10 – 7 in favour of Gordon.
The second half began with another nice piece of footwork by one of Easts speedsters to put the game 12 – 10 in favour of Easts. It was a tense 6 minutes of play where neither team looked like crossing again, until a yellow card to an Easts player for an infringement saw Gordon step up for the final minutes. Great hands, footwork and teamwork sent Michael Manners over the line to put the game 15 – 12 in favour of Gordon, two minutes remaining. As one could expect, the clock took forever to wind down and it seemed at times like Easts would claw their way back and become victors. However this was not too be. The final siren blew and Gordon had taken their first title for 2015.
A big congratulations to the boys who put in the hard yards to get the club in high spirits coming into the beginning of the NSW Premier Season.
Special thanks goes out to Southern Distrcits for hosting the series, Easts for playing a great game in the Final, First Grade Coach Geoff Townsend for giving up his Saturday running touch in Gordon Grade games, Grant McLellan, Saam Phipps and Colts Director David Telfer for organising the Colts to have a run.
A massive congratulations to Expo Mejia on coaching the boys to the title. Well done Expo!