A tough outing for the ever positive and hard fighting Storm
By Suze Carey
MCSORLEY'S MATCH REPORT - 18/12/2018 - BY LEWIS FRASER
The players of Sandy Bay Storm ventured to KGV for the second week running with the aim to build on the their valiant three try effort against Tai Po. This week Gai Wu, the top 4 side, gave Storm a real challenge.
The Gai Wu Fawkes set the pace of the game with a quick turnover and try in the first few minutes of the match up. Despite this, Storm did not give up easily. Straight off the kick #8 Lauren Petersen ripped the ball from the arms of an overconfident Fawke and claimed possession in the opposition half. The Storm battered at the Fawke defences, which eventually proved too strong, and resulted in an eventual Storm knock-on. Storm may have had the larger pack but the Fawkes were dominant in the scrums throughout the day. Based on a retrospective discussion with the Sandy Bay skipper and prop Joan Yip, the Fawkes front row set the height of the scrums and with overwhelming strength made it challenging for Storm to set a base for a good shove. On sheer scrum power, the Fawkes retained possession and worked their way up the pitch to score their next try.
The Storm responded with gale force; they fronted up, making big tackles and causing the Fawkes to regret some of their previous arrogance. By the end of the first half, Gai Wu couldn’t stop giving away penalties as the Storm back line threw their bodies against the continually offside Gai Wu defence. Special mention should go out to ‘Back of the Match’, Hana Lane. Her positioning, speed, and cutting runs gave the Fawkes problems throughout the entire match. Although Storm ended the first half three tries down, they had clearly brought Fawkes down a peg or two.
The Storm continued into the second half with grit and determination. This brought them all the way to the Fawkes try line. Here the fickle nature of rugby showed itself in full force. Gai Wu gained a quick turnover, shuttled the ball wide to a speedy winger that ran the ball from her own 10m line to score a try.
Though Gai Wu had placed a solid claim on the game the Storm didn’t drop their heads. In fact, the team marched their way up the pitch. #9 Eve Caplowe showed electric pace and incredible reaction time as she made metre after metre with quick pick and goes and penalty tap and goes. Hana continued her powerful runs off 10, and Lauren Petersen (Forward of the Match) handed off tacklers left and right as she charged through gaps in the opposition’s defensive line. The spectators began chanting that "Gai Wu can't handle the Storm", at which point the ladies were underneath the posts. This is where Tayler Coates "Coatesy" picked the ball from a ruck and drove it over the line in an aggressive and instinctive play, to score a try that far supersedes any of those scored this season by her father (all hail the judge). Harriet Jamieson kicked to perfection to add to her season’s tally. Through compounded effort, the Storm earned a team try. If they can take those phases of play into their next matches, no-one will stop them putting points on the board.
The Storm had used up all their juice and Gai Wu did eventually end up adding on a few more points. The game ended 7 – 29. The Storm can hold their heads up high. They showed what they are made of, brought a physicality to the game which made the Fawkes wince, and are surely on their way to wins in 2019.