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17 June, 2021

Rivers revenge on the Sharks

Having gone down to the Caloundra Sharks in the first round of the competition, the Stanley River Wolves A Grade were looking to turn the tables on the Sharks at the Graveyard at Woodford Showgrounds on Saturday 12 June.

The Wolves started in a hurry in the second minute of the game as five eighth Callum Klein was caught in possession on the left in the fourth tackle.

On the next play half back Brett Doherty wrapped around the play the ball from right to left just getting there in time to take the dummy half pass on the fly and get a ball to fullback Corey Parker who fed centre Rowan Klein to cross in the corner for a strong early try. The Wolves led 4 nil.

For the next 20 minutes both teams threatened with no result on the board. The Wolves went through an extended period defending their own line before eventually breaking free and working upfield. The ball went right to Corey Parker who accelerated outside his man and got a pass to right centre Sam Armitage who threw a good ball to put his winger Mambut into space down the right hand touchline. Mambut sped down the touch line and then put a right foot step on his opposition to come inside and score a great try. Brett Doherty converted and the Wolves led 10 nil.

With seven minutes to go in the first half, following some repeated infringements, a Caloundra second rower was sent to the sin bin. Rivers got a penalty and a few tackles later Blair Howard hit the line like a man not wanting to be stopped and he was over the top of the defenders and in for a try. Brett Doherty converted and the Wolves led at half time 16 nil.

Early in the second half Caloundra opened their scoring following a scrum which they fed only 20 metres out from their own line. Caloundra centre Sam Vereniki got the ball, beat his Rivers defender and outpaced the chasers to run 80 m and score. The try was converted and the Wolves led 16 to 6.

Rivers hit back 5 minutes later when attacking the line on the right hand side of the field, Brett Doherty stepped inside a defender and as he hit the defensive line flicked the ball back over his head as he fell in the tackle, which Corey Parker caught, reached out and planted down for a try. Brett converted and the Wolves led 22 to 6.

Shortly after they worked their way back downfield again attacking the right side. On the last tackle Brett Doherty put in a chip kick which rebounded back into the arms of second rower James Cochran who sent a pass back to Brett Doherty and he scored. Brett converted and the Wolves led 28 to 6 with 25 mins to go.

Possession swung Caloundra’s way in the next period of play but they were unable to turn that into points in the face of some stern Rivers defence.

With 13 minutes to go the Wolves put the icing on the cake from about 30 m out. Brett Doherty took the ball right, Callum Klein chimed in outside him to put Sam Armitage into space and his run proved too strong for the defence and it was try time for Sam. Brett converted and Rivers 34 Caloundra 6 would be the full time score.

This was another good all round performance from the Wolves particularly in the forwards as Ricky Shaxson came off with a serious hand injury mid-way through the first half and could take no further part in the game. As a result, more minutes were required from the other forwards and notably prop Blair Howard played a full game and performed strongly throughout.

In the Reserve Grade the Wolves welcomed back a few players and they were hoping to turn their fortunes around after a tough game the previous week. They started strongly with their forwards making good ground up the middle and the team controlling the ball well getting to their last tackle kicks and looking good. In particular, Dean Lude (back from a knee injury) and Henry Harris led the forwards with strong performances.

The first 30 minutes saw no score and then Caloundra finally cracked the determined Wolves defence out wide to score and lead 4 nil. 

The Wolves hit back shortly afterwards after some strong defence jolted the ball loose from a Caloundra player. Fittingly it was prop Henry Harris who took the ball strongly to the line and provided a short pass to fellow prop Dean Lude who burst through the Caloundra defenders to score beside the posts. Eddie Draper converted and the Wolves led 6 to 4 at half time.

Caloundra came out stronger in the second half and some mistakes began to creep into the tiring Wolves outfit which allowed Caloundra to gain some dominance with field position. Caloundra finished the stronger scoring 3 unanswered tries in the second half which saw the final score Caloundra 16 to Rivers 6.

However, this was a courageous performance from the Wolves as the run of injuries, particularly in the backs, meant players stayed out on the field when at other times they might have come off for a breather. Well done guys good effort.

Special mention also to A Grade bench forward Kale Sheraton who played a lot of quality minutes in Reserve Grade and then backed up in A Grade.

Sunday (20 June), Rivers travel to Beerwah to play Beerwah in both grades. Reserve Grade starts at 1:30pm and A Grade at 3pm. Get there if you can and support the Wolves.


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