It's on again, the Two Blues Annual Sportsmans Lunch. The 2016 version is already spoiling us, with special guests being Waratahs Head Coach - Darryl Gibson and current Waratahs players Kurtley Beale, Israel Folau, Reece Robinson, Will Skelton and our own Two Blues and Waratahs legend Tatafu Polota Nau.
Always a fun event, the 2016 luncheon will sell out fast. So don't be late, book now to reserve your seats.
A mid table clash between Eastwood and Parramatta in 4’s would decide which of these teams continued to be a chance in the run to the semi finals. Eastwood were beaten in the first round by our blokes and from the outset appeared very determined not to have the performance repeated.
Woodies came out all guns blazing to score two early tries, and it again took 20 minutes for our sleepy heads to wake up and respond.
But they did.
Some much improved defence brought about by an upturn in attitude saw us stem the flow, and finally post a try of our own. We went to the break down 5-10.
Unfortunately, that was the last points we could score in the match. Eastwood, determined not to lose again, lifted the intensity and we just couldn’t go with them. The score finished unflatteringly 5-27.
We have to rue the chances that we failed to take during the season. Those close losses would have made all the difference in the hunt for a finals spot, and we hope that the players recognise that each and every game is important in its own right. You guys still have three games to go, so start treating those with the importance they deserve in a rehearsal for next season.
In 3’s, for those that chose to, a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate your tackle technique was made available as we evidently decided to play without the ball. In a match where we couldn’t string more than two phases together and were blown off the park with a penalty count that resembled a cricket score, the ball appeared to be an anathema.
Our line out lacked its usual precision, and the scrums lacked the cohesion to lay a proper platform. Certain individual’s laziness around the breakdown cost us plenty, and we were really no match for the more determined enthusiastic Eastwood outfit.
A repeat of Doug’s lecture on FOKS [focus] would have been timely, as it appeared that only a few retained the original concept.
In a forgettable affair, the only highlights were the commitment to defence displayed by a couple of the forwards and our inside backs.
We got thumped 0-55.
Echoing Forrest Gump ‘and that’s all I have to say about that………..’
Gordon at home next weekend should be an interesting affair.
Parra kick off and are running north to Epping Road. Eastwood draws first blood with try in the south corner after 3 minutes of play The conversion is unsuccessful. Eastwood 5, Parra 0. Eastwood’s next try comes from an Eastwood scrum 22 metres from our line. Eastwood go left and nobody is home. We are plainly beaten by numbers or rather the lack of numbers on the left edge. Eastwood score in the southern club house corner. The conversion is unsuccessful. Eastwood 10, Parra 0 after 10 minutes of play. Parra hasn’t gotten into the game as yet. I spoke too soon as Parra is awarded 2 penalties on the trot. James Benton kicks for goal on the second penalty but is unsuccessful. James is visibly upset. Eastwood’s next try comes off an Eastwood dominant scrum that is followed by a penalty against Parra. Eastwood tap and run, scoring out wide. The conversion is unsuccessful. Eastwood 15, Parra 0. It looks like it’s going to be a long afternoon as Eastwood pepper our line looking for their 4th try. After continuous pressure Eastwood score again. The conversion is successful. Eastwood 22 Parra 0 after 30 minutes of play. Parra play is lack lustre as Eastwood score their fifth try off the back of the scrum. The Eastwood half runs straight and hard. He scores between the posts. The conversion is successful. Eastwood 29, Parra 0 after 35 minutes. Hopefully Parra can hold Eastwood out in the dying minutes of the first half. Eastwood have their foot on our throats as Eastwood scores and converts. Eastwood 36, Parra 0.
Eastwood kicks short to restart the second half. First second half penalty for Eastwood not rolling away. Parra Reserve Grade is a good team. If they have good field position they know how to score. I have given the team false confidence as we turn the ball over from the lineout. Eastwood pick and try and the Eastwood half finishes off the play with a try between the posts after 5 minutes of play. Eastwood convert Eastwood 41, Parra 0. From the kick return Eastwood turn the ball over and Parra hits up on the right hand side and Hooker Lui scores. We are on the board. The conversion is unsuccessful. Eastwood 43, Parra 5. Eastwood have been watching us as they bring back the ball down from the kick return and Parra intercepts the ball. Winger Bryce Steel takes the final pass and is off to the try line. James Benton’s kick is waved away. Eastwood 43, Parra 10. As I said, it is all about field position for Parra. It seems like we don’t like defending as the Eastwood flanker scores a very soft try. Eastwood convert. Eastwood 50, Parra 10.
I think I am watching tennis as Parra strikes back through No.8 Sione Fifita, he scores in the right hand southern corner. The conversion from the sideline is unsuccessful. Eastwood 50, Parra 15. Its Eastwood turns to serve as they bring back the ball from the kick return. Eastwood score a soft try in the eastern corner. Eastwood convert. Eastwood 57, Parra 15. Parra are hot and cold. The boys don’t appear to have the passion and there is no urgency in defence. The kick return witnesses No.8 Sione make a good break through Eastwood but Sione runs out of support. We turn the ball over and we are punished again by Eastwood who score in the left hand corner. The try is scored by Jackson Bird son of Dave Bird who holds the club record for the most club games played for Parra. The kick is unsuccessful. The final score, Eastwood 62, Parra 15.
Boys we definitely have to work on our defence during the week. I’d hate to talk about the number of tries you have leaked over the last couple of weeks.
Parra kick off and are running north. Eastwood quickly bring the ball back to half way and Parra give up the first penalty for offside. Eastwood kick deep to our 22. From the lineout Eastwood turn the ball over. Parra attack! Penalty Eastwood for Parra not releasing. Eastwood line out on half way. Not in straight, Parra scrum. The Parra scrum is strong and shows signs it will be dominant. Parra kick through, however, we need to be more strategic as Eastwood run it back. Our defensive line stops a certain try as Eastwood probe left and right. Muggo will be happy. Parra have been playing for 10 minutes without the ball. We are defending well and don’t look like giving Eastwood a consolation try. If Eastwood are to score they are going to have to earn it. Robbie Mate playing at fly half is more composed and looking to turn Eastwood around at every opportunity.
From an Eastwood penalty line out Eastwood turn the ball over on half way. Prop David Lolohea is in open space and running freely and dummying on his way for a 20 metre run. His young daughter is laughing in pure delight as Dave passes to wing Rob Duff and he’s away down the sideline. I thought Rob was going to do a Queenslander and score a Dane Gagai try in the left northern corner. Eastwood cut him down as he crawled, he passes off the ground to half Kaleb who is backing up scoring a brilliant try .Full back Niko Uele is taking over the kicking duties. The pensioner Woodsy is out with a groin injury. Niko converts from the sideline that Owen Farrell would be proud of. The crowd calls out that it is the end of Woodsy at fullback. Parra 7, Eastwood 0 after 27 minutes of play. Parra are here to play. Eastwood penalty for Parra tackling the ball carrier in the air. Good enthusiasm wrong result. Eastwood line out on our 22. Come on boys hold them out. Eastwood are penalised for holding on in the maul. Parra line out on Eastwood’s 30 metre on the club house side. Parra throw too far and their flanker is away. Thank goodness he is penalised for not releasing. Here’s our big chance as Coxie is stripped of the ball in the tackle. Eastwood kick through for a Parra lineout on our 22. We kick deep and Eastwood returns fire as Hooker Aaron Blacklock catches the ball on the fly that Mark Waugh would have been proud of. Half Kaleb kicks to wing Hayden Cole but it goes into touch for Eastwood lineout on their 30 metre. Niko Uele is playing well from the back and making impressive runs. Unfortunately we knock on from a loose carry. Eastwood scrum on Eastwood’s 22 on the grandstand side. Eastwood spread left as our defensive pattern closes in. Penalty to Parra for Eastwood not releasing. Good work Parra! There is only moments to go to half time as Niko walks up to take the kick. It is only 38.1473 metres out probably 40 metres on the angle. Niko moves in and hits it well. No result however, a good attempt. Half time score Parra 7 and Eastwood yet to score.
Parra stay on the field for the half time speeches. Paul talks of us doing well but we need to push up and deny Eastwood space. Eastwood’s work off their kick is good. Watch this as they will punish us. Greg states we need to make certain the ball goes out or we control the ball and set up our platform. If Eastwood kicks the ball, this is an indication of a win for us. Muggo is happy with the way we are playing. Control the ball better and watch for the unusual stuff by Eastwood. ie quick taps, chip kicks etc.
The second half starts off with Parra turning the ball over, Eastwood penalty for Parra offside. Here we go! Eastwood lineout on our 5 metre after 2 minutes of play. Parra’s defence is good. Parra are penalised again for Senio coming through the ruck. Eastwood kick for line 5 metres out. Parra hold Eastwood up. The 50/50 calls should go our way as we are dominant side. The call goes to Eastwood for a scrum 5 metres out next to the posts. Eastwood take the ball from the back of the scrum and pick and drive. Eastwood score in the north corner on the clubhouse side. The kick is unsuccessful. Parra 7, Eastwood 5 after 5 minutes of the second half. The restart kick is taken on Eastwood’s 22. Parra are penalised. Eastwood are lifting. Danger time! Come on boys we need more passion. Eastwood run at us cutting through the whole team. Aaron Blacklock makes a try saving tackle. It’s been a while since I have seen a F.T.T. by our team. (Failure to tackle!) We continue to turn over our possession. Is our fitness up to continually defending? Eastwood knock on. Parra scrum on our 5 metre. We need to hold the ball or Eastwood will run away with the game. Fly half Robbie kicks to our 22. Eastwood line out. Parra are penalised for going over the top in the maul. Eastwood opt for the lineout 5 metres out. Eastwood set up for their inside centre trying to punch a hole through our defence. Aaron Blacklock comes in from the side killing the ball. Penalty, Aaron is yellow carded for continued professional fouls. We haven’t started the second half well and now we are down to 14 men. What else is new? Centre Tom Hill kicks the penalty conversion. Eastwood 8, Parra 7.
From the kick return, Eastwood knock on. There is a reorganisation of our scrum. Lock Riley Carter is off and Hooker Lui is on. Parra scrum but Eastwood takes a tight head. Eastwood kick through and regain the ball. Eastwood drives at our line through their hooker. He slams the ball down and it bounces a metre in the air. He never had control. The ref goes to the touch judge. A try is awarded. No way! The tide is turning against us, we have not been dominant in the second half. Eastwood convert. Eastwood 15, Parra 7. Keep your heads up boys. Coxie takes the ball from the kick return and hits the ball up. Turnover, oh no! Eastwood are away. They run 75 metres and score. Eastwood convert in front. Eastwood 22, Parra 7 after 20 minutes of play. Come boys we have plenty of time. The kick return witnesses No. 8 Tyrone take the ball on the full and runs it back. Penalty to Eastwood offside. Thank goodness! Parra line out on the Eastwood 5 metre. Parra score with a well-constructed try wide out. Winger Hayden Cole finishing it off. A great team try. Again Niko kicks well but it is wide. Eastwood 22, Parra 12 after 22 minutes.
Hooker Aaron is back on. Sorry mate! but Eastwood scored 17 points while you were off twiddling your thumbs. From the kick return we have a turn over. Eastwood scrum on our 30 metre. Daniel Tamone replaces Pat Searson. The world’s biggest lock, Captain Cox retains his position in the scrum. Coxie loves the second row! Penalty Parra, Eastwood collapsing in the scrum. Great work! Gee I love the confrontation up front. It’s a real science. Parra clear to the line. Another penalty to Parra for Eastwood being off side. Go Parra! Parra lineout on half way on the club house side. Double knock on, Parra scrum on half way. Penalty to Parra, Eastwood not engaging correctly. Come on boys we’ve got them. Surely there is a yellow card soon. Parra lineout on Eastwood’s 22. Parra spread left and we drop the ball. Eastwood scrum 2 metres into our half. Eastwood are penalised for infringing the scrum again. The Eastwood prop is yellow carded. This is unreal, our scrum is so dominant. Fantastic work, I love it! Parra line out, 5 metres from Eastwood’s try line on the club house side. Parra bring the ball down into a rolling maul. Push over try, who scored? who are they tapping on the head? Unbelievable, villain to hero! Aaron Blacklock claims the try. The conversion goes across the face of the goal. Eastwood 22, Parra 17. Its 3 tries all.
Parra brings down the ball in the kick return. We run the ball back to Eastwood’s 22 through centre Moa. Turnover we knock on. Eastwood scrum on Eastwood’s 22. We should be able to crush them. Eastwood have changed their front row. Penalty against Parra for boring in. Eastwood line out on half way with 6 minutes to play. Parra breaks out with a good run. We are brought back because of a forward pass. Eastwood’s scrum. Big push boys as Eastwood go backwards. Parra are dominant and receive another 2 penalties in a row. Parra lineout and we pass right. Story of our lives, we lose the ball. Eastwood knock on. Parra scrum 5 metres out from the Eastwood line on the club house side with 3 minutes to full time. Our scrum pushes forward as the ball goes right. Centre Moa hits onto the ball. Eastwood can’t contain his straight running as be burst through over the try line. Moa then brings the ball around under the posts, diving and landing on his chest. Niko takes the kick. He moves in, “Its long enough, its high enough, it straight between the posts. Parra have hit the lead with 2 minutes to go. Parra 24, Eastwood 22. The kick return witnesses no tricky plays by Eastwood. Lock Senior leaps into the air bringing the ball down with both hands. No penalties boys, no off sides. Senio is able to set the ruck as the crowd counts down to full time. The siren sounds, the pass goes to Half Kaleb. Kaleb kicks the ball into the grandstand. We have won, we have won! What a great feeling of jubilation! We have beaten the current Shute Shield premiers twice this year and it is East wood’s first loss at home after recording 7 wins at home. Well done boys!
Congratulations boys on your fantastic win. Beating the reigning premiers twice in a year is unheard of. It has been over 11 years since we have beaten Eastwood once (this is unconfirmed) let alone beating Eastwood twice in the same season. I thought we were going to get the double but Australia couldn’t pull it off. Congratulations to Lock Adam Coleman on his test debut and Wing Taqele Naiyaravoro on his try in the third test and second test cap. Taqele’s first game for Parramatta was against Eastwood. The Parramatta vision is for Parramatta to become a power house in rugby. Who would have thought that Parramatta would have 3 players representing Australia in the third test against England in Tatafu, Adam and Taqele? Now we are talking about a key performance indicator!
Having now watched the Two Blues win a historic two games against the Australian Club Champions and current premiers Eastwood this season I would like to publically acknowledge those responsible. Thank you to all our players in our 9 teams, their coaches and support staff, the volunteers, our supporters, the Board led by Brian, GM Belly and the support of our sponsors for your dedication and commitment in returning Parra to a respected and competitive club in rugby. Parramatta has a proud history and we are continuing to make history. When was the last time Parra had 3 players on the field in a test and two junior teams winning in the 16’s and 17’s state cup? Keep up the good work everyone in keeping the dream alive. I know we are not finished yet.
This week sees the first of a run of 5 consecutive weeks our Grade teams will play away. The first week is against Penrith at Nepean Rugby Park. The Colts begin a run of home games, also against Penrith this week.
The club newsletter Out of the Blue has gone through some changes and will re-commence distribution early in 2016. Sent weekly in season and monthly out of season by clicking on the link below you will be able to automatically sign up and keep in touch with all things Two Blue in 2016.