Round 4 - Senior Match Report - by Kerry Smith

B GRADE

B Grade won by a forfeit.

After a concerning drop off in numbers at training during the last week coaches and players approached the 4:30 kick off time for B Grade with some trepidation. In true Palmerston style players arrived in good numbers to ensure a full side warmed up with several reserves. Three players from one family was a highlight of the team with Shane Cotton and his two sons Aaron and Ryan ready to take the field.

Unfortunately Dragons were unable to field a side and the game was a forfeit which gave Palmerston the points but little reward for the players who turned up for a run.

A GRADE

Palmerston 21 Dragons 19

Attentions turned to A Grade who also had concerns over numbers at training. The side that took the field were the ones who had trained during the week.

The first 20 minutes saw Palmerston with all the ball and great territorial advantage. Some good running rugby, strong pick and drive and a few well-placed kicks maintained pressure and kept Dragons within their own half and but for some missed passes and dropped ball Palmerston should have converted the pressure into points earlier than they did.

Palmerston did score near the posts after a solid drive from Gareth 'Shrek' Felton and Tyrone Gersch-Mizen added the extra two points. Similar play pattern continued from the restart and a second Palmerston try by Brock Evans and a second conversion by Tyrone had Palmy up 14-0 at the break.

The second looked to continue as the first but Dragons managed to gain greater amount of possession and started to turn the tables with all the pressure coming onto Palmerston. Dragons were camped on the Palmy line for a long time and had one try disallowed as being held up before they finally broke through and converted, 14-7.

The referee decided to really get involved in the game during the second half and Palmerston was penalised many, many times for ruck infringements while an equal number of penalties came our way for a variety of scrum, ruck and discipline infringements by Dragons.

Dragons scored again near the corner and missed the conversion 14-12. A series of penalties and good use of the ball by the backline saw Palmerston hard on attack and looking likely to score next when the referee turned a yellow card into a red card for a Dragons player and then a red card into a penalty try awarded to Palmy, 21-12. The game descended into penalty after penalty going to both sides and this stagnated the game but a further red card for a late charge left Dragons with 13 on the park. With time almost up Dragons managed to barge over for a late try which was converted but Palmy had managed to hold on to take the win 21-19.

A number of players gutsed it out on the park and most of all Brock Evans was inspirational when it was needed and also led the team by not talking back to the ref. Shrek and John Kuiti also put in huge gutsy efforts. Errol Wilson had a great time running with the ball and Robbie Hurrell put in a lot of work across the 80 minutes. The backline looked very good at times and if some of the passes had of stuck the result would have been much more in favour of the Croc's. Tyrone played well and secured 3 vital conversions, Shane Hurley ran well and helped direct the backline, Anthony Smith (captain) led the team well also and had some inspirational runs and his normal selfless tackling was a big help. The Keppel brothers and Jay Jack put in solid games and Jet Yates at first five set up a lot of exciting backline runs and kicked really well throughout.

Palmerston 21 Dragons 19. Tries: Gareth Felton, Errol Wilson (+ a penalty try); Conversions: Tyrone Gersch-Mizen

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