Randwick rob Rebels at Coogee
By Henry Jacobs
Randwick put consecutive defeats behind them to defeat a highflying Southern Districts 25-23 in the Shute Shield round nine clash at Coogee Oval on Saturday.
After a heavy defeat to Manly last week Shannon Fraser’s side rallied in the second half to snatch victory from the Rebels with a converted try at the death.
“We spoke during the week about keeping our intensity up for the full 80 minutes,” Randwick assistant coach, Jayson Brewer, said. “The game plan was hopefully to come over the top of Southern Districts in the back end of the second half and the boys did that.”
The Rebels will lament bad decision-making after a 70th minute red card to Randwick winger Chris Taripo looked to have handed the Rebels victory.
“It was disappointing, we should have closed the game out,” Southern Districts head coach, Matt Barr, said. “We had a couple of opportunities we didn’t execute at the line out and a poor option was taken.”
Randwick started the match on the front foot with two Chris Taripo penalties giving them an early 6-0 lead.
However, a yellow card to Taripo signaled a turning point in the half as Ben Vovovola kicked a penalty before Rebels fullback Paul Asquith scored under the posts to finish off a great 55m try and give Southern a 10-6 lead.
Shortly later Southern’s outside backs were at it again as winger Richie Williams scored in the left-hand corner, Volovola added the extras to give the Rebels a 17-6 lead at half time.
Randwick were first to score in the second half after centre Ben Starkey finished off an effort that started in their own 22, Chris Taripo added the extras from the sideline to keep the Galloping Greens in touch at 13-17.
Another quick try gave Randwick the lead for the first time since early in the match.
Ben Volovola added two penalties for Southern Districts to give them a 23-18 lead with 15 minutes remaining.
A dangerous tackle by Randwick winger Chris Taripo saw him receive a second yellow and subsequent red card to hand Southern the advantage with ten minutes to go.
The Rebels took advantage and kept sustained pressure on Randwick through field position but failed to convert into points.
With two minutes remaining Randwick capitalised on ill discipline by Southern for a lineout deep in the 22.
After sustained pressure they crashed over on the left-hand side and successfully converted to lead 25-23.
Southern couldn’t regain possession from the kick off and Randwick put the ball into touch to seal the win.
After overcoming a huge first half deficit against Northern Suburbs on their previous outing Southern will be disappointed not to put a third consecutive win on the board.
“Sooner or later, on the back of two close ones that we’ve won, the averages and laws are stacked against us,” Matt Barr said. “Full credit to Randwick, they were patient, they got down there and scored the winning try.”
Third placed Southern Districts travel to reigning champions and second placed Eastwood next week for a Grand Final re-match.
The Rebels will look to improve on their set piece against a Woods side looking to bounce back after their first loss of the season to Manly.
Randwick travel to North Sydney Oval to take on a Northern Suburbs team keen to make amends after a close defeat to Gordon.
“We are just going to be doing what we have been doing over the past few weeks and focusing on our play and what we can bring to the game,” Jayson Brewer said. “Each week the boys have got a different role and we want to make sure we focus on us.”
A win against Norths and a Warringah loss to Sydney University will see Randwick move into the top four.
Lead image supplied by Randwick Rugby.