Altona victorious over Waverley in high scoring affair

Altona victorious over Waverley in high scoring affair

Chris Avnell

Altona Roosters came into this Round 5 clash against Waverley Panthers hot off a great win over a strong Northern Thunder outfit. The win saw Altona sitting at two wins and two losses prior to the meeting with Waverley. The Panthers have struggled in 2017 with four losses from their first four games, two heavy losses to the competition big guns Werribee Bears and Casey Warriors were followed with better performances against Sunbury Tigers and Doveton Steelers.

Once we had kick-off at Bruce Comben Reserve, it wasn’t long before Altona found themselves in front when young forward Zev John crossed the line in what is becoming a common occurrence for the Rooster in the 2017 season.

The early momentum stayed with the Roosters when a dummy half run from Altona’s Saia Vaka allowed him to score his side’s second of the match.

In what was a physical match from the very beginning, tempers flared when a scuffle broke out following a bone-rattling shoulder charge from an Altona player on Waverley’s Thomas Hubbard that shook the Panthers forward before a referee warning to Bernard over the hit.

The extra heat in the game seemed to fire up the men from Waverley as they hit back with two straight tries of their own. An excellent cut through the Altona defensive line from Damien Paila saw Waverley get their first of the match through an excellent linebreak and 40 metre run. Robert Kurth soon followed with some fancy footwork scoring to bring the game back to parity.

Though that parity was short-lived, with Altona rattling off a series of consecutive tries starting with a try to Teariki Bennion followed by James Tooala charging through the defensive line to extend Altona’s lead.

Again, it was all Altona through the middle section of the match with Waverley finding it hard to get quality possession amongst a strong showing from the Roosters.

Tolu Lavea was on the end of a sweeping play to the left side to score his frist try of the game and take Altona’s lead 24-10 into the break.

The second half started as the first ended, with Tolu Lavea scoring his second off a high kick to the left and outleaping the Waverley winger to catch and plant the ball down.

Altona’s Owen Gilbert then compounded misery onto the Panthers, with a chip being placed onto the tryline and Gilbert being allowed to catch the ball almost untouched and score.

Altona went down to twelve men, when a sin bin for a second shoulder charge was given and saw the player off the field for ten minutes.

Waverley took the man advantage well, picking up on the attack when John Hannon weaved his way through a gap to close the gap slightly. Willemiah Teitinga finished off another great play from Waverley, with a run down the right wing seeing a few draw and pass plays outside then back inside for Teitinga to score under the post.

The momentum was with Waverley, but Altona weren’t about to give up their lead, some solid defence backed up with some simple attacking play finding Waverley too narrow and Tolu Lavea crossing for his hat-trick. 

Altona ensured the result, with a try to Saia Vaka catching the ball from a kick to cross the line untouched, before Paul Taufa dove his way through the Waverley defence into the tryline.

Waverley scored a late consolation try with the last play of the match through Tusiga Losi following a quality line break and run from Robert Kurth.

Altona Roosters 46 defeated Waverley Panthers 28

Altona Roosters: Tolu Lavea 3, Saia Vaka 2, Teariki Bennion, James Tooala, Zev John, Owen Gilbert, Paul Taufa

Waverley Panthers: Robert Kurth, Tusiga Losi, John Hannon, Damien Paila, Willemiah Teitinga

Notable performances:

Altona Roosters: Tolu Lavea, Samuel Lulia, Zev John, James Tooala, Cainnon Ratima

Waverley Panthers: Luke Gillooly, Terei George, Thomas Hubbard, John Hannon


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