ISC NRL VIC 9's Semi Final Recap
ISC NRLVIC 9’s: Recap
Doveton Steelers vs. Werribee Bears
The Semi-Finals of the ISC NRLVIC 9’s continued this past Saturday night, with two exciting games lighting up AAMI Park as the curtain raiser before the NRL.
The first game was a breakaway, with the empty space on both sidelines allowing the speed and agility of Werribee to dominate Doveton.
The youth of Werribee in contrast to the older legs of Doveton proved to be the difference in defence, as they couldn’t contain the Pomale brothers and their line breaks through the centre of AAMI Park, hitting the scoreboard twice in the first two minutes.
The chemistry on both sides was evident, with Werribee off-loading on most occasions, and breezing through their sets of six, while it was the opposite for Doveton in attack.
Werribee didn’t have it all their own way however, with Doveton threatening to pressure the scoreboard for majority of the first half. A penalty late in the first half helped Doveton set up their first try for the evening trailing the Bears 18-6 at half time.
The second half was much the same from the Bears, with solid defence coinciding with structured offence, posting three more tries in the second half.
Man of the Match, Tevita Pomale, outlined how his team played a massive role in his hat-trick.
"Team structure and communication was very important for us; I was just lucky to get on the end of it and score the tries."
Werribee will however aim to work on conversion accuracy especially leading into the Grand Final after an inaccurate night in front of goal, scoring only three of a possible six conversions.
Pakenham Eels vs. Casey Warriors
The second game was a much tighter affair, much to the delight of the Storm crowd entering the gates early. Casey controlled most of the first half, with their slick passing from sideline to sideline but were unable get reward on the scoreboard, with Pakenham’s defence holding up against their own goal line.
The Eels attempted to exploit the Warriors defence by a long kicking game, however were unsuccessful in a game riddled with costly turnovers in dangerous positions for either side.
The Warriors led at half-time, 4-0, and quickly doubled that lead shortly after the restart. However, Pakenham were able to lock down the the middle of the ground, forcing Casey to go wide to score their tries.
Pakenham looked threatening most of the night, without gaining enough territory to worry the defence. However, that all changed when Damascus Haviltama broke the lines and defence of Casey, streaming through the middle of AAMI Park to an easy try under the goal post, making for an exhilarating final few minutes.
Casey were able to extend their lead to a converted try with two minutes remaining, with a try on the far sideline.
However, with a minute remaining, Pakenham were able to break loose and have a 3-on-1 advantage 20 metres from goal. With players scrambling to get back, the slippery surface of AAMI Park succeeded as a slip up allowed Casey’s defence to hold up and run out victors.
Whilst losing, Pakenham should take great confidence from this game, with the reserve grade team threating to steal from the first-grade ladder leaders, going down by just a converted try.
Casey will now take on Werribee in the Grand Final which will be confirmed at a later date.
Werribee Bears 30 – 12 Doveton Steelers
Try Scorers: Werribee: T. Pomale (2’, 10’, 17’) M. Pomale (1’) Hanita-Paki (6’) Marr (14’)
Doveton: Bartlett (8’) Tauai (12’)
Conversions: Werribee: M Pomale 1
Doveton: Addi 2
Pakenham Eels 6 – 12 Casey Warriors
Try Scorers: Pakenham: Haviltama (12’)
Casey: Aporo (10’) Sweet (4’) Anitonia (16’)
Conversions: Pakenham: Taylor 1