By: Adam Blackwell
The OBU Premier Reserves came up against a powerful and resilient Avalon team in their search to secure the Harper Lock Shield. It was a cold but fine day a Nairnville park, this combined with firm underfoot conditions provided a good platform for an exciting game of rugby.
The opening exchanges were tight, neither team really able to get an early grip on the game. After the back and forth start to the game, some of the OBU players in low jersey numbers were able to make some headway with a break down the left side. After the ball was quickly recycled it was finished off by the backs on the far side of the field. Try scored and OBU strike first to go up 7-0.
Only a couple of minutes later, Hayden Reardon of OBU ponced on a scrappy Avalon offload and was able to transfer it to winger Trent Harris who went about 30m down the touchline beating two players to score in the corner. After a great conversion kick from the sideline OBU went up 14-0.
At the 15-minute stage of the first half Avalon got some good time in possession of the ball, and through their big forwards they rumbled their way into the OBU 22. Then back to back penalties for offside led to an Avalon scrum 5 meters out from the OBU line. A slick move between first and second five cut through the OBU defence and Avalon were under the sticks for their first try. 14-7 to OBU.
OBU then quickly scored another try to stretch the margin out to 19-7. Not long after the subsequent kick off the Avalon blind side flanker was ordered by referee Jack Sargentina to spend 10 minutes in the sinbin for a no arms tackle. However, OBU were unable to profit from the extra man as Avalon were making all of the play. Avalon had one try ruled out for a double movement, but their persistence in the OBU 22 paid off as they scored to bring it back to a 19-14 game.
Just before the half time whistle OBU went into score off the back of a solid lineout which extended their lead to 26-14 at the half time break.
The second half began much like the start of the first, a feeling out period between the two teams while they tried to assert their dominance on the other. Most of the play was in the middle third of the park until Avalon had a scrum 35 meters out from the OBU line. From the base of their scrum which was solid all day they attacked down the short blind and a few passes later were into score. This closed the gap to a one try game with the score now 26-21 after 50 minutes.
The last 30 minutes of the game was riddled with stoppages due to handling errors and penalties. And from there on in it was one-way traffic, OBU had their way with a tiring Avalon team, running in 5 tries in the last 25 minutes to blow the score line out to a 59-21 finish. The tries included a hat trick to OBU winger Trent Harris.