As Season 2018 draws to a close do we give ourselves a pass mark or was it a season of missed opportunities?
The final round for the season was always going to be a tough ask, fronting up against Vikings in all grades, when we had little to play for other than pride.
The day started well when we had our juniors (U18s) take on St Edmunds College on the main ground, as a curtain raiser to the Colts match. Easts U18s fought bravely to go down narrowly 27-24. Many of that U18s team will move up into Colts next year and will bolster the nucleus of players that are backing up again in Colts. Gordon Scott has done a remarkable job pulling that group of boys together. It was evident that that there is some real talent in the group and the Colts coaches are already excited about the prospects of working with them.
The Colts team limped across the finish line this season after starting with such promise and sitting in 4th spot only 3 weeks ago. Yesterday we managed to field 15 players who battled manfully against a Viking side boasting the Australian School Boys No9, plus 6 or 7 other ACT U19 representative players. Our lads were not intimidated, scoring 2 great tries but eventually going down 64-12. Best for the Colts yesterday were Hano Schultz, Tom Watego and Jarrod Northam. Coach Dan Wetherall who finished up yesterday, can be proud of the team and the structures he has built over the past 3 years. Congrats and thank you Dan.
3rd Grade were light on for numbers yesterday with many players having to back up from the Thursday night contest against ADFA. Vikings proved too strong taking out the match 59-7. Best for the 3rds were Nick Harralambous, Lachlan Glenn and Connor McGoverne. A big thank you to JJ Rodrigo and Dennis Johnson who took on the Coaching and Managing of the 3rd grade side this season. 3rds finished with a couple of wins, a couple of draws and some narrow defeats. This is a big improvement from previous years. Probably not a pass mark, but that can be turned around with regular training attendance!
2nd Grade also struggled for numbers yesterday with a number of lads backing up after playing 3rds and Colts. They eventually went down 54-0 but this doesn't reflect the huge improvement that 2nd grade have made this season. Congrats to Nick Nagel and Dom Lenarduzzi for the work that has been put in with 2s this season. It has been great to see full 2nd grade teams training on Tuesday and Thursday nights putting pressure on 1st grade for selection. Best in 2s yesterday were Simon Webber, Andrew Whittle and Brendan Smith Coles.
1st Grade, like all grades, were playing for pride yesterday and walked from the field with their heads held high. The final score of 55-33 was a significant improvement on the earlier round clash and probably caused Vikings Coach, Scrivener, some concerns as they head into a finals campaign (given they conceded 5 tries despite fielding arguably their strongest team of the year). Coach Cornforth and support coaches will take positives out of the season but in the wrap up, will ultimately feel that we didn't capitalise on earlier opportunities. Best players yesterday were Jacob Abel, Tuitavake Fusimalohi and Liam Bilston.
To all our Coaches, Team Managers, Fitness Staff, Medical Staff, Canteen Volunteers Ground Set Up Crew and Sponsors, thank you all for a good season. Next season can be "great" with continued dedication from the players and support from all of you.
Thanks again - see you all on the 25th August for the Presentation Night.