East Campbelltown Eagles have notched up another win in the Sydney Shield rugby league competition after a gutsy performance on Sunday away from home against Hills District Bulls.
The Eagles, who won 24-20 despite being two men down for much of the match, next tackle Cabramatta, also away from home, this Sunday from 1pm at New Era Stadium.
The game against Hill was physical from the start and the referee let the game flow which made it a really good spectacle in the opening 20 minutes.
It was the Eagles that posted first points when full back Chris Standing dived on a clever grubbing kick from hooker Sam Hoare to get the opening points of the game. It was an ugly attempt of conversion with stand in kicker Chris Standing that was waved away, but the Eagles had the early lead at 4-nil.
Both teams showed signs of fatigue early due to the speed of the game.
A a couple of missed tackles from the Eagles saw the Bulls run in their first ry,which was converted to give them the lead at 6-4.
The Eagles then dropped the ball from a back line play, which resulted in the Bulls scoring a second try.
Five minutes from half time, a scuffle broke out between two front rowers, Seaso Sauvao and Bulls number 14, who got 10 minutes in the bin while two other Eagles players were sent from the field for entering the fight leaving the Eagled down to 10 men.
The Bulls capitalized, scoring right on half time and it looked grim for the Eagles going into the sheds down 16-4 at the break
The Eagles fighting spirit came out after the break to score first points to Cruise Iosesa in the corner, but Standing’s conversion attempt missed the sticks.
Bulls were next to score and with the players returning from the sin bin it left the Eagles down to 11 men for the remainder of the match.
At 20-8 down, possession started swinging the Eagles way, resulting in a try to Sama Sauvao. Wayde Dunley’s conversion attempt was waved away and the Eagles were still eight points behind.
But they werre on a roll and Cruise Iosesa that scored again to bring the game back to 20-18, with Dunley’s conversion being successful.
The last 10 minutes of the game was a real nail bitter. Dunley and Hoare took control of the game and steered the Eagles in the right direction.
Cruise Iosesa crossed again to make it hat trick for the day and when Dunley landed the two conversion points the Eagles were able to sneak away with the 24-20 win.
Coach Gary Potts said after the match: ”In my 20 years of coaching this has to be one of my top 5 gutsy wins I have ever seen. These guys were flat out but refused to give in, a quality we look forward to as we go towards semi final time.”
East Campbelltown Eagles 24 Hills District Bulls 20: Tries, Chris Standing, Sama Sauvao, Cruise Iosesa 3; Goals,Chris Standing 0 from 2, Wayde Dunley 2 from 3.