2021 champions, a brilliant season backing up from their 2020 title, our colts have gone back to back defeating Kalamunda Colts 26 to 19 in an absolute thriller. Extra time was needed to separate these two quality teams and it was coach Connor McDougall’s men who got up after 20 minutes of extra time.
Our colts knew as soon as they saw Kalamunda warming up, that they were in for a physical encounter that would inevitably come down to fitness, mindset and willingness to put body on the line . It started off on a windy day at Wanneroo’s ground. Kalamunda eager to rampage with ball in hand for the first 6 minutes of the match putting tremendous pressure on the defensive line of our Colts. Eventually Joondalup winning ball, found their form and began to implement the coaches game plan. With the wind to their back’s, territory was the order of the day after a dominant scrum, Cam Ngatai sent the ball into Kala’s 22. As the arm wrestle played out with the forwards matching the ruthlessness of Kala’s forwards, the ball was released from the foot of a collapsed maul through hands where Ryan McGloin selflessly popped the pass to Shaun Craven to finished off a superb passage of play, with McGloin adding the extra two. (7-0). As the arm wrestle continued, Brothers clearing their line with a shrewd kick from McGloin, Joondalup stole the lineout through the efforts of Dan Howard as the ball transferred through eager backs it was a 2nd row Ruben Smuts that sealed the move with another try, again the extras added with a brilliant conversion from McGloin (14-0). Kalamunda reverted to what they do best and played their forwards game in the close channels, testing the Brothers defence for a solid 6 minutes along are 22mt line with no quarter ask and none given. On the 20th minute Kala won a penalty and missed their 1st opportunity to put points on the board. The pressure from Kalamunda was relentless, occasional relief was offered through clearing kicks but strongly ran back. Joondalup’s resilient defence held strong but eventually possession was turned into points with Kalamunda crossing on the half time whistle ending the half (14-7).
Kalamunda started the 2nd half as we did the first, playing a territorial game only for fullback Dane Luitingh to counterattack on several plays. Joondalup looked certain to score after dominance in possession only for some inaccurate passing, allowing Kalamunda to steady their attack and score on the 10-minute mark with the extra added (14-14) The battle of attrition continued with Joondalup slowly gaining the ascendancy.18 minutes in Joondalup were awarded a penalty, however, against a strong cross wind sailed wide. An astute switch by coach Connor McDougall putting McGloin into 10 quickly paid dividends as McGloin found space and ran in a brilliant try on the 21st minute (19-14). Kalamunda 28th minute awarded a penalty in front of goal their captain and Kalamunda’s MOM #8, backed his side and chose to run with ball, his decision rewarded when the Kala’s THP went over two minutes later levelling the match 19-19.The stalemate remained with possession almost exclusively held by Kalamunda, but the defensive efforts by all especially Teankim Whitcher kept the score level.
Joondalup received and secured ball through some outstanding aerial determination from Liebold, for Ngatai to box kick into Kala’s 22mt, with Van Jaarsveld giving chase and tackling the receiver, placing Kalamunda under tremendous pressure, countless phases followed leading to a penalty. Confidence in their own set piece, Ewan Jones kicked for touch, the subsequent lineout won by Smuts and mauled through the larger Kalamunda pack, with captain Gabe Price dotting down the ball for reward for his hard-working forwards with an extremely difficult kick, golden boots McGloin dissected the posts to add the extras (26-19) . With the wind now at their backs again, Kalamunda again used their kicking game and played the rugby in Joondalup’s half, eventually leading to a penalty in the 88th minute hitting the upright, Joondalup not clearing their own red zone and allowing Kala to keep the pressure on for 8 minutes of the 10-minute half. Joondalup were defending within their own half, however the perseverance and trust in each other’s defence managed to repel wave after wave of attacks, until the match winning turn over by LHP Duncan McIsaac, after 1-hour 35mins of bone crunching rugby, Ewan Jones kicked to touch giving victory and the double Minor Premiers & Premiers to our Colts.
The coach commented after the game, how amazed and proud he was at the effort all put in today & all season defensively. Today they displayed 95 minutes of determination self-belief skill & fitness and that is the result of consistent training and individual development.