Bucks 3 – Gaulois 21
Having a bye the previous weekend Bucks 2 regrouped for their second game of the season welcoming Gaulois to their home ground at Turf City.
A last minute ground change saw both teams run out on the artificial turf which promises a flat even surface for fast running rugby but makes for one fierce arena as the sun preheats its rubber deck ready to bake any man who dares run upon its surface.
Gaulois with two early season wins arrived with a towering and strong forward pack who got stuck into their work early disrupting the Bucks set pieces. Despite their size however Bucks held their own initially and after a series of Gaulous infringements Greg Hawe, on debut running at 15 for Bucks, secured the first points of the game slotting three from out in front.
However, unlike their previous game that’s where points remained for Bucks. Despite dominating territory for much of the first half they weren’t able to convert any more points as strong defense and a symphony of errors plagued throughout.
With Gaulois dominating the set piece Bucks resorted to keeping the ball moving with quick taps from all parts of the field in a bid to catch their opposition unawares. Bucks carried strongly and created great opportunities – No.2 Casey Lim humbled the Gaulois defense with a barnstorming run up the midfield midway through the first half, and Rob Storey - a shining light for the Bucks – dominated in defense and created opportunities in the midfield whenever he touched the ball. It was quick thinking from substitute lock Christian Moersheim who got closest for the Bucks after a quick tap from 5m out saw him cross the line only to have the ball knocked from his hands as Gaulois scrambled in defense.
Credit to Gualois who played some smart footy: in defense often switching between not committing anyone to the breakdown after making the tackle but rather opting to realign to receive the next wave Bucks threw at them and then at times swarming the breakdown to create the turnover. On attack their big forwards carried well and made good use of the offload in the tackle as Bucks aimed low to try bring the big men down.
Gaulos went into the break ahead 7 to 3 and things didn’t get any easier for Bucks who received two yellows cards which left them a man down for a majority of the second half. A tough day at the office for Bucks who will be feeling this one got away on ‘em, nevertheless, well done to Gualois who persisted and came away with the result.
Bucks 3 (Greg Hawe 1 pen)
Blacks 21 (3 tries)