The Rowers Prems looked great in an exciting home win this past Saturday, delivering a solid effort that had them coming out on top against a quick and nimble Seattle team.
Rookie center Ollie Joyce put the Rowers on the board right away, taking one up the wing and past the defense with pure speed, and putting it down in the corner for a 5-0 lead.
It looked like Mitch Stainer was about to extend the lead in the fifth minute, as he fielded a Rowers box kick coming down the sidelines with a full head of steam and only one man to beat, but he was ruled off-sides.
Seattle answered in the 11th minute, pinning the Rowers in their own end with a deep kick, then keeping the pressure on until they could force a penalty. The try came as a result of strong attack lines by the Seattle backs, and the conversion was good. 7-5 Seattle.
The Rowers put themselves in position to kick for points in the 16th minute, and missed into the wind, only to have Seattle respond in the 22nd minute with a penalty kick of their own that widened the lead. 5-10 Seattle.
Fullback Nick Wackawitz got the Rowers lead back in the 25th minute, with a well timed run that put him in position to intercept the Seattle 9 – 10 pass off of a set piece in their own end. With nobody to stop him, he brought it all the way home and kicked the convert to give the Rowers a 12-10 lead.
But Seattle kept coming, moving the gain-line up phase by phase, then getting it to a tough and speedy backline. One of their stronger runners beat a tackle around mid-field in the 32nd minute, and was able to go the distance to get the lead back. 17-12 after a successful conversion.
The Saracens had their momentum stopped in the 36th minute, when scrum half Dermot O’Mera laid down a punishing tackle that drew a reaction from the Brockton faithful and took the edge off of the Seattle advance in the attacking territory. The Rowers kicked it deep and applied enough defensive pressure to force a Seattle handling error, enabling winger Brett “Drako” Williams to clean it up off the deck around the Seattle 22, beat a man with a step, power through another man, and put it down in the corner for the points. His first of the year in a much welcome return. 19-17 Rowing club at half time.
Seattle came out of the half strong, with the same effective, disciplined attack that gained territory until it could make a chance for its hard-to-handle backline. They took the lead in the 45th minute with a converted try that made it 19-24.
But the Rowers Prems pressed back, advancing steadily and sticking to the pattern, until they earned a penalty in close. O’Mera tapped, took off immediately, and had it down under the posts before Seattle could decide whether they wanted to get back ten yards or complain about it. The kick was good, 26-24 Rowers in the 58th minute, and they never looked back.
Seattle tried to respond in the 61st minute, bringing heavy pressure that backed the Rowers up against their own ten meter line, but Stainer secured a crucial turnover and allowed them to kick it clear. Stainer would make up for the up-the-wing try that he was denied in the opening half with a burn of a carry up the sideline in the 76th minute, fighting off defenders the whole way, to make it 31-24.
Opposite winger Jordan Wilson Ross would add another try before it was over for a final score of 38-24.
The win makes the Rowers Prems 1-2 on the season, with one draw. They’re next in action October 15th, away against the Ravens at Jericho Beach Park. 2:30 kickoff.