Gungahlin put competition on notice with convincing win over Owls at the Nest

Fri, May 17, 2024, 10:12 AM

The Gungahlin Eagles have brought up their third win of the season tonight with a 56-31 victory over Uni-Norths Owls at Nicholls Enclosed reminding the competition why they are the defending premiers.

Showing early that the side would take any points on offer, the visitors in Uni-Norths decided to take an early penalty shot in the 4th minute through Samuel Toa to get on the board in the opening minutes.

Despite the Owls showing their conservative approach early, the Eagles were determined to get on the board soon after, but in a much more impactful manner. In the 5th minute of the match after multiple one-out runs close to the Owls line, the home side managed to find a late offload which was scooped up by centre Malietoa Hingano who then beat multiple defenders through brute force on his way to the first try of the match.

Soon after in the 11th minute of the match, some Jack Hardy brilliance on the short side saw the fullback duck and weave through multiple defenders before getting away a miraculous offload to Folauahola I Makefu Tongia who was running in support and able to claim the try. Converted again by Lachlan Day, the home side were up 14-3 after 11 minutes of play.

Just 3 minutes later the home side would try their left side in hopes of success and after a backline shift from the opposite touchline winger Day was happy to deliver for the side once again. Proving he does not need much space to get his work done he raced up the sideline stumbling through an attempted Uni-Norths tackle on his way to the try-line before bringing up his points tally to 9 for the night. Further adding to his points total, Day would remain perfect off the boot and convert his own effort.

Desperately needing to score next and soon to stay in the match, Uni-Norths would bring up their first try of the match after Toa delivered some individual brilliance with a pinpoint cut-out pass landing exactly where it needed to for Miller Tauiliili-Pelesasa to score untouched close to the right sideline. Converted by Toa the score would sit at 21-10 with 19 minutes remaining in the opening half.

Not to be outdone, in the 25th minute the Eagles would find another five-pointer as the home side would shift the ball from sideline to sideline once again before finding flyhalf Isaac Crowe on the right side. Showing off plenty of speed to burn the flyer darted through three defenders before scoring his sides fourth try. Converted once again by Day the home side was up 28-10 which would remain the score heading into half time.

Coming out of the break firing however, Uni-Norths would look to get the game back within reach as in the 44th minute Blaine Doust would score after winger Issy Vaili bumped off a defender one-on-one before delivering the ball to the centre for a certain try. Converted again by Toa, Uni-Norths would face just an 11 point deficit with almost an entire half to play.

Reaffirming their lead however Gungahlin would go bang-bang with two quick tries, one through Tauati Chan Tung proving too strong close to the line after scooping up the ball and going himself close to the line. The second effort was much flashier however as after a successful lineout and short-lived maul, the home side bolted up the left sideline before handing the ball off to Lachlan Day for his second try of the night. With Day converting both efforts, Gungahlin would strut out to a 42-17 lead with 25 minutes remaining in the match.

Once again closing the gap, the Owls would edge closer once again after Samuel Toa collected a try of his own in the 62nd minute. This time the fullback was on the receiving end of a textbook cut-out pass from Uni-Norths flyhalf Jordan Thompson. Converting his own try the scoreline was 42-24 to the Eagles with 18 minutes remaining in the match.

Undoubtedly starting to make the home side nervous despite their lead, Uni-Norths scored another try in quick succession as a drawn-out rolling maul would transform into points for the side through Molia Feleleai. Converting once again, Toa brought the scores to 42-31 with 11 minutes left on the clock.

The nail in the coffin was hammered into Uni-Norths in the 79th minute courtesy of Gungahlin's late two tries with a second try-scoring effort from Tongia similar to his first barnstorming effort. Not long after Klayton Thorn also ended his match with a five-pointer after Uni-Norths failed to defuse a kick leaving room for the Brumbies rep to make a run for the line and score in the 82nd minute. With both converted once again by Day, the match would end with a 56-31 victory to Gungahlin.

Gungahlin Eagles 56 (Tries: Lachlan Day 2, Malietoa Hingano, Folauahola I Makefu Tongia 2, Tauati Chan Tung, Isaac Crowe, Klayton Thorn; Conversions: Lachlan Day 8) def Uni-Norths Owls 31 (Tries: Miller Tauiliili-Pelesasa, Blaine Doust, Molia Feleleai, Samuel Toa; Conversions: Samuel Toa 4: Penalty Goals: Samuel Toa)

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