After 4 trials matches and the Annual Tertiary Nines Tournament were cancelled due the horrendous wet weather in March, the TAFE NSW Polecats finally managed to get on the field for the first time this year when they clashed against local rivals the Cumberland Beavers in Round 1 of the NSW Tertiary League Competition.
With no game time on the field this year, the new look Polecats did not take long before they gelled as a unit, to help returning hooker Shane Brown dive over from dummy half in the first 10 minutes of the match, after the Polecats forwards laid a commanding platform. The Beavers who also had a recruited well on the offseason including 4 former Polecats who made the switch, struck back with a converted try 6 minutes later to lock the scores back at 6 points all. The Polecats then took the lead when flying winger Richie Mante bagged 2 tries in the space of 5 minutes and when new half back Taylor Bennett crossed 3 minute out from the break, the Polecats had a commanding 24 points to 6.
After the break the Polecats were back at it with a try from Peter Jensson scoring just 3 minutes into the half, but a seized opportunity for the Beavers, from a rare Polecats error saw them close the gap back to 28 points to 12, minutes later. The Polecats then stepped up another gear to score 16 unanswered points in 25 minutes through Taylor Bennett(His second), Tom Ransom and Ben Eisenhuth. While the match was a forgone conclusion, the Beavers had one last play when they score 2 minutes from full time, but after they failed to convert the Polecats took the match 44 points to 16.
“It was good to get out on the field. We lacked a bit of polish but we knew that would be the case. We just need some more time on the field to fine tune the little things. Once that starts to happen more regularly we will see some huge improvements. I was very impressed with how we gelled for round 1” Polecats coach Dan Jackson.
The match before for the Polecats was won on forfeit when Australian Catholic College failed to produce a side and thanks to the Hills Bulls C Grade side the Polecats got much need a trial in, and while no official points were recorded, the younger fitter C-Grade were convincing winners of the trial, and the Polecats wish them the best of luck in their upcoming season.
With Round 1 now out of the way the Polecats now look forward to the playing the UTS Tigers in both Grades at Blackmore Oval the week after Easter, for more news on the Polecats head to www.polecats.com.au or to see all the photos from the Beavers match click the image below.
Luke Rye with the Ball