The Trip to Leichhardt: The new M4 extension has done wonders for the Polecats players. Usually, an hour to an hour and a half trip is now reduced to 25 -45 minutes. There is still the additional 20 minutes to find a car space at Blackmore oval. This is made more difficult to do without running over an old lady’s poodle or backing into a jogger’s spandex activewear. This writer managed to park his car between 2 trees perilously close to the canal after being rejected a UTS car space by obnoxious UTS officials.
The Kick-off: The UTS Wanderers were focused and came to play. Unlike previous seasons there were no extra players who had miraculously appeared for finals. The team was the same team we had played all year round (Including ex-Polecat Westo).
Usually there is a gale-force wind at Blackmore oval which blows any kick-off high in the air. In an attempt to adjust for the wind, Torrie Willie kicked the ball so hard he cleared the field. UTS got a penalty at halfway. Not the perfect start. The Polecats were not prepared for this, as an enthusiastic UTS side dived over within the 1st minute.
The scoreboard went haywire as the bench scrambled to adjust the time and score. From that point on the scoreboard went haywire for a different reason, as the Polecats stepped up their game to bump up the score.
The Talk behind the posts: The talk behind the posts from Daniel ‘Deezer’ Arona was inspiring because off the next Kick off there were no prisoners taken. Shiem Fuinoa destroyed the ball carrier and Cranney took his legs home as a souvenir. This set the tone for the rest of the match. The Polecats were relentless. The side was energised by the ferocious contact.
After a couple of sets, Torrie Wille made up for the kick-off by running over under the post in the 6th minute with some swift footwork that RTS would be jealous of.
From this point forward it was a grind as the Polecats defended their line after a few mistakes. The sets went back and forth until in the 33rd minute Shiem Fuinoa -in fantastic form- ran a short line to dive over with sheer power.
It was 12-6 with 2 minutes before halftime and UTS regathered the ball. Once again the Polecats showed their never-say-die attitude with some die-hard scrambling defence to hold the UTS side out at halftime.
The Game breaker: As the game went on you could sense that the Polecats were going breakthrough as they won all the little battles on the field. To UTS’ credit they held out until some game breaking brilliance. A cross field kick from Torrie Wille and Erisky Papali who had a solid game on the wing caught the ball and scored in the 46th minute to put the Polecats up 16-6.
The Senior Citizen: The UTS team, now in despair, reverted to name-calling to try to overcome the Polecats. A younger player from UTS called Polecats veteran Greg Cranney “the Senior citizen”. You could hear Cranney’s eyeballs turning round from the sideline as Greg “Senior Citizen” Cranney seemed to shed 20 years off his life and went on a campaign to teach the young buck a lesson.
The UTS line began to crumble after this point.
The screaming benchy: The bench rotation was inspiring to watch. Everyone knew that even if they had a small role to play that they would make sure that when they got on the field, they ran as much as they could and tackled as much as they could to help the team. Ben Keary inspired the boys with a gallant run. However, Tyler Longmire came up with the run of the day screaming like a Banshee or in this case a benchy, before hitting the enemy shoulders. This run energised the team. Not long after this, Polecats leading try-scorer Ricky Willie ran over to make it 20-6.
The Polecats weren’t done yet as they inflicted more pain when Erisky “Risky” Papali dived over for his second try of the day to make it 26-6. The sideline went wild with the knowledge they had bashed their way to Belmore.
Grand Final Day
TAFE NSW Polecats vs. winner of UTS and Sydney Uni
Date: Saturday 10/8/2019
Venue: Belmore Sports Ground
Kick-off: 2:30 pm
Entry: Adults $10, Kids $5
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