Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Army Falls To Australian Side

Press Release

The touring Australian Indigenous rugby team opened their North American campaign with a punishing 72-19 victory over the United States Miliary Academy yesterday in upstate New York.
The Australian team performed well considering they had to overcome a nightmare 52-hour transit from Australia after a mechanical failure resulted in all ongoing connections being missed. The 26-man squad spent a couple of days in camp prior to departure and trained just once in Manhattan before the tour opener.

One has to visit the magnificent facility of Westpoint to see the power, history and culture that surrounds it. It is undoubtedly America’s premier rugby park built at a cost of $12M and which purposely exudes professionalism across all its boundaries. The traditions and discipline exhibited by players and officials on and off the field was prevalent and consistent from the time we entered the complex.

The Indigenous war dance designed by the players that accompanied a didgeridoo, opened proceedings for the game. With just three minutes on the clock and good field possession the Visitors reacted to a penalty with a quick tap to see giant prop Leonard Snowball punch low and hard at the line to notch the first try for the Australians.

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The second try came 5 minutes later when a deft kick and chase resulted in a regain of possession with the flyer from Emerald Qld, Isaiah Huet bagging the try that went unconverted again.
The Americans begun to produce some continued raids in their opponent’s territory until a well- timed intercept from Dubbo’s Matt(Boris) Saul saw him race 60 metres in the opposite direction to post his teams 3rd try.

Bathurst Bulldog Peter Fitzsimmons anchored his first tour try after some good quick possessions and support lines to take the score to 20-0 after 17 minutes.

The Australians floundered a little at the 25-minute mark when a quick penalty action from the army men resulted in a powerful lunging and reaching try form the Westpoint winger to retrieve 7 points from the deficit.

Orange City fly half Aaron Williams delayed and delivered a well-timed pass to his hole-running midfielder in Anthony Fuller to claim the 5th Indigenous try which was finally converted.
The last try of the stanza was rewarded as a forward effort after three consecutive tighthead scrums gave scrum half Ethan Wikaira his first touchdown from the base of the scrum to end the first half 34-7 in favour of the visitors.

The second period opened with a more determined effort from the hosts and some solid defence to hold out their opponents for the next 8 minutes before fullback Deon Evans silked his way through the defence out wide to notch his first 5 pointer.

Corbin Walters showed his emerging class finishing off a highly polished backline execution that unleashed two double cut passes that threaded the opposition defences.

The man they call GI, Isaiah Huet, who looks and performs like NRL legend Greg Ingliss, gathered the teams next points when he sliced through their line with speed and poise on an incisive run to the line.

Eight minutes later GI again was in the scoring action when a quick shift from good phase play saw the backline fire on the short side and saw him go over untouched to lead 60 -7 at the hour marker.
Some lazy play from the Australians saw a quick surge from the Americans on the back of a turnover to see their flanker out step the back three and notch his teams second try to trail 12-60.

Tour captain Braeden Smith logged the teams last try after a power surge on the line that was preceded by the last American try that left the final score at 72-19.

Best for Indigenous included Kai Lowah at prop who carried the ball strongly all day and out-scrummed his opponent all day. Wingman Corbin Walters put his name on the A list with a great rookie performance. Vice-captain Peter Fitzsimmons demonstrated the perfect link role from Number 8 while outside centre Isaiah Huet bagged three tries and broke the line repeatedly with his searching runs.

The teams exchanged pleasantries and gifts ahead of a much-needed meal. A feature of the presentations was the presentation of the Royal Australian Military shield to the Academy that symbolized the strong military ties our countries exhibit.

The Indigenous team play their second tour match in Portland Maine on Wednesday evening ahead of their continuing journey into Eastern Canada.

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