Dockers travelled the short journey across to Easts in the 2nd round of the Peter Lowthorpe memorial trophy for a much anticipated match.
Both sides started enthusiastically and some early errors from Dockers presented Easts with possession in their own ten. After withstanding a couple of tough sets the Dockers line was finally breached by a wide play from Easts. The conversion out wide was missed and the home side led 4-0. Not deterred the green and whites gathered their thoughts and started to make some telling metres into the heart of the Easts line. Smart play from Brad Billam and Lochlan Fitzgerald carving an opening for captain George Batty to mark his return from suspension with the first of his two tries. Ally Tomlinson missed a difficult conversion but the scores were rightly level.
With both sides making some unforced errors Easts made the most of their possession with a further score after broken play on the Dockers right edge. A try hotly contested by the Dockers defence but awarded followed by a successful conversion.
With Easts in the ascendancy Dockers tried to push the play one pass too far and were once again punished with an Easts score 14-4.
The weather conditions eased and Dockers found some momentum with some flowing passes from Ally Tomlinson, Lochlan Fitzgerald and Josh Pearson. Building pressure towards half time George Batty went in for his second score of the game and Dockers were in the hunt. Ally Tomlinson kicked a great conversion and the margin was four.
The second half was marred by some uncharacteristic errors for Dockers and Easts capitalised with three further scores to take the game away from the visitors. With Easts down to 12 for ten minutes after a late shot on the Dockers scrum half the away side didn’t show enough composure to benefit from the numerical advantage despite a fantastic try saving tackle from man of the match Harry Inman. The Dockers attack pushed on well but couldn’t find a way through a resolute home defence.
Again this week the boys can hold their heads up high for their team effort. We spoke in the dressing room after the game about the importance of training and showing up with right attitude; in short we will get out what we put in. The team has learnt another lesson this week, patience. Far too many times we tried to push a pass that wasn’t on or took the wrong option. With a relatively new side the experienced players will have to work hard bringing the new guys up to speed and I’m sure they can.
Not the result we wanted today but signs that we can compete in the top half of the table.