Blues Discipline Lets Them Down - Drop 25-21 Decision to Balmy Beach
Blues Shut Off For 10 Minutes - Give Up Three Tries
This week's Friday Night Lights game was a battle for first place between the Mississauga Blues RFC and the Balmy Beach Academy. The Beach came out on top, scoring three tries and a penalty in a span of 15 minutes in the middle of the second half and held on for the 25-21 victory.
It was clear from the opening kick-off that the two teams were evenly matched. The Blues dominated the scrums while the Beach had much more success in the break-downs. Both teams were relentless on defence and the game went almost 30 minutes without a score. Both the Beach and the Blues missed penalties, the Beach from 40 m out at the 7' mark and the Blues at the 24' mark. The Blues were finally able to cross the try line for the first time in the 29th minute. A nice run from Jason Park brought the ball to the Beach 2 m line and hooker Christopher Sadler was able to drive it over for the score. Jeff Hogle added the convert. It looked like the Blues were going to carry that 7-0 scoreline into the half, but the Beach got away with a highly questionable turnover on the last play of the half and were able to convert it into five points making the score 7-5 at the half.
The battle of massive hits continued through the first ten minutes of the second half. At the 49' mark, Jackson Amos cleared out a ruck, sending a Beach player flying. The retaliation by the Beach player drew a yellow card which should have given the Blues a man advantage for the next 10 minutes, looking to be critical in this hotly contested affair. Unfortunately the Blues returned the favour 5 minutes later which began a 15 minute lapse in discipline and concentration that saw the Beach score 20 points.
The first was a rolling maul off the lineout resulting from the infraction. What followed was a five minute defensive lapse where Beach eluded tackler after tackler, scoring two more tries, converting one. A penalty kick at the 73' mark left the Beach ahead 25-7.
The Blues woke up and again looked like world beaters, but it was a case of too little, too late. A fantastic free kick to the corner by Edis Tarkuc set up a Blues line-out at the 5m mark. Replacement hooker Patrick Nguyen finished off an excellent rolling maul by the Blues forwards. Jeff Hogle converted the try. Two minutes later, asad chaudhry completed a relentless Blues assault off the kick off bringing the Blues within 4 and ensuring the losing bonus point. The momentum was now well and truly in the Blues favour but time ran out on the comeback.
The Blues now have two more games in which to secure a good seed for the play-offs. First place looks to be out of reach but second is definitely attainable. Coach Smerdon will be looking for a full 80 minute effort vs the Blues' old nemesis, the Bay Street Pigs, Friday Night Under the Lights, July 20th, 9:00 pm at the Valleys.