By Paul Cotgrave
Always a hard game against Ruskin Park & this was no exception. It was agreed for a 2pm ko & Prenton's pre match warm up was focused for this ko time, however only minutes before 2pm the ko was put back to 2.15 as a Ruskin Park prop had not travelled down by coach with the rest of the team & had only just arrived. This pre match disruption seemed to affect Prenton more than Ruskin Park & they scored within minutes of the ko. On paper Prenton had a very strong matchday 19 although as in previous weeks much changed. This may explain why we seem to be slow starters. Prior to the game the team talk was around our set piece as this would be an area we could dominate & pressure Ruskin Park & have a structured game of Union & not get drawn into a scrappy open game which would suit Ruskin Park with their Rugby League background. The 1st half was just that & Ruskin Parks scores coming from quick tap penalties & loose kicks, Prenton getting back into the game after each Ruskin Park Score only to cough up ball not long after & put ourselves under pressure. Although good Prenton Players on show from the side line we looked disjointed & unsure of ourselves. With the half time chat to reset ourselves & attacking the club house in the second half we upped our tempo, did start to dominated the set piece, started to get our runners over the gain line & kept hold of the ball & had a majority of the ball possession & territory. This limited Ruskin Parks dangerous runners opportunities (especially the 15!) & they began to run out out of steam. Prenton aplying pressure at all area's of the game & pulling away on the scorecard with some fine tries. Good team performance, back three working well together, centres getting over that gain line & creating quick ball, new half back pairing controlling the game & the pack working hard dominating the set piece, securing ball & making the hard yards.
Tackle of the game, Steve Smith hunting down the Ruskin Park 15 from a clean break & getting him about 2 meters from our try line, 100% try saver!
Try of the game, Josh Woods. Jordan Ainslie under pressure on our try line got caught in the tackle but managed to offload to Josh Woods & off Josh went. Had the pace to out flank the cover defence on the outside & then only a 80 meter sprint to the try line. being hunted down in the 22 by the Ruskin Park winger Josh's sprinting style evaported! wobbly head, wobbly legs, flailing arms, Micheal Johnson would be happy! The Ruskin Park winger homing in & a last ditch lunge caught our Josh but momentum took him over for a memorable score!
Some tied bodies at the end of the game, some of this is down to a 53 minute 2nd half! rumour has it the ref forgot to re start his watch after a stoppage!
Much needed & deserved 5 point win, 7 tries, great effort by all involved including the home support & a happy clubhouse after the game.