It is forgivable to consider Wellington’s 27-point loss to Geurie on Saturday as a significant defeat, but compare that to the local derby in May 2017 and it is a clear indication of the Redbacks’ development.
Wellington restricted Geurie to a 27-nil win in Round 2 of the GrainCorp Cup Northern Division over the weekend, a vast improvement on the 41-15 result 12 months prior.
As anticipated the local derby was a tough and physical encounter in testing conditions, the wind playing a major factor in points scored and quality of play.
It took Geurie 16 minutes to put points on the board with an opening try to Charlie Edwards who scooted away from the break down for his first for the season.
Geurie dominated the game in defence by restricting the Redbacks to their 22 for most of the first half.
Geuire went into the break at 13-nil with a penalty goal to Harry May and a try to Demesio Elia.
The second half was similar to the first with a lot of drop ball and mistakes from the Goats and the Redbacks continuing to kick throughout the game in effort to keep the score as low as possible.
Geurie out-muscled the Redbacks scoring another two tries to Harry May and Nemani Ramoce with both tries converted by Harry May to take the score to 27-nil in a convincing win for the Goats.
Redbacks co-coach, Snow Brien, said he is happy with how his team fared against the Goats, showing positive signs in the process.
“We held them to 13-nil at half time and the game was still within an arms reach, but as it turned out in second half we lacked a bit of penetration through their defensive line which didn’t help us much at all,” he said.
“The defensive effort around the edge of the ruck and up the middle were very good.
“Geurie are a much bigger side and we handled them very well but we just couldn’t compete out wide which was a bit frustrating but it’s something to work on, we just need to look a bit wider when we’re defending.”
The first two rounds of the GrainCorp Cup against the competition’s strongest teams have been valuable for the Redbacks, Snow saying it has given Wellington a benchmark of where they should be up to in order to be competitive.
Points went to Darcy Tierney (3) at halfback, Mitchell Brien (2) at centre, and Brad Thomas (1) at prop. Tierney took out Players Player.
“Darcy is as tough as they come, he’s only about five foot high but nobody runs over him, he’s a brilliant defender and has a brilliant pass,” Snow said.
Redbacks will host the Yeoval Eagles at Bicentennial Park, Montefiores on Saturday with kickoff at 3.15pm.
The day will double as a Colts’ 30-year reunion which will see more than 20 players from the 1988 premiership winning side return to Wellington on the weekend.
The reunion will be held in conjunction with the club’s Old Boys Day which has an open invite to all former players to head along to the game, before joining players back at the Lion of Waterloo post match to reminisce on past glories.
The Geurie Goats will head to Trangie this weekend in what promises to be an enthralling match as they take on the Tigers in Round 3 of the GrainCorp Cup Northern Division.