The women trekked all the way out to Oshawa to play their first play off game. After the Vikings beat the Nomads in a preseason game, the ladies braced themselves for the worst. The girls played one of their best games to date winning 54-5. Many a forward try was made, including Audrey McNamara’s first ever try for the Nomads. Honourable mention goes to Meghan Illey (who played a phenomenal game and even scored), Ashley Rycroft (for being a fabulous on-field leader and almost keeping her cool for the entire 80 minutes) and Jen Russell, who has been crushing it this year (her first back after an injury sabbatical). Winning this playoff game means the women will be playing one last game this coming weekend against The Beach.
Three Nomads men’s sides travelled to Ajax to play them on their club day. The 3rd XV kicked off the afternoon desperate for a win after their last day out ended in a narrow loss to the U/18 Nomads. Two tries to the club’s most versatile bloke, Sam Zivot, and one a piece for youngster Darren Elias and everyone’s favourite club member, Felix, laid the foundation for Yabba’s one successful conversion to earn a 22-20 win. Best on ground went to Nick Hawr, who’s training days are over after a triumphant move into the front row has seen him claim the title of Non-training Prop. Special mention also to BLK for moving into the hooking role with depleted numbers focused squarely up front. Flankers Biggsy and Gillette made sure Ajax were unable to gain enough ground with a strong display of tackling. Good win for the boys.
The 2nd XV went into their match looking to replicate the first meeting of the sides – a comprehensive 48-15 victory at Fletcher’s Fields. It wasn’t to be on the day, with Ajax playing a strong game to run out 36-10 victors. The scoreline truly did not reflect the evenness of the contest, with the Nomads having numerous chances to cross the line. Justin made sure of his try by touching down with two hands out wide, his focus in training this week showing in his leg drive whenever in possession. Lucas McCann also crossed for a try, being the only Nomad forward on the day to get a five-pointer. Tex will have to put in a few extras at training, neither of his conversions hitting the same post code as the goal line. A loss is a loss, but the team showed enough character that should bode well for next week’s home game against a travel-weary Sarnia Saints who copped an absolute belting at the hands of Oshawa this weekend.
The last time Nomads played Ajax in 1st XV was a tough pill to swallow. An early lead squandered and a 10 point loss in the club’s first home game of the season. Pre-game chat was directed at not repeating such an incident. An early penalty to the hosts showed some respect towards the visitors, with the Nomads soaking up plenty of early pressure, cover defense working overtime. Plenty of scrums ensued for the next 10 minutes or so before some good pressure on their goal line ended with flyhalf Plug putting first team debutant Vu over for a try in the corner, Fish going very close with the kick from the corner. Liam Grimes, on his return to action after nearly a year out and not to be outdone by his fellow winger, pounced on an incredibly weighted kick from Plug to beat the Ajax fullback and winger to score under the sticks. Fish made no mistake with the kick, giving Nomads a commanding 12-3 halftime lead. It didn’t take long after the break for Plug to go from provider to scorer, completely ignoring all his team mates in a cross field run that resulted in a diving try in the corner. Once again, Fish came very close with the kick, less than a foot in it. Loggsy continued to tackle everything that moved, Steve and the other centre didn’t let a single runner through the backline, and Conor’s positional kicking was probably the best anyone has ever seen from a player – Steve Larkham and Andrew Mehrtens included. Some good defense out wide in the Nomads half caused the ball to pop out of the side of the ruck for Vu to casually pick up and run 60+ meters for the bonus point try. Fish made it two extras, 24-3 to Nomads. A penalty 35 out and to the right of the sticks gave Captain Ron a decision to make, and Fish felt confident. A sweet kick and three more points, putting the margin beyond 21 points. Just as well, as Ajax rallied to score two late tries and keep the Nomads nerves on edge. More precious defense on our goal line kept the scoreline to 27-15, denying the hosts a bonus point, and ensuring the second half of the season is shaping up to be better than the first. Man of the match, none other than the Mazowe Miracle, Vu on debut.
Last week the U16s had another gutsy performance. Twice in a week they have been outnumbered 23-14 by tricky opponents and have come away with two great wins.
A word from Mark Johnson about the performance:
“The second half today, in particular, was the best I have seen this group play. I know that this is the age of ‘putting the ball through the hands’ and we all love a good backs unit running great lines, but the sight of our 7-man pack rumbling 45 yards downfield against their 8 forwards will live with me for quite a while. A special shout-out to the lucky charms, Jesse Leavoy and Camillo Barrientos. Two games. Two wins.”
On Saturday, August 15th the women play the Beach at home (Fletchers). K/O is 12:00.
The men also have home games this coming Saturday as the 1sts and 2nds square off against Sarnia (at 1:30 and 3:00, respectively). The 3rds game is TBD, currently.