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Season 14 League 2

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  • #31
    Christchurch Panthers News and Team Selection (Round 8)

    No player movements affecting us this week.

    The following players are transfer-listed, mainly as a result of the miserable home crowd that turned up in Round 6 ($55k in gate-takings from a possible $311k).
    Unfortunately, this could happen again, and is way too harsh!

    Nicholas Ebanks (32 year old fullback with OVR 95. Not retiring)
    Brett Tuineau (31 year old flyhalf with OVR 98)
    David Aiken (30 year old scrumhalf with OVR 91)

    This weekend, we host the Durban Barbarians, and hope to give them a good run.

    Just one change to the side, with Jonathan McDonald preferred at inside centre, ahead of Andrew Fraser.

    Code:
    Christchurch Panthers v Durban Barbarians
    
    1 Alipate Tuinauvai
    2 Charles Phillips (captain)
    3 Owen Williams
    4 Kavindu Black
    5 Revaz Shergelaia
    6 Chris Taylor
    7 Nick Sezer
    8 James van Heerden
    9 Joaquim Cudmore
    10 Brett Tuineau
    11 Pat Taylor
    12 Jonathan McDonald
    13 JP Nel
    14 Karl Potgieter
    15 Nicholas Ebanks

    Comment


    • GrahamNZ
      GrahamNZ commented
      Editing a comment
      All the best to the Durban manager.

  • #32
    Good luck to you as well Graham, will like to take revenge after the lost with the Patriots

    Comment


    • #33
      Christchurch Panthers v Durban Barbarians (Round 8)

      The Panthers opened the scoring in the 5th minute.
      From a scrum on halfway, the ball was moved out left along the backline, with left winger, Pat Taylor, making an incisive run into the Durban 22.
      Then the ball was moved along to the right, with inside centre, Jonathan McDonald, being brought down just metres short of scoring.
      A further ruck, and then a pass to hooker/captain, Charles Phillips, who crashed over to score.
      Flyhalf, Brett Tuineau, converted.
      7-0 to Christchurch.

      It didn't take long for the Barbarians to hit back though.
      After turning over possession at a breakdown on the Panthers 10 metre line, the ball was moved out to left winger, Lachlan Fox, who had space to work with before confronting the waiting defenders.
      A wonderful sidestep took him around and away from them and he went on the score the try.
      Flyhalf, Gitano Parker, put over a nice conversion from wide out.
      7-7 after just 10 minutes.

      The Panthers lost Taylor to injury in the 27th minute, with Mark Hernandez coming on to replace him.

      The Panthers looked dangerous on most occasions when they ran the ball, and they went ahead again in the 33rd minute.
      Following a Barbarians lineout just short of their own line, Parker was pushed back over the try-line to concede a 5 metre scrum.
      From the ruck that ensued after the scrum, the ball was passed out to fullback, Nicholas Ebanks, who had an overlap with a player to spare. Ebanks ran the 10 metres ahead to score the try.
      Tuineau converted from an awkward angle.
      14-7 to Christchurch.

      McDonald picked up a bad knock in the lead-up ti the try, and had to be replaced by veteran centre, Jamal Adeyemi.

      Halftime Score: Christchurch Panthers - 14 Durban Barbarians - 7

      The first half had been an uncompromising affair, as one would expect between these two sides.
      Would the Barbarians come to rue the two missed drop goals and a missed penalty?

      In the 48th minute, Parker missed another penalty shot at goal, but the Panthers gifted the Barbarians a try shortly afterwards.
      Ebanks botched an attempt to take a high kick just inside his 22, the ball went backwards behind him, Parker picked it up and ran 12 metres to score.
      Parker converted and it was level.
      14-14 after 56 minutes.

      But the Panthers hit back with a really nice try.
      From a scrum near halfway, a driving maul getting in behind number 8, James van Heerden, took the ball into Durban territory.
      The ball went out to Karl Potgieter on the right wing. He jinked back inside before passing to outside centre, JP Nel, who raced towards the 22 with one defender ahead of him.
      Nel took the tackle with support, and was able to release a lovely inside ball to flanker, Chris Taylor, who darted in for the try.
      Tuineau converted.
      21-14 to Christchurch after 62 minutes.

      A long range drop goal from 37 metres out by Barbarians inside centre, Leo Watson, closed the gap a little. It seemed as though this match would go right down to the wire.
      21-17 to Christchurch after 66 minutes.

      And then another spectacular try from the Panthers put them out beyond the 7 point margin.
      After a lineout near the Durban 10 metre mark, there followed five phases of play before the ball was well inside the 22.
      Out went the ball to Adeyemi, then to Tuineau, a nice inside ball to van Heerden, and finally an around the back pass to Nel, who ran in the try.
      Tuineau's conversion attempt was successful.
      28-17 to Christchurch after 70 minutes.

      Final Score: Christchurch Panthers - 28 Durban Barbarians - 17

      Comment


      • GrahamNZ
        GrahamNZ commented
        Editing a comment
        Those two unfortunate defeats to Sam's teams cost us big-time.

      • samuelrambo
        samuelrambo commented
        Editing a comment
        Unfortunately they did, Graham. That's rugby - but there's always next season!

      • GrahamNZ
        GrahamNZ commented
        Editing a comment
        Indeed, Sam.

    • #34
      Christchurch Panthers News and Team Selection (Round 9)

      No players joining us or leaving us this week.

      The following players are transfer-listed, solely because our debt has grown to a level that I'm uncomfortable with:

      Nicholas Ebanks (32 year old fullback with OVR 95. Not retiring)
      Alessandro Rossi (30 year old fullback with OVR 89)
      Brett Tuineau (31 year old flyhalf with OVR 98)
      David Aiken (30 year old scrumhalf with OVR 91)
      Nick Sezer (31 year old flanker with OVR 87)

      This weekend, we visit bottom-of-the-table Johannesburg Blitz, who will be looking to finish their season on a high note.

      Injuries have forced two changes to the side, with veteran winger, Gonzalo Ramos, filling in for Pat Taylor, and Andrew Fraser (preferred position flyhalf) getting another chance to impress at inside centre.

      Code:
      Johannesburg Blitz v Christchurch Panthers
      
      1 Alipate Tuinauvai
      2 Charles Phillips (captain)
      3 Owen Williams
      4 Kavindu Black
      5 Revaz Shergelaia
      6 Chris Taylor
      7 Nick Sezer
      8 James van Heerden
      9 Joaquim Cudmore
      10 Brett Tuineau
      11 Gonzalo Ramos
      12 Andrew Fraser
      13 JP Nel
      14 Karl Potgieter
      15 Nicholas Ebanks

      Comment


      • #35
        Johannesburg Blitz v Christchurch Panthers (Round 9)

        Potentially a banana-skin game, away to Johannesburg, who despite being bottom of the table, are still a strong side.

        The Blitz opened the scoring in the 7th minute, following a lineout inside the Christchurch 22.
        After two set-up phases, the ball was moved out along the backline, with outside centre, Y Illes, going through a gap before feeding a pass to rampaging lock, Pete Hainsworth, who had space in front of him.
        The big lock thundered ahead for 15 metres before crashing over to score in a tackle.
        It was an easy conversion for Keegan Milner (playing on the right wing for this game).
        7-0 to Johannesburg.

        And then a horrible mistake in the 15th minute gifted dangerous Blitz winger, Courtney Perofeta, an opportunity that he took full advantage of.
        Panthers outside centre, JP Nel, threw a wild pass out, which was forward and went way out of reach of lock, Kavindu Black, and sort of right winger, Karl Potgieter..

        Perofeta snapped up the loose ball 48 metres from the Christchurch line, then swerved outside and stepped back inside to leave the last defender standing, before going all the way to dot down.
        Milner converted from a more awkward angle this time.
        14-0 to Johannesburg.

        A drop goal to inside centre, Andrew Fraser, from 20 metres out in front of the posts, put the Panthers on the board in the 21st minute.
        14-3 to Johannesburg.

        In the 29th minute, Johannesburg flyhalf, Luke Elliott, responded in kind, putting a drop goal over from 36 metres out and pretty much in front.
        17-3 to the Blitz.

        A third Johannesburg try before halftime was like driving a stake through the Panthers heart.
        The throw from a Christchurch line-out near their own 10 metre mark went over the back and was claimed by the Blitz.
        From the ruck that formed, the ball was moved out along the line to flanker, M Allen, who raced into a gap and swatted a defender aside, before releasing the final pass to Perofeta, who sped the last 22 metres to grab his second try of the game.
        Milner converted from out wide.
        24-3 to Johannesburg after 33 minutes.

        But the Panthers weren't going to sit back and be on the back end of a hiding.
        Shortly after the kickoff, they turned possession over inside the Blitz 22.
        From the ruck, the ball was moved out wide and when fullback, Nicholas Ebanks, received the ball, he could see that defensive numbers were short further out. He flung a pass to Potgieter, who raced in to score on the outside angle.
        Flyhalf, Brett Tuineau, converted from midawy posts and sideline.
        24-10 to Johannesburg after 36 minutes.

        Halftime Score: Johannesburg Blitz - 24 Christchurch Panthers - 10

        The Panthers had to withstand a torrid start to the second half, with the Blitz on attack and looking dangerous.
        However, they survived and it's probably just as well that they did, as conceding a further try might well have been the final nail in the coffin.

        Instead it was the Panthers who scored next, with a lovely try finished off by flanker, Chris Taylor, in the 48th minute.
        From a scrum 35 metres out from the Blitz try-line, there followed three further phases of play, featuring good, charging runs from both number 8, James van Heerden, and prop, Owen Williams. that took their side to withing metres of the try-line.
        With the defense having compacted, the ball was moved out wide to where numbers were short.
        The final long pass was made from Ebanks to Taylor, who still had two team-mates to spare on his outside. He didn't need them though, as he ran in to score.
        Tuineau laned a good conversion kick.
        24-17 to Johannesburg.

        The Panthers sensed that their prey might be there for the taking, but frequent handling errors continued to hamper their efforts, while the Blitz also continued to have their fair share of opportunities too.
        Then the home side conceded an offside penalty in the 70th minute.
        Up stepped Tuineau 35 metres and out in front, but quite incredibly, the kick slid past the outside of the posts!
        Still 24-17 to Johannesburg, with 10 minutes to play.

        And then tragedy for the Blitz in the 72nd minute.
        From a ruck 35 metres from his own line, Johannesburg scrumhalf, J Rowe, threw a pass out to his inside centre, , who dropped it stone cold.
        Christchurch scrumhalf, Joaquim Cudmore, scooped up the ball and ran in for an easy try beside the posts.
        Tuineau made sure not to botch the conversion and it was now all square going into the final 7 minutes.
        24-24.

        In the 76th minute, a Johannesburg player is forced back over his own try-line following the charge down of a clearing kick.
        From the 5 metre scrum, a big Panthers push pops up the Blitz front row.
        With no advantage accruing, play stops and Tuineau lines up the kick at goal from 17 metres out and just to the right of the posts.
        He's learned his lesson from being too casual with the earlier sitter that he missed and this time the ball goes sailing between the posts.
        The Panthers have hit the lead for the first time in the match, with just 2 minutes left to play.
        27-24 to Christchurch.

        But the drama's not over yet, folks!
        With time up on the clock, the Blitz have a scrum 5 metres inside the Panthers half.
        A herculean effort from the home forwards sees them earn the scrum penalty.
        Now Milner can tie up the scores if he can put the penalty kick over.
        He lines it up from 48 metres out and midway between the sideline and posts. A long kick!
        The crowd holds its breath as Milner moves in. Boom!
        The ball hits the post just below crossbar height, Panthers hooker/captain, Charles Phillips, recovers the ball and hoofs it out of play.
        It's all over!

        Final Score: Johannesburg Blitz - 24 Christchurch Panthers - 27

        Comment


        • #36

          Comment


          • #37
            Christchurch Panthers News (End of Season)

            Our top flyhalf, Brett Tuineau (31 years old with OVR 98) left us to join the Los Angeles Rams for a fee of $201k.

            As that left us with just one flyhalf in the squad, we moved quickly and managed to acquire two replacements from the free agent list:

            Robbie Johnson (19 year old flyhalf with OVR 87)
            Tim Cilliers (26 year old flyhalf with OVR 86)

            The following players are still available to be signed:

            Nicholas Ebanks (32 year old fullback with OVR 95. Not retiring)
            Alessandro Rossi (30 year old fullback with OVR 89)
            David Aiken (30 year old scrumhalf with OVR 91)
            Nick Sezer (31 year old flanker with OVR 87)

            Although a 4 win/5 loss record suggests a decent season in such a strong League, the truth is that it was a devastating season financially.
            A sellout crowd nets us around $311k, but we had two home games that only pulled in $55k and $136k.
            That saw us sink into a bad financial situation, meaning that we had to put Tuineau and some of our other top players on the transfer list.

            Another tough season awaits us in League 2, but we can give most teams a good fright!
            Last edited by GrahamNZ; 08-14-2020, 09:42 AM.

            Comment


            • #38
              Finals Spoiler

              Congratulations Scorchio for winning the L2 final! I was left quite disappointed because I thought we could upset you, but we failed to execute our game plan which worked for most parts, but we were terrible at holding on to well earned possession. Final score 28 - 26 to the Rockets.

              The Rockets were the best team throughout the season and thoroughly deserve their spot at the top of the podium but we will meet again in the big league next season. The Butchers will only lose the services of legendary fullback Valentin Hobai who will retire at the end of the season, but Sean Kilmore has shown this season that he is more than an adequate replacement.

              I will most probably retire the 'apeman' profile from the forum now and bring updates only from 'VanHunks' from next season onwards.

              Comment


              • samuelrambo
                samuelrambo commented
                Editing a comment
                Unlucky, Van. Your boys were sublime in the semi, but were off their game in the final. Still, they were not far away. I believe they were the best team in the league - but it is all about how you play on the day. Rosario have a champion's mentality - they have almost monotonic consistency and can win a game ugly despite being off-colour. They are deserved champions for this season.
                It will be interesting to see how both teams get on next season against the best of the best.

              • GrahamNZ
                GrahamNZ commented
                Editing a comment
                You did well to keep it so close. An exciting game to watch.
                Congrats on promotion.
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