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Season 15 League 2

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  • Season 15 League 2


  • #2
    Christchurch Panthers News and Team Selection (Round 1)

    I took over the Panthers for Season 11. They were known then as the Walvis Bay Samurai, and had just finished bottom of the League 2 points table.

    Season 11 - League 2 4th (beaten in the playoff semi-finals). A nice turnaround.

    Season 12 - League 2 7th.

    Season 13 - League 2 6th.

    Season 14 - League 2 7th.

    No players left or joined during the off-season.

    We are badly in debt and have five players transfer listed (2 fullbacks, 2 scrumhalfs and a number 8).

    In Season 15, we are still in League 2, and can beat anybody on our day, despite the mid-table finishes over the past three seasons. Our aim is to remain competitive in League 2, whilst keeping afloat financially.

    Our opening game is against the visiting Durban Barbarians, who are a quality side, despite finishing 9th last season.
    I'm expecting a tough match.
    With no injuries at present, our strongest playing fifteen will take the field.


    Code:
    Christchurch Panthers v Durban Barbarians
    
    1 Owen Williams
    2 Charles Phillips (captain)
    3 Alipate Tuinauvai (ex free agent)
    4 Kavindu Black
    5 Revaz Shergelaia
    6 Chris Taylor (ex Canterbury Patriots)
    7 Nick Sezer
    8 James van Heerden
    9 Joaquim Cudmore
    10 Andrew Fraser
    11 Pat Taylor (ex Border Invasion)
    12 Jonathan McDonald
    13 JP Nel
    14 Karl Potgieter
    15 Nicholas Ebanks
    Last edited by GrahamNZ; 08-26-2020, 05:47 AM.

    Comment


    • GrahamNZ
      GrahamNZ commented
      Editing a comment
      All the best, Cento.
      Our game last season was a tough battle, and I expect that this will be the case again..

    • Cento
      Cento commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you Graham, same to you, i do have a lot of expectations this season from the Barbarians

  • #3
    Interesting league, this one. I'm expecting the two Patriots sides to dominate proceedings, although the Rams and Panthers won't be far behind, and nor will Soweto and the Sunshine Coast. Hiroshima are a wild card, as are Durban. As for my teams, I have no idea what to expect. Neither are ready for higher levels, and therefore I predict that they'll probably struggle - a mid-table finish is probably the best both sides can hope for given the calibre of their opposition this season.

    Comment


    • GrahamNZ
      GrahamNZ commented
      Editing a comment
      The Panthers have sold Brett Tuineau to the Los Angeles Rams, and have both Nicholas Ebanks and David Aiken listed too.
      We're $400k in debt. Making the playoffs would be a big help!

    • gpred
      gpred commented
      Editing a comment
      Just finished watching the Rams opening round game. Brett played well. He took it to the line a little more than I would like, but also created some opportunities. On defence he made some crucial plays.

    • GrahamNZ
      GrahamNZ commented
      Editing a comment
      Van rates Tuineau very highly.
      He'll serve you just as well as ex-Panther, Tarrant Newton, did.
      Just hope he has an off-day when he plays us.

  • #4
    @ @ @ @ @ SPOILERS @ @ @ @ @ @

    @

    @

    @

    @


    @

    @

    A couple of games, and a real mixed bag. The Vortex dropped and fumbled their way to what was an expected loss but their handling was absolutely awful - in contrast the Hammerheads were outstanding and deserved their win. Meanwhile Border upset the Sunshine Coast in a game where Border were also guilty of several calamitous drops that led to at least two tries.
    Who'd want to be a coach when your guys gift the opposition scores like we did tonight.
    https://youtu.be/s2KHrVwSGrI

    Comment


    • GrahamNZ
      GrahamNZ commented
      Editing a comment
      Not much competition in League 9, so you're likely to meet the Fighting Irish later in the season.

    • samuelrambo
      samuelrambo commented
      Editing a comment
      We literally threw away two games ... I'm not a happy coach. Border were also guilty of being too cavalier in their approach with the ball, too. It was really disappointing - we certainly didn't train that badly. At least we got a bonus point but it could so easily have been more.

    • samuelrambo
      samuelrambo commented
      Editing a comment
      Similar full time addresses in all three games ...
      https://youtu.be/UeK7SnezkFE

  • #5
    Christchurch Panthers v Durban Barbarians (Round 1)

    The revenge-hungry Barbarians opened the scoring in the 11th minute.
    The Panthers were hot on attack, when Durban flyhalf, Gitano Parker, intercepted a pass just outside his own 22, and ran 76 metres to score in the corner, with his momentum carrying him over in the fullback's tackle..
    He then converted his own try with a conversion from 2 metres in from the sideline.
    7-0 to Durban.

    A ruck infringement by a Barbarians player shortly just minutes later allowed the Panthers to narrow the gap, with flyhalf, Andrew Fraser, kicking the penalty goal from 31 metres out and to the left of the posts.
    7-3 to Durban after 16 minutes.

    A terrific drop goal from 40 metres out and on the angle by inside centre, Leo Watson, restored the 7 point margin for the Barbarians.
    10-3 to Durban after 17 minutes.

    Fittingly, it was an intercepted pass that led to the Panthers leveling the score in the 23rd minute.
    Christchurch lock, Revaz Shergelaia, took the pass just 15 metres out from his own tryline and charged off downfield.
    As he was about to be tackled just short of his 10 metre mark, he passed to winger, Pat Taylor.
    Taylor didn't quite have the pace to go all the way though, chased down and tackled to the ground just 10 metres out by Durban fullback, M Orquera.
    However, two rucks later, the ball was passed to number 8, James van Heerden, who put flanker, Chris Taylor through a gap to score under the posts.
    Fraser had the easiest of conversions.
    10-10.

    Although the score was still level at halftime, I think it's fair to say that the Barbarians had looked the better side.

    Halftime Score: Christchurch Panthers - 10, Durban Barbarians - 10

    The fired up visitors came out and stormed straight onto the attack.
    However, they had cold water poured on them after an attempted drop goal was charged down and ended up with a try at the other end.
    Campbell's kick from 30 metres out and straight in front was charged down by the Panther defence, and the ball ricocheted back a fair way, with van Heerden getting to it first, 35 metres out from the Durban tryline.
    A strong run off the resulting ruck from Shergelaia took the home side into the Durban 22, then two rucks later, hooker/captain, Charles Phillips, ran behind the back to go down the blindside and score.
    Fraser was astray with his conversion attempt from a wide angle.
    15-10 to Christchurch after 45 minutes.

    And then a nice try, finished off by Shergelaia just minutes later extended the home side's lead.
    The attack started from a lineout 30 metres from the Christchurch tryline, and ended after 5 further phases of play with Shergelaia crashing over in the corner.
    Fraser was again astray with the conversion attempt.
    20-10 to Christchurch after 48 minutes.

    But back bounced the Barbarians with a try to winger, Avenelle Ferriol in the 52nd minute.
    Through two phases, the ball went left and then came back right, with a well-executed backline move leading to Ferriol taking the ball on the 22 and running in the try.
    Campbell converted from a handy angle.
    20-17 to Christchurch.

    The action was thick and fast, and not long afterwards, it was the Panthers crossing the line again, with a try to Ebanks, after he initially collected a clearing kick just inside the Durnban half.
    After four phases of play, featuring good runs from both Fraser and Phillips, the ball was thrown wide to Ebanks, who had an overlap with a man outside him, but sprinted 20 metres to score in the corner..
    Fraser got the angle right this time, converting from close to the sideline.
    27-17 to Christchurch after 58 minutes.

    Both sides had committed a number of handling errors during the match, and it was a Durban knock-on inside their own 22 that eventually led to another Panthers try.
    Credit to the resolute defence though, as it took 12 phases of play until Shergelaia found a small gap and carried his marker with him as he charged in for his second try.
    Fraser converted from a difficult angle.
    34-17 to Christchurch after 63 minutes.

    Ex Border Invasion winger, Pat Taylor, has proven to be a good try-scorer for us and he almost produced a great individual effort in the 66th minute.
    After collecting a Barbarians grubber kick ahead of his opposite, 7 metres inside the Christchurch half, he rounded one defender, fended off another and then crashed through an attempted double tackle, as he powered over the line, only to be denied by a strong hit from side on that pushed him over the dead ball line.

    The Panthers also blew another try shortly afterwards, following some excellent lead-up play.
    However, they did have the final say in the 80th minute of play, with Phillips dragging a defender with him as his momentum carried him several metres to score.
    Fraser converted and the game was over.

    Final Score: Christchurch Panthers- 41, Durban Barbarians - 17

    Man of the match was hardworking Christchurch flanker, Nick Sezer.

    Comment


    • GrahamNZ
      GrahamNZ commented
      Editing a comment
      Sorry, Cento.
      The score flattered us, as it was a closer match than that.

    • Cento
      Cento commented
      Editing a comment
      Well done and congrats, I was full of hope half time but our wheels came of the 2nd half and i am disappointed in that. Did not expect that score but now back to the drawing board. I struggle to connect with this team as things just dont work out. They are better as their current and last season performances

  • #6
    Christchurch Panthers News and Team Selection (Round 2)

    During the week, two players left us to join other clubs.
    The Johannesburg Looters parted with $143k to acquire veteran fullback, Nicholas Ebanks (33 years old with OVR 95), while the Boston Cobras spent $111k on scrumhalf, David Aiken (31 years old with OVR 91).
    This means that we've balanced our finances for now, and with the money expected from the home game this weekend, we'll be looking to improve club facilities.

    We signed free agent, fullback, Vaha Mason (28 years old with OVR 87), to give ourselves further cover in the back three department.

    Our Round 2 match is against the Bloemfontein Patriots, a quality side that will still be hurting from their drubbing at the hands of the Canterbury Patriots last weekend.
    I picked the Patriots to make the playoffs. I rate them highly and this is going to be a tough encounter.

    Mark Hernandez steps up now as our number one fullback, and is the only change to the side that defeated the Durban Barbarians.

    Code:
    Christchurch Panthers v Bloemfontein Patriots
    
    1 Owen Williams
    2 Charles Phillips (captain)
    3 Alipate Tuinauvai
    4 Kavindu Black
    5 Revaz Shergelaia
    6 Chris Taylor
    7 Nick Sezer
    8 James van Heerden
    9 Joaquim Cudmore
    10 Andrew Fraser
    11 Pat Taylor
    12 Jonathan McDonald
    13 JP Nel
    14 Karl Potgieter
    15 Mark Hernandez
    Last edited by GrahamNZ; 09-01-2020, 12:22 PM.

    Comment


    • GrahamNZ
      GrahamNZ commented
      Editing a comment
      Good luck, Cento.
      Games between the Panthers and the Patriots are always tough battles.

    • Cento
      Cento commented
      Editing a comment
      Same to you Graham. I dont know what happened last week , nothing went our way, was a bad day at the office. Need to get back to winning again.

    • GrahamNZ
      GrahamNZ commented
      Editing a comment
      We got beaten by a similar score in one of games last season, so you're right - just a bad day at the office..

  • #7
    The Vortex take on Hiroshima this weekend - while the Invasion take on Durban. I can't see the Vortex beating the Pirates after last weekend's effort, while the Invasion will need to lift against Durban. I'm really hoping for competitive games, but we could just as easily get walloped. Who knows what might unfold tomorrow night (NZ time)?

    Comment


    • Cento
      Cento commented
      Editing a comment
      The Barbarians struggle since they moved down to league 2. With a few players that retired the Barbarians will struggle to replace them. Though we will try our best and trying a few new combinations. I have much hope for them but it seemed I just cannot click with the team nor finding the right combinations. Good luck Sam

  • #8
    The Patriots take on the Panthers this weekend. Without a hooker in the squad we had to use prop Apie Aucamp in that position. Liam Muller on flank replaces Henry Wilson and hopefully will show that he deserves to be there , it will be his 4th game. The injury of Brendan Venter did not help as well and flyhalf Jannie de Beer moves to inside centre while Kennedy Tsimba will cover the flyhalf position. Jan Harm van Wyk replaces Flash Gordon on the left wing after he got some game time. We need to bring our A game but could struggle in the front row. I am eager to see Tsimba on 10 and De Beer on 12. This is a make or break game for us as we dont have dept in certain positions. Good luck to all this weekend.

    Comment


    • #9
      Christchurch Panthers v Bloemfontein Patriots (Round 2)

      The Patriots opened up the scoring in the 5th minute, with prop, Aidan Bauer, charging 8 metres down the unprotected blindside of a ruck to score in a tackle.
      Inside centre, Jannie de Beer, put over a fine conversion.
      7-0 to Bloemfontein.

      The Panthers hit back following a sustained attack.
      Following a lineout close to the Patriots 10 metre mark, play moved through six phases.
      Then the ball went out along the backline, from where inside centre, Jonathan McDonald, went through a gap and delivered a well-timed inside pass to scrumhalf, Joaquim Cudmore, who had a straight 18 metre run to score beside the posts.
      Flyhalf, Andrew Fraser converted.
      7-7 after 14 minutes.

      The home side took the lead in the 34th minute, with a lovely try finished off by McDonald.
      After catching a clearance kick inside his own half, fullback, Mark Hernandez, put Cudmore away on a 20 metre run before he was brought down 30 metres from the Bloemfontein line.
      From the resulting ruck, the ball was spread left, and flanker, Nick Sezer, sprinted into the 22 before giving a short pass to McDonald, who did the rest.
      Fraser had an easy conversion.
      14-7 to Christchurch.

      The Christchurch backline was back in action just minutes later, with a sweeping move that started from just inside their own half.
      When the ball reached flanker, Chris Taylor, he darted through to within sight of the 22 before passing to Sezer.
      Sezer to Cudmore near the sideline took out one defender, then a pass back inside to Sezer put him in the clear with a 20 metre run in to score.
      Fraser converted from an awkward angle.

      The Patriots lost prop, T Morris, to injury just before the break, with B van Broekhuizen replacing him.

      Halftime Score: Christchurch Panthers - 21, Bloemfontein Patriots - 7

      When the Panthers scrum popped up in the 51st minute, de Beer lined up a shot at goal from 42 metres out excluding the angle.
      The kick went over.
      21-10 to Christchurch.

      Both sides spent turns on attack, but it was the Panthers who extended their lead with a wonderful breakout try in the 59th minute.
      From a Panthers 22 dropout, left winger, Pat Taylor, climbed high to claim the ball near halfway.
      The pass back to prop, Owen Williams, who passes to fellow prop, Alipate Tuinauvai, who puts lock, Revaz Shergelaia, through a gap.
      Shergelaia thunders off to the 22, and when confronted by a defender, passes inside to Sezer, who has been having a whale of a game.
      Sezer pins his ears back and darts 22 metres to score his second try.
      Fraser converts.
      28-10 to Christchurch.

      The Patriots earn another scrum penalty, but de Beer lands a drop goal from 40 metres out and in front for the points.
      28-13 to Christchurch after 62 minutes.

      But the Patriots aren't finished yet, and score their third try in the 68th minute.
      Flyhalf, K Tsimba, put a cheeky little chip kick over the Christchurch defence.
      Right winger, Jaco Reinach, collects the ball after it has bounced, and outpaces the defenders to run 30 metres and score.
      De Beer conversts from one of those tricky angles.
      28-20 to Christchurch.

      However, it would be the Panthers who had the final say.
      From a scrum inside the Patriots 22, number 8, James van Heerden, peeled off the back before putting Cudmore through a gap.
      Cudmore ran 8 metres to score close to the posts.
      Fraser converted.
      35-20 to Christchurch after 79 minutes.

      Final Score: Christchurch Panthers - 35, Bloemfontein Patriots - 20

      Comment


      • samuelrambo
        samuelrambo commented
        Editing a comment
        Panthers are looking ominously strong so far - as are Canterbury, who play the injury-ravaged Vortex this weekend. The Patriots should continue their winning ways.

      • Cento
        Cento commented
        Editing a comment
        You calling he Border disappointing? They were unlucky not to score about 3 tries Sam. The Patriots lost the plot somehow and need to win this one but it will be tough though.

      • samuelrambo
        samuelrambo commented
        Editing a comment
        At this level you can't afford not to take your opportunities - misses always come back to bite at the end of the game!

    • #10
      It was more than just tough i guess

      Comment


      • #11
        Christchurch Panthers News and Team Selection (Round 3)

        No player movements this week.

        This weekend, we're off to Los Angeles to take on the Rams, who will no doubt field ex-Panther, Brett Tuineau.
        It should be a good game.

        No changes to our playing fifteen.

        Code:
        Los Angeles Rams v Christchurch Panthers
        
        1 Owen Williams
        2 Charles Phillips (captain)
        3 Alipate Tuinauvai
        4 Kavindu Black
        5 Revaz Shergelaia
        6 Chris Taylor
        7 Nick Sezer
        8 James van Heerden
        9 Joaquim Cudmore
        10 Andrew Fraser
        11 Pat Taylor
        12 Jonathan McDonald
        13 JP Nel
        14 Karl Potgieter
        15 Mark Hernandez

        Comment


        • GrahamNZ
          GrahamNZ commented
          Editing a comment
          All the best for a good game, Gabe.

        • gpred
          gpred commented
          Editing a comment
          Good luck Graham. I know Brett is looking forward to this one

      • #12
        Los Angeles Rams v Christchurch Panthers (Round 3)

        In the 1st minute, a Rams clearing kick from inside their own 22 was charged down and the Panthers gained possession.
        After five more phases of play, right winger, Karl Potgieter, was barging his way through to score in the corner.
        Flyhalf, Andrew Fraser, put over an excellent conversion from wide out.
        7-0 to Christchurch.

        The Rams responded with a try to left winger, Seuna Smit, in the 5th minute.
        Fullback, Alexi Carmodi, initiated the attack after claiming a kick near his own 22, and spinning around approaching defenders on a run to halfway.
        From the next two rucks, the backline took the ball into the 22, but it took a further six phases of play before the ball made its way to Smit, who had the space and speed to run outside a Panthers defender to cross for the try.
        Ex-Panther, flyhalf, Brett Tuineau, slotted a fine conversion from a metre inside the sideline.
        7-7.

        From the kickoff, the Panthers wrapped up the kick receiver inside the 22 and turned the ball over.
        A quick pass out to lock, Kavindu Black, and he was through a tiny gap in a flash, rampaging 15 metres to cross in a tackle.
        Fraser converted from an awkward angle.
        14-7 to Christchurch after 8 minutes.

        And then incredibly, the Panthers went in for their third try, from the kickoff.
        Prop, Alipate Tuinauvai (a free agent now worth his weight in gold), caught the ball on his own 22 and got the pass away to Potgieter, who ran to halfway.
        Two rucks later, fullback, Mark Hernandez, slipped down the blindside, running 17 metres before giving the ball to speedy inside centre, Jonathan McDonald.
        McDonald darted 33 metres to dot down.
        Fraser converted.
        21-7 to Christchurch after 11 minutes.

        In the 15th minute, the Panthers botched their own lineout just 12 metres from their tryline.
        From the resulting scrum, the ball was shifted along to Smit, who put Tuineau through a gap. He raced ahead to score in a tackle, under the posts, before adding the easy conversion.
        21-14 to Christchurch after 18 minutes.

        Rams inside centre, Ryan Nodikida, closed the scoreline deficit further with a drop goal in the 28th minute, from 22 metres out and midway between the posts and sideline.
        21-17 to Christchurch.

        The Panthers crossed for their bonus oint try in the 31st minute.
        Following some excellent build-up play (five phases after a lineout on the Rams 22), hooker/captain, Charles Phillips, took a pass and crashed over under the posts.
        Fraser added the extras.
        28-17 to Christchurch.

        The Panthers had been a constant menace with their attacking play, and it was no real surprise when they scored again in the 35th minute, with flanker, Chris Taylor, scoring under the crossbar following four phases involving both forwards and backs.
        Fraser easily converted.
        35-17 to Christchurch.

        Halftime Score: Los Angeles Rams - 17, Christchurch Panthers - 35

        After being on the attack for the first 5 minutes after halftime, and gone close to scoring in the process, the Rams finally got their reward with a try to right winger, Oliver Williams, after he stepped inside two defenders to go over in a tackle.
        Tuineau missed the conversion attempt from out wide.
        35-22 to Christchurch after 46 minutes.

        When Hernandez knocked the ball on inside his own 22, it was the precursor to the Rams next try.
        From the resulting scrum, play moved through two hit-up phases before number 8, Boela van der Merwe, was put through a gap close to the line to score.
        Tuineau converted from a handy angle.
        35-29 to Christchurch after 53 minutes and it was game on!

        A wayward Panthers pass on halfway proved to be another costly error, as five phases of play later, the home side were in for their third try of the second half, with Carmodi taking the final pass.
        Tuineau's version put the Rams ahead for the frst time in the match.
        36-35 to Los Angeles after 57 minutes.

        The final 20 minutes promised much, but delivered little, as neither side was able to score further points. and there were a lot of mightily relieved home fans when the final whistle blew.

        Final Score: Los Angeles Rams - 36, Christchurch Panthers - 35

        Comment


        • GrahamNZ
          GrahamNZ commented
          Editing a comment
          Well done, Gabe.
          It was an exciting game and could have gone either way.

        • gpred
          gpred commented
          Editing a comment
          Thanks Graham!

          The first half was frustrating as we couldn't seem to clear our line at kickoffs due to great pressure from the Panthers, and it proved costly.

          It looked like we were going to get beaten up badly, but then the Rams lifted. In the end it was a remarkable effort to not let the Panthers score again after the 35th minute! Like you say the home fans were relieved after a tense final 20, in which we were lucky to hold on. In the end I really enjoyed watching this one (which is always easy to say when you win).

      • #13
        Christchurch Panthers News and Team Selection (Round 4)

        No players leaving or joining this week.

        A tough game for us this weekend, with the dynamic and dangerous Palmerston North Vortex rolling into town.

        We've made one change to our side, with Quintin Lombardi replacing Kavindu Black in the locking department.
        There has also been a re-arrangement among the loose forwards, with James van Heerden switching to number 6 and Chris Taylor to number 8.

        Code:
        Christchurch Panthers v Palmerston North Vortex
        
        1 Owen Williams
        2 Charles Phillips (captain)
        3 Alipate Tuinauvai
        4 Quintin Lombardi
        5 Revaz Shergelaia
        6 James van Heerden
        7 Nick Sezer
        8 Chris Taylor
        9 Joaquim Cudmore
        10 Andrew Fraser
        11 Pat Taylor
        12 Jonathan McDonald
        13 JP Nel
        14 Karl Potgieter
        15 Mark Hernandez

        Comment


        • GrahamNZ
          GrahamNZ commented
          Editing a comment
          All the best, Sam.
          I'm worried about this one!

        • samuelrambo
          samuelrambo commented
          Editing a comment
          I don't know why you were worried. The Vortex can be relied upon to deliver shockingly inconsistent performances each and every week. World beaters one week, chumps the next. They simply cannot sustain a good effort for two weeks in succession.

      • #14
        Christchurch Panthers v Palmerston North Vortex (Round 4)

        The Panthers had revenge on their minds, as last season they'd outplayed the Vortex for most of the match, only to be denied by a late flurry of tries.

        The Panthers opened the scoring in the 5th minute, when following some threatening attacking phases, flyhalf, Andrew Fraser, put over a drop goal from 15 metres out and to the left of the posts.
        3-0 to Christchurch.

        Vortex right winger, J Wright, looked certain to score in the 9th minute, but play was called back for a forward pass.
        However, they did score the opening try in the 18th minute, with flanker, Leo Jones, angling through a gap to score under the posts, following several hit-ups by the forwards.
        Flyhalf, Henry Barrett, converted.
        7-3 to Palmerston North.

        The Panthers hit back though, with a try finished off by outside centre, JP Nel, after a good build-up.
        Fraser converted from a handy angle.
        10-7 to Christchurch after 24 minutes.

        Following several rucks near halfway, the ball was moved out to Panthers left winger, Karl Potgieter, whose run took him (with assistance) close to the Vortex 22.
        The ball was then moved along to inside centre, Jonathan McDonald, who charged through Jones and ran 10 metres before putting Nel away to score under the posts.
        Fraser had an easy conversion.
        17-7 to Christchurch after 31 minutes.

        Christchurch took a good lead into the break after crossing for their third try in the 40th minute.
        Starting from a lineout 30 metres from their own line, the Panthers moved play trough 12 phases of play into the Vortex 22.
        Then scrumhalf, Joaquim Cudmore, threw a skip pass out to Nel, who put hooker/captain, Charles Phillips, through a gap.
        Phillips drew in the defence before flinging a pass out to left winger, Pat Taylor.
        As the winger was about to be gang-tackled a couple of metres short, he put a great pass inside to lock, Quintin Lombardi, who strolled over the line to score.
        Fraser pushed the conversion attempt across the face of the posts.

        Halftime Score: Christchurch Panthers - 22, Palmerston North Vortex - 7

        But the Vortex are a dangerous beast when they're behind, and they were first to score in the second half, after a series of strong charges from their much feared forwards took them 42 metres downfield to within sight of the Panthers tryline, it was hooker, Charlie Hore, who was pushed over for the try.
        Barrett landed a fine conversion.
        22-14 to Christchurch after 44 minutes.

        The Panthers kept their composure though, and after another patient build-up on attack, highlighted by a penetrating run from McDonald, prop, Alipate Tuinauvai, bullocked his way over for the bonus point try from close range.
        Because Fraser had gone down and was being seen to by the medics, Potgieter took the conversion attempt, and duly missed.
        27-14 to Christchurch after 54 minutes.

        A huge injury blow for the Panthers, as Fraser had to go off, and the inexperienced 27 year old Tim Cilliers (picked up recently as a free agent), would have to steady things for the final 25 minutes.
        And Cilliers was in the action early, after the Panthers gained a scrum penalty just inside the Vortex half in the 58th minute.
        However, his nerves showed as he put a penalty kick from 42 metres out in front, wide.

        Having kept the Vortex pinned inside their own half for an extended period, the Panthers were hit on the break, following a spilled pass on halfway.
        Vortex scrumhalf, Christo Slabber, recovered the loose ball and passed inside to prop, E Skinner, who ran to the 10 metre mark before moving the ball on, to lock J Whetton, and finally Barrett, who hared off 41 metres to dot down under the posts.
        Barrett converted his own try.
        27-21 to Christchurch after 67 minutes, and there was that sickly feeling of deja vu.

        The Panthers then had to withstand 10 minutes of sustained Vortex attacking pressure, before getting back into enemy territory and getting the scrum feed after a knock-on.
        However, after a solid build-up, a misunderstanding just inside the Vortex 22 saw the visitors gain possession with just over a minute left on the clock. They could still steal the game with a further try.
        Play moved quickly into the Panthers half and the home crowd were understandably nervous.
        But just as the Vortex had gifted the Vortex a try earlier, the Vortex returned the favour at a horrible moment.
        A long pass from Jones out to lock, L Mexted, on the wing was low and in front. The ball went loose and Cudmore got to it first, 47 metres from the Vortex tryline.
        The Panthers scrumhalf took off, but was brought down 8 metres short, but 5 rucks later, Tuinauvai went in beside the posts to kill off the result.
        Cilliers converted.
        34-21 to Christchurch after 79 minutes.

        Final Score: Christchurch Panthers - 34, Palmerston North Vortex - 21

        Comment


        • samuelrambo
          samuelrambo commented
          Editing a comment
          That last try was the icing on the cake. Typical Vortex play. All or nothing leads to ... nothing.
          Come to think of it, Border do much the same thing - gift opposition tries with woeful handling and/or passing at the most inconvenient of times.
          Neither team has any consideration for the sanity of their coaching staff.
          At least one team tries most weekends, so I'm not always completely despondent. I often leave a weekend with some hope, only for the next weekend to have that hope dashed. The joys of coaching at the L2 level.

          At least the game looks and plays realistically. I've never had an issue with the game. It is always a pleasure to watch each weekend. I don't lose to bugs in the AI. I lose because my players are maddeningly inconsistent. Which is not a bug.
          Last edited by samuelrambo; 09-20-2020, 08:49 PM.

        • samuelrambo
          samuelrambo commented
          Editing a comment
          Upon closer inspection, the Vortex faced an insurmountable obstacle against the Panthers - and it wasn't the OVR figures, but the massive gulf in experience, which made the task significantly harder for the inexperienced Palmerston North side. I counted ten of the starting XV of the Panthers with over 50 games, and a significant number have as many as 90 games under their belts. In contrast, the Vortex had only six of their starters with more than 30 caps. The tallies were Panthers 798 games, Vortex 497.
          In contrast, the Border XV that ran out against the Rams in the weekend had 889 caps. This makes the task ahead of Palmerston North this weekend even larger!

      • #15
        Christchurch Panthers News and Team Selection (Round 5)

        This week, we welcomed Gio Bekker (19 year old prop with OVR 80) into the club. We paid $120k to the Inverness Indians to secure his services.
        With one or two of our current locks likely to be retiring at the end of Season 16, it was important to make sure that we would not be left short in that area.

        We have three players transfer-listed at present:

        Alessandro Rossi (31 year old fullback with OVR 89)
        Craig Vermeulen (22 year old scrumhalf with OVR 82)
        Alanzo Ashton (22 year old number 8 with OVR 83)

        This weekend, we're off to Japan to face the legendary Hiroshima Pirates, a team currently going through a rebuilding phase.
        Although we surprisingly occupy top spot on the points table and the Pirates are struggling at the bottom, Pita is a shrewd manager, and we'll be expecting a close game, especially since our first choice flyhalf, Andrew Fraser, needs a week to recover from the injury he received against the Vortex.

        Two changes to our side, one forced and the other purely tactical.
        Tim Cilliers will play in the pivotal flyhalf role, while the experience of lock, Kavindu Black, sees him replace Quintin Lombardi at number 4 for this game.

        Code:
        Hiroshima Pirates v Christchurch Panthers
        
        1 Owen Williams
        2 Charles Phillips (captain)
        3 Alipate Tuinauvai
        4 Kavindu Black
        5 Revaz Shergelaia
        6 James van Heerden
        7 Nick Sezer
        8 Chris Taylor
        9 Joaquim Cudmore
        10 Tim Cilliers
        11 Pat Taylor
        12 Jonathan McDonald
        13 JP Nel
        14 Karl Potgieter
        15 Mark Hernandez
        Last edited by GrahamNZ; Today, 07:54 AM.

        Comment


        • GrahamNZ
          GrahamNZ commented
          Editing a comment
          Al the best for a competitive and enjoyable game, Pita.
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