Uni-Norths player Winston Wilson tries to push past the Gungahlin defence. Photo: Richard Briggs
UNI-NORTHS OWLS are proving they will not be easybeats this season after they held on to defeat the Gungahlin Eagles and continue their winning run in the John I Dent Cup at Nicholls Oval yesterday.
However Gungahlin was left to lament two of their starting second- rowers, including captain Ben McGee, being unavailable with injury and coach Owen Finegan said after the game that his side was ''struggling for lineout personnel''.
''We only had short lineouts all day and Dylan Sigg dominated that in the first half,'' Finegan said.
The Owls were so dominant in the first half that they went into the break 27-0, but new coach Richard Shuttleworth was not entirely impressed by his side's performance.
''The points started running up a bit too quickly for my liking,'' he said.
''But to get a platform like that to work off in a game like this, shit, you can't complain.
''We weren't earning them, you know they were coming easy - tactically very well, kicking for the corners, being very technical.
''A couple of moves worked and then we were quite high up but that's when the pressure starts coming on to you.''
The students came out firing with inside centre Winston Wilson opening the scoring with a penalty goal in the early minutes before adding to his tally with a converted try after easily sidestepping his defender five metres from the line.
The defensive lapses were a theme for the Eagles in the first half, with fullback Tom Cox slipping through a gap found by a cut-out pass to take the visitors to a 17-0 lead.
Cox's fellow Brumbies contracted teammate Dylan Sigg was outstanding in winning possession for the students.
And they capped off their half with one more converted try in the dying minutes when Jesse Fatnowna juggled a high pass and gained control just before he crossed the line.
Gungahlin mounted a comeback in the second half with Matthew Hawke scoring out wide in the early stages, then Iveni Tuitupou crashed through on the other side. Michael McMahon made both difficult conversions to have Gungahlin within two tries. Winger Andrew Barrell scored twice for Gungahlin in half, the second taking his side to within four points after McMahon converted.
But a dropped ball on the restart gave the students possession again offence with prop Stan Williams forcing his way across the line for the Uni-Norths' only second half try.
Gungahlin has the bye next week which comes at a perfect time for the injury depleted side. Uni-Norths will take on Wests.