Tea Gardens Hawks beat Raymond Terrace Maggies in rain-soaked home game

Hawks star Ryan Saunders sliding into the saturated end-zone to score the first try.

RETURNING rain did not deter the Tea Gardens Hawks Men’s Seniors from grasping the home-ground advantage against the Raymond Terrace Magpies at Myall Park on Saturday 1 June.

Though morning downpours had cancelled the junior games, as well as many other matches around the zone, Myall Park’s resilience proved itself again, allowing the Men’s team to lead-in for the later Women’s Tackle match.

Water falling in from all directions made the ball slippery and hard to handle, with much of the game’s attempts at continuity succumbing to a series of knock-ons, making it a true ‘game of scrums’ only a few minutes in, and throughout the match’s entirety.

While Raymond Terrace failed to capitalise on an early gap in the Hawks’ defence, the father-son dynamic duo of Ryan and Shaq Saunders led the Hawks attack, nearly crossing the line on two early heart-stopping occasions, but finally rewarded with Ryan’s sliding first try eleven minutes in.

The Hawks’ second try came amidst much confusion for the Magpies, believing their defender had held the ball up in-goal, but the referee was not uncertain at all, awarding the timely forward momentum and grounding from Hawks’ Luke Worth as the second try of the match, converted by Shaq.

The scrums and fumbles continued for both sides as the rain came down, sometimes horizontally, on the bone-chilling southerly winds, the conditions causing some rookie-level mistakes, like over-throwing passes.

Just before halftime, the Magpies finally scored their first, pushing up and down, back and forth the soggy field to get there.

The second half saw much less scoring, with long stretches as both teams battled it out against the weather and each other – not less than two Magpies were carried off the field with ankle injuries, and momentum was constantly lost to more scrums caused by ball-drops.

The Hawks’ Luke Perry finally scored their third try in the 54th minute, in the far right corner, but conversions were hard to come by in the rain.

With the merciless weather severely hampering play, the ‘game of scrums’ ended at a 14-6 victory for the Hawks, doubtless that all players were happy to get out of their soaked uniforms, and settle in to watch the women’s match next.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

Hawks player Luke Perry passing off to help make another successful play.

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