East Campbelltown Eagles are back in the winners’ circle after fending off Asquith Magpies yesterday 32-18.
Coach Richard Barnes was a relieved man after the round 15 match at Asquith.
“We had a few guys out injured and a lot of positional changes today, but the guys played great,’’ Barnes said.
“Asquith threw a lot at us today and we responded well.
“I’m very proud of the guys’ efforts.”
It was no surprise the Eagles started poorly, given the long bus trip, late withdraws and positional changes.
Poor discipline resulted in giving away a number of penalties and the home side capitalised to draw first blood and a 6-0 lead after 10 minutes.
But that was a wake up call for the boys from Campbelltown – repeat sets from hooker John Da Silva resulted in an avalanche of tries to Brett Lahey, Grant Lahey, Shannon Gallant and John Da Silva.
Gallant, pictured, converted two from four to give the Eagles a 20-6 lead.
Asquith scored a try before the break at 20-12 down.
The second half saw both teams step up in defence as fans were treated to huge hits.
Campbelltown’s Kobi Chamberlain scored the first try of the second half and following Gallant’s successful conversion the lead was stretched to 26-12.
When Shannon Gallant, filling in at half-back, crossed for his second for the day and converted for 32-12, the Eagles were in the box seat with 20 minutes left.
But Gallant and an Asquith player were sent to the bin for 10 minutes after tempers flared.
Eagles then lost Amanono Tovio to the bin with 10 minutes remaining and this time Asquith capitalised to reduce the deficit to 32-18.
But by then the match was as good as over as the Eagles defence kicked in to protect the lead until the final hooter.
Best for the Eagles were Shannon Gallant, Brett Lahey, Kobi Chamberlain and Amanono Tovio.
Grant Lahey received the players player award with man of the match honours to John Da Silva.
The Eagles, who are in third place on the ladder, will have the week off with the bye round this weekend before taking on Belrose Eagles on Sunday, July 7 at Waminda “Tint Me Up” Oval.