September 6 - 12, 2020: Issue 465


Avalon Bulldogs Host Narrabeen Sharks at Hitchcock Park

It was an all-peninsula rugby all-star event at the Doggie Dome last Sunday, August 31st, as two of the best teams in the competition went head to head in what has been a very challenging Season for all teams in Suburban Rugby League.

Narrabeen was first to score in the opening quarter, and then ran over the line again but struggled to convert tries earned at the perimeter of the field.

In the second quarter Avalon came out in one brilliant co-ordinated flow and within minutes had stomped over the line. Narrabeen came back at them again - underlining why both these teams, and boys from our beaches, feature at the top end of the ladder every season.

The third quarter was a push-pull elbows and knees forward struggle, with neither team giving away a moment. In the latter stages of this quarter Avalon scored at the south end of the field when just a minute before they had been up against it, defending their own line.

The sprint gave the Bulldogs momentum, they scored again just two minutes later.

Three minutes into the last quarter Avalon rose to score again - denied.

They went back, completed the job - and the conversion - yes! They are leading 18-14.

It's the latter end of the 4th quarter and the Bulldogs are back up the north end, defending their own line when suddenly a Sharks player steps through a gap and runs west, cleanly, dives alongside the post. The try is converted from straight out the front and the score now 20-18 in the Sharks favour with just a minute and a half to go.

The Doggies rally and are at the south end of the field when the final whistle sounds. 

This is the third match the Under 20's Bulldogs have hosted on their home ground in this shortened Season and only the second loss in all the rounds they've been able to play so far. The first loss was to ladder leaders Coogee/Randwick in the delayed and then finally opening match of their 2020 campaign, while Coogee/Randwick had had the benefit of getting a first match in the Round 2 draw on the weekend prior to this game. The Bulldogs had to play their Round 2 and Round 3 matches straight on top of each other in the same week, and although they triumphed after the staggered lead into starting, after their first match was cancelled due to Covid and a 'draw' registered, they didn't get the opportunity to stretch their legs prior to their first sprint. The value of pre-season trial matches should never be underestimated.

The Doggies will get another chance at this as yet unbeaten in a single game team in a match scheduled September 20th - Round 10. If their whole of team effort last Sunday is anything to go by, the 2020 Avalon Bulldogs Under 20's are hitting their stride now and it's a pity these athletes haven't been able to have more games to push themselves through.

The Narrabeen Sharks have only had one loss in the matches they've played this Season, to Coogee/Randwick, and have had the benefit of playing in all rounds. 

Both teams play today, Sunday September 6th, the Sharks meeting the Doonside Roos on their home turf while the Bulldogs will meet Mascot on Mascot oval, the team they were to play in Round 1 when the NSWRL announced a two-week delay to the planned July 18 start of community football competitions in south-western Sydney due to the current COVID-19 outbreak in the area.

The Mascot club, formed 1910, has also had just one loss this Season, to the Sharks in Round 4, 34-16 being the fulltime score. The Mascot players have not played against the Coogee/Randwick side so far, but are scheduled to do so on Sunday September 13th.

Below run some captures of the action from last Sunday's match.  A set of photo has been provided to the Avalon JRLFC.