Old Soldier Oval was buzzing on Saturday the 17th of August as Lindfield hosted Forest for the second last round before finals for the Barraclough cup. Lindfield had been having a great afternoon of rugby, hosting Forest and did not want to see an upset in the first grade match.
Two First Grade teams with a long-standing, proud history were coming head to head on the day of Lindfield rugby club’s 95th Anniversary.
Separating the Second and First grade games were the junior players, playing proudly for one of the largest crowds you could hope for at their young age.
The main event started slowly, both teams suffering at scrum time.
Lindfield deflated the pressure Forest had been applying from an early stage by clearing off the 22-metre restart, but were then faced with an age of gruelling defence in stead.
However, a scrum after a minor Forest attacking mistake led to solid attacking structure and a hole busted by winger, (14) for the first try of the game.
Forest’s Flanker, (6) regained the ball off kick off with a remarkable aerial take which led to another long set of constant attack from the Forest side.
Forward hit-ups defined their attack for the next few minutes before second rower, (4), was able to bust over the line for a try bringing the scores to 5-7, Forests way.
On return, Lindfield brought the heat back to Forest but a lack of control of a few players communication with the referee lost them possession.
Arduous back and forth followed, Lindfield managing to turn possession around again in a monstrous scrum effort, disintegrating the Forest scrum.
Forest’s determination in defence showed as a penalty for offside allowed Lindfield a penalty, capitalising to bring the scores to 8-7.
Recommencing the half, Forest’s determination showed yet again, but unfortunately resulted in another penalty as a Lindfield forward was apparently tackled in the air.
Turning circumstances around, Lindfield utilised the penalty attempt to regain metres, attacking in the Forest 22 thereafter. A subsequent penalty against Forest for offside gave Lindfield another attempt at goal, which they pulled off again.
The score was now 13-7, but Forest looked to be firing up for another try in the dying seconds of the half, running the ball blind with lucrative forward hit ups. However they were stopped just short and the ball kicked out for a well-earned halftime break for both teams.
Both teams returned to the field after a short half was played by the junior all-stars again.
Lindfield remained level headed throughout the barrage of attack, waiting for a mistake to arise. As soon as a minor slip occurred, fullback Felix Buddee picked the loose-ball up breaking 40 metres up field.
However, Forests star forward was still out in form; flanker (6) turning over a ruck and giving his team possession yet again. Strong running from (11), diverting in between defenders and a well-placed chip-and-chase picked up by flanker, (7), led to another try to Forest.
Similar, evenly matched play followed, Lindfield missing another penalty attempt, keeping the scores anxiously tight (13-12) between the two sides.
Things started falling into place for Forest, a concentrated surge allowing them over the line but only to be held up.
Seconds later a line-out, positioned in front of a jeering Lindfield crowd, was fed quickly to the backs for two or three phases before winger, (14), burst over the line, under the posts to bring the score to 13-19.
Forest flanker, (7) showed his passion for his club absolutely steam-rolling his opposition defender in a one-on-one. However his temperament later earned him a yellow card for a brutal spear-tackle.
Submission was forged against the Lindfield side, with less than 5 minutes left in the game, Forest managed to slot another penalty.
13-22 was the final score between the two reputable sides, a very evenly matched and well-paced game ending with the more-disciplined team winning on the day.