The grudge round was played today at Chatswood oval between Easts and Gordon, the usual tense atmosphere supplied by two teams of colts that were not ready to be defeated.
The game was a tight, evenly fought match. Gordon managing to capitalise first with a try in the corner, converted and followed quickly by a penalty goal bring the score up to 10-0 in their favour.
Eastwood returned with a well-formed back play that got them over the try line via an outside back. The conversion kick was unsuccessful, which was to be the same outcome for all of their conversion kicks all game.
Solid forward momentum was formed thereafter by Gordon using the momentum for a try by the forwards off consistent hit-up attempts, plus another try soon after, Alex Barker able to duck over from halfback. Play had been set well by the racey second rower, Harry Rorke, who was able to make a break and offload the ball on the fly.
24-5 was the score as half time came down, the Gordon Stags looking supremely confident at their home ground.
On start of the second half, another break from Rorke and perfect offload to fellow second rower Jack Margin saw another try to the Stags.
Easts had been looking punished, but at this stage were able to turn a lot of the momentum around, 10 Matt Parkinson commanding a dangerous back line.
A break off mid-field game from full back Nick O’Connor resulted in messy play in the Gordon red-zone, but winger Ed Philp was able to jump on the ball earliest, getting over for a try for Easts.
Eastwood were able to maintain their new found attacking dominance, holding the Gordon side in their own half for an age.
Eastwood were able to form great play off their outside-backs ability and sheer eagerness, but Gordon also did well too to hold the forces at bay.
A disallowed try which had been marvellously set up by a chip and chase, picked up by O’Connor had led to Gordons massive clearance from the 22 drop out.
Eastwoods 11 returned, using a counter-attack advantage to shock the Gordon defence, dodging at least 4 tackles to score a near full field try.
Eastwood returned after the restart with another try as their attack was becoming habitually relentless. 31-34 was the final score and a very powerful Eastwood side had turned the game around.