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Quiet achievers stand out in the Brookvale rain

June 2013

Brookvale, New South Wales

by Jodie Newell

Whilst the Cronulla Sharks and North Sydney Bears have been setting the pace in this year’s VB NSW Cup, the Windsor Wolves continue to be the “smoky” of the competition. The Wolves moved into third spot on the ladder after a workmanlike performance against a dogged Manly team at Brookvale Oval on Saturday.

“It was a pleasing win considering the tough conditions out there”

- Garth Brennan, Windsor Wolves coach

In constant rain, Windsor were able to wear down their Manly opponents via fast offence and constant defensive pressure.

NRL player Anthony Cherrington, who is yet to make his debut for the Penrith side, was superb with a pair of well executed tries.

For Manly, the kicking game of Dane Chisholm made life difficult for the Wolves defenders in the wet, but were unable to threaten on the scoreboard.

Considering the bleak, extreme wet weather conditions, the Brookvale Oval surface wasn't in too bad a condition. At kick-off time both sides reluctantly made their way out of the warmth of the sheds for a soggy afternoon of rugby league. Ball security and a good kicking game were to be the order of the day for both sides.

Manly were the first team to adjust to the conditions and soon had the first points on the board. Windsor winger George Jennings handling error on a return ball gave the Sea Eagles great field position. James Cunningham gave out a great pass to Jackson Williams who was able to plant the ball down on Manly’s left side heading to the Southern stand end. Dane Chisholm booted a superb conversion on a tight angle and the Sea Eagles had a 6-0 lead.

Windsor began to find their feet, in particular Eto Nabuli made a couple of solid, bone jarring hit ups against the Manly side. Shortly the Wolves were on the board thanks to Luke Capewell who cleverly made his way through the Manly defence near the posts. Wes Naiqama completed the extras and the score was tied at 6-6.

Whilst Windsor were getting to their strides, Manly offered plenty of resistance in the trying conditions and would have been pleased to be all square at the half time break.

Wolves coach Garth Brennan surely would have wanted more from his team in the second half and they did not disappoint. In the plays of the day, Anthony Cherrington scored two tries within 10 minutes, both on the left hand side of the Southern stand end posts. On both occasions, Cherrington happily accepted two well executed passes for his tries as he sliced through a tired Manly defence.

It was scintillating play from Cherrington. No doubt the recon reports will be passed on to the Penrith coaching staff. On what was witnessed on Saturday, Cherrington’s height and ability to get through an opposition defence will provide the Panthers another option to their attacking plans deep into the NRL season

Finally Liam Ayoub sealed the deal for the Wolves on an intercept pass from Manly, with Wes Naiqama making the conversion. Windsor ran out as comfortable winners 20 - 6. 

Windsor’s Anthony Cherrington was well pleased with his effort “It’s been awhile since I’ve scored two tries. I’m happy with my and the team’s performance.

Wolves coach Garth Brennan was satisfied in how his team handled the difficult conditions “It was pleasing with the tough conditions out there. It wasn't the best game to watch, but I’m pleased with the result, pleased with the effort and pleased how we kept Manly to one try”.

For Manly they tried hard all day, but were unable to make any impression on the scoreboard. A lack of ball security and coming up against a talented side in Windsor made it a difficult day for the home side.

The Wolves have two tough assignments this week. Firstly they have a re-scheduled match against the North Sydney Bears at Leichhardt Oval on Wednesday night. Then they face the Cronulla Sharks on Saturday. The Sharkies lost their first game of the season away to the Auckland Vulcans and will be looking for redemption. For Manly they face the Illawarra Cutters on Saturday away at Kogarah Oval.


Final score:  Windsor Wolves 20 defeated Manly 6

Tries: Wolves: A Cherrington 2, L Ayoub, L Capewell

Tries: Sea Eagles: J Williams

Conversions: Wolves:  W Naiqama 2

Conversions: Sea Eagles: D Chisholm

Referee: Michael Laverty

Touch Judges :  Robert Bowen Brendan Wood

At Brookvale Oval

Image: NewellMediaGroup

Action from the Manly v Windsor game played at Brookvale Oval

Image: NewellMediaGroup

  1. BulletThe weather. Can’t complain really, it’s the middle of the road in Winter and Sydney is experiencing a classic one at that. Last week at Henson Park, was soaking, Friday night at the SCG soaking and Saturday at Brookvale made it a hat trick of wet days.

Enjoy the evenness of wet weather footy and the courage of the players. As mentioned in our report, Wolves no. 5 Eto Nabuli made a couple of crunching hit ups. Throw in the constant downfall, the slippery surface, you marvel at how the players were reasonably able to handle the ball.

  1. BulletGreat to finally bump into Windsor Wolves media supremo Stewart Moses. Stewart does a great job in reporting, tweeting and liaising with other media at VB NSW Cup matches. Stewart had been constantly tweeting us asking when will we be attending a Wolves game. We finally made it to our first Windsor game of the season and were impressed. They have snuck in to the top three and it isn't by chance. The Wolves play some very attacking footy. Hopefully Stewart, we’ll see more Wolves games!. Thanks for helping set up the interview with coach Brennan post match. For more info on the Windsor Wolves team and Stewart Moses match reports click on the Wolves logo below

  1. BulletBrookvale Oval. You can sense the history of this famous rugby league venue. The names of Fulton, Menzies and of course “The Godfather” of Manly, Ken Arthurson are on the grandstands as well as the aptly named Jane Try stand. It’s interesting to see what is going to happen with the suburban grounds and the concept of “ stadium rationalisation” if and when it’s ever put in place by the NRL. Obviously people demand a quality experience at their team’s venue and the Sea Eagles fans love their home ground. Hopefully the local federal member when he wins the top job in September makes a concerted effort in help bringing some funds for ground improvements. In AFL circles, the Geelong Football club is a perfect example of taking their old suburban ground and turning into an excellent,modern “mini stadia” complete with lights and new grandstands. It can be done regardless of the difference in codes.

  1. BulletGetting to the game. Enjoyed catching the fast ferry service from Watson’s Bay to Manly. It was quick, easy and what about the views. Despite the weather, the harbour was smooth and you have to pinch yourself and think how good is this to be in Sydney town. Passing across the open water of the heads, I thought about the traffic that has been and gone and the history over the years. The 1908 visit of the American “Great White Fleet”captured the imagination of Sydneysiders. The Japanese midget subs raid of 1942 that drove down the cost of housing in the eastern suburbs next to zero. Can you believe that in those days, they were literally giving away properties after the shock attacks. How things change. The other thoughts go to the thousands of Australian troops and naval personal who left Australia via this route to defend the country. Many sadly did not return. In sporting terms it’s the exit door for the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. Yep, Sydney Harbour is and has always been an eventful place.

  1. BulletEnough history!, Back to rugby league. Consider the following formation photos below. First Manly In this classic left sided spread offence play. Zac Nicholls (no: 7) set up some good attack on Saturday. He linked up well with Jackson Williams (no: 5) whilst the Sea Eagles got some good run and carry from forward Nick Skinner (no: 12) who tackled and worked hard all game.

Cronulla Sharks NSW Cup coach Tony Herman always mentions “good shapes”. In these instances Manly and Windsor provided some good examples.

Manly look to have a diagonal set up here:

Windsor approached Manly in a different manner. In their initial set up they would bunch around the pass from dummy half.

It was the spread offence that paid dividends for the Wolves. Anthony Cherrington (no: 12) got over the try line twice with a similar set up pictured below. Throw in Wes Naiqama (no: 19) and it was pretty difficult for Manly to defend against such a formation. The options of Cherrington with his height and strength combined with the speed of Naiqama were one of the reasons why Windsor were able to post more points in the second half and win the game.

The American “Great White Fleet” arrive through Sydney Heads in 1908. Photo: Australian Maritime Museum photo no: 00050216