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Home > News > Melbourne 14 - East Leake 24
Your News Melbourne 14 - East Leake 24

Melbourne had to make 5 changes to the side that beat Barton last week and even more positional changes to face a very well organised east Leake side that were wanting revenge from the defeat earlier in the season. Paul Macer and Steve Bell came into the back row, Bob Stowell into the front row and Euen Holden and Nathan Goodyear into the back line.

Melbourne started the game slowly and allowed the East Leakes forwards to test the defence working off their fly half. The scrummage and lineout play that had been dominant the week before now struggled and Melbourne were battling to win any first phase ball.

It was not surprising that East Leake took the lead after sustained pressure and touched down in the corner, a well taken conversion that bobbled onto the crossbar before going over made the score 0:7.

Melbourne did begin to settle at this point and began to get the ball out to the backs where they looked as though they could test the East Leake defence. A srum taken against the head midway in the East Leake half allowed Ian Lucas to pick and run blind, popping the ball to Holden who found Stringer entering the line at pace to cut through the defence and score under the posts, the conversion was good to level the scores at 7:7.

The rest of the half was played out without incident and you could tell by the spectators reaction that Melbourne were playing well below their usual levels. East Leake did attack Melbournes line in the final few minutes of the half and only a last ditch tackle by Bob Stowell prevented a certain try. A series of scrums and penalties were played out before the referee blew for half time with the scores all level.

Bob Stowell had to be replaced at half time due to injury and was replaced by Goodyear coming in at hooker and Smith moving to loosehead. Morris came onto the wing to make his 1st XV debut.

Melbourne again started the half on the back foot and allowed East Leake to make inroads into the Melbourne half and again conceded a try early in the half this time nearer the posts to allow the kicker an easy conversion to increase the score to 7:14. East Leake increased their lead to 7:19 soon after this when poor defence allowed their number 8 to score in the corner.

Melbourne began to put together a few phases of better rugby and retained possession for the first time in the match with forwards and backs linking well. A good break from Paul Devanney looked as though he would sprint clear to score under the posts only for the East Leake hooker to regain 10 yards on Mr Devanney and tackle him inches from the line. Good support play from forwards and backs allowed Will Judge to score under the posts, Euen Holden converting to narrow the score to 14:19.

Melbourne continued to attack into the East Leake half and test the defence but on too many occasions chose the wrong option making it easy to defend against. With time against them Melbourne were throwing everything at the game and gifted East Leake an interception, a great covering tackle by Ashley Stringer prevented the try from being scored under the posts but the supporting East Leake players passed the ball out wide to score in the corner 14:24.

This proved to be the final score and Melbourne walked off the pitch very despondent, this was a game that Melbourne needed to win to cement their position of safety within the league.

A non league week next weekend will allow injury's to heal for some and the chance for others to gain more experience within the 1st XV.

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