Saints come march­ing home

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Sport -

IT was a block­buster when two of Grid­iron West’s un­de­feated sides squared off on the week­end. Both sides were keen to con­tinue their per­fect start to the sea­son, but it was an­other land­slide win to the Saints, who over­came the Steel­ers 56-0 thanks to an avalanche of scor­ing in the first quar­ter.

A strong show­ing from the defence put the of­fence in the ideal po­si­tion to cap­i­talise on their hard work, with a quick drive down the field by in-form run­ning back Doug Stew­art for six points.

Af­ter an un­suc­cess­ful drive, the Steel­ers elected to punt but Tommy Dunn had other plans, burst­ing through the punt pro­tec­tion to tackle the punter be­fore he was able to get the kick away, putting the Saints just 15 yards out from the red zone.

Quar­ter­back Gero­gio Bryant did what he does best and made the defence look silly as he ran in the touch­down, which was suc­cess­fully con­verted by Ay­den Wood-Stri­b­ley, who made a div­ing catch which would have made Ricky Ponting proud.

The on­slaught con­tin­ued, with the defence re­fus­ing to give the Steel­ers any­thing and the of­fence cap­i­tal­is­ing, with Bryant find­ing the emerg­ing Luke Heg­ney and ev­er­re­li­able Daniel Strick­land.

In the end­zone, rookie Leroy Tsha­bangu, not to be out­done by Dunn on spe­cial teams, came up with a mas­sive fum­ble re­cov­ery, putting the Saints 20 yards out, which was con­verted with a per­fectly weighted pass find­ing Strick­land in the end­zone.

The defence con­tin­ued to pile on the pres­sure, with Mike Hol­brook run­ning riot on the d-line, al­low­ing some big plays, re­sult­ing in the lat­ter in­ter­cept­ing a pass and steam­rolling his way back to the 30.

The Saints of­fence con­tin­ued to make the most of their op­por­tu­ni­ties, with Bryant find­ing Si­mon Na­toli on con­sec­u­tive oc­ca­sions to se­cure 20 yards.

But the rookie tight end fell ag­o­nis­ingly close of his first ca­reer touch­down, al­low­ing team­mate An­gelo Di Carlo to take a strong grab in the end zone to reg­is­ter a ca­reer-first score just mo­ments later.

The Steel­ers lifted at the start of the sec­ond half, man­ag­ing to string to­gether a se- ries of first downs but it was usual sus­pect Dunn who had the last laugh, pick­ing off a way­ward Steel­ers pass, forc­ing the turnover and al­low­ing Strick­land to strike again.

The com­pe­ti­tion was ripe be­tween Dunn and Tsha­bangu, with Tsha­bangu say­ing any­thing you can do I can do bet­ter, repli­cat­ing Dunn’s feats on the next se­ries of play in what was a ca­reer-first in­ter­cep­tion for the rookie cor­ner, re­sult­ing in a long pass to vet­eran Gareth Wein­brecht, who opened his ac­count for the sea­son. The Saints take on the Perth Blitz this Fri­day night.

An­gelo Di Carlo

The Saints had too much fire­power for the Steel­ers.

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