Victory shows Perth’s spirit
PERTH Spirit, comprising Western Force and amateur players, is among nine teams competing in the nineweek National Rugby Championships.
The Perth Spirit has started their 2014 National Rugby Championship campaign with a thrilling 28-23 victory over the Canberra Vikings at Canberra’s Viking Park last Saturday.
Facing an opposition featuring 11 Super Rugby-contracted players and reduced to just 13 men, the Spirit trailed 23-13 with 10 minutes remaining before tries to Western Force and Nedlands hooker Heath Tessmann and Associates centre Ammon Matuauto allowed the Perth side to steal the victory.
Spirit coach David Wessels said he was very pleased with his side’s ability to rally together and fight their way back into the match.
“We spoke all week that things maybe weren’t going to be perfect because of the short preparation time but felt if we stayed at it and continued to work hard for each other, it would probably be the point of difference in the end; fortunately that proved to be the case,” he said.
The Spirit held a 13-0 lead at the break, thanks to first-half tries by Dillyn Leyds and Zack Holmes.
However, they touched down for four unanswered tries – aided by the sin-binning of Cottesloe prop Alec Hepburn and UWA flanker Richard Hardwick within two minutes of one another.
Staring down the barrel of a firstup defeat, the Spirit mounted its comeback when Tessmann scored before Matuauto streaked away to score the match-winning try.
The Spirit will now take on Brisbane City at McGillivray Oval this Sunday.
Tickets are available through www.ticketmaster.com.au.
STATE OF UNION