Roosters play Erina Eagles in 'tale of two halves'
Woy Woy Roosters played Erina Eagles in round one of first grade competition.
It was a tale of two halves for the new look Roosters when they came up against a formidable Erina outfit in round one at Woy Woy Oval.
Led by captain-coach Toby Marks, the Woy Woy team featured an extremely promising number of former Roosters Juniors, with a range of both youth and experience in key positions.
Three debutants - Taine Jacob, Braydan Purcell and Ashton Carroll - donned the Woy Woy First Grade jersey for the first time on Sunday afternoon.
Following a touching Anzac tribute prior to play, it was the Roosters who took first control of the contest.
After some early sustained pressure with the ball, some nice ball movement saw winger Billy James cross over for the first four pointer of the season.
Woy Woy's big men, led by some strong hit-ups from Brae Verheyen, wrestled momentum towards the home side.
However, some errors and poor discipline saw Erina cross over twice through the middle of the park to claim the lead midway through the half.
Woy Woy then showed their determination and desire to stay in the contest, with debutant Braydan Purcell crossing the stripe early into his first stint to tie the game at 12.
After both teams were reduced to 12 men with five to play in the half, it was Joe Williams who beat his man to score Woy Woy's third, which gave the Roosters a well-earned 18-12 lead at the break.
Following the half time interval, it was Erina who got the jump on the Roosters, scoring three quick tries within 10 minutes to build a 12-point gap.
Marks and hooker Darcy Etrich helped to settle down the Eagles momentum, forcing back to back line drop outs with their short kicking games.
With 20 minutes to play, Erina found space through the middle of the park once again, and pushed the lead out to 18 points.
For the final stanza of play however, Woy Woy didn't lay down, and they kept the pressure on the Erina defense right up until the final whistle.
With 10 to play, Scott Gowans found himself inches from drawing Woy Woy closer, but some stoic Erina defense kept the Roosters at bay.
The final score was 36-18.
Social media, 26 Apr 2022
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