Thanks to Bruce Thomson for the photos

OBU 52 Johnsonville 7


OBU started from the Basin Reserve end back to the changing sheds in the first half. It was a beautiful sunny day but the sun was quite low on the horizon making it difficult playing into it. There was no wind of any concern and the mercury struggled to get to double digits. Commentary coming to you from the scoreboard grandstand.

John ‘JC’ Cable was kindly present to correct my errors.

Notable performances

  • Sam Coombs’ nose for the line has to earn him a spot on the list!
  • Dale Sabbagh has become a true leader in the backline over the last few years and the team as a whole. His goalkicking was superb, he was always dangerous on the attack and precise on defence.
  • Matt Fowler was very busy and must have been annoying for the Johnsonville forwards! His distribution was solid and his dabs around the side meant defenders had to stay on him rather than drifting out to the ball runners.
  • It was good to see Reece Plumtree back at this level. He only had 2 or 3 runs but they counted.
  • The whole front row deserves massive ups for a truly dominant performance.
  • The locking combination of James and Taine together with Caleb on the flank gives some great height at the lineout and all three showed great skills and pace around the park while still doing the tight work when needed.

How the game unfolded

5 mins – OBU turnover a Johnsonville lineout the ball goes out to the left and back to the right a few times before Sam Coombs crashes over the line. Converted by Dale Sabbagh

7-0 OBU lead

11 mins – Johnsonville on the attack. OBU turns it over and Callum Harkin clears it downfield for Sam Reid to chase. Sam gets up to pressure well but with the naked eye, it looked like he was stepped and instinctively put the foot out which partially tripped the Johnsonville player. Clubrooms discussion afterwards reveals Sam says he went to kick the ball as the Johnsonville player picked it up. Either way, it doesn’t matter the ref calls him over to issue the yellow card.

17 mins – OBU is camped on the Johnsonville line. After a few pick and goes Shamus Langton charges to the right side of the ruck and gets over but is held up.

18 mins – From the resulting scrum Dale runs it around the outside of the defence and into the right-hand corner. The ref calls it back for a scrum to Johnsonville. I assume it was lost forward in the dive but the referees signal isn’t clear from my position.

22 mins – OBU elects a scrum deep in Johnsonville territory after taking the penalty advantage. The ball is cleared to the right and Dale goes around the defenders and dots in the corner and converts it.

14-0 OBU lead

27 mins – OBU is penalised 30 meters out in front of the sticks the Johnsonville kicker lines it up but launchers a worm-burner. The score is unchanged.

37 mins – Matt Fowler breaks around the side of the ruck where Johnsonville had been too slow to mark up. He gets in behind the defence quickly, commits the defender and offloads to Taine Plumtree who saw the opportunity opening up and gassed it to be in support for the pass. Dale converts it.

21-0 OBU lead

39 mins – Great move down the right-wing. Jack Green runs onto the ball and makes a quick 30 metres before chipping it deep into Johnsonville territory. Matt Fowler runs onto the ball and gets taken in a good solid tackle. There is some phase play before Jack Green gets over the line but it’s knocked on.

40 mins – OBU launches a dominant scrum and turns over the Johnsonville feed. Adding insult to injury the scrum drives over the line for Shamus to claim the pushover try.  Dale keeps the kicking run intact by slotting the conversion.

Half Time 28-0 OBU lead

42 mins – OBU makes a mistake running the ball out from our own territory. Johnsonville turns it over. It looks like it’s going to be a regulation run in for the halfback but he gets caught in a good cover tackle. The loosehead prop for Johnsonville ducks around to the right of the posts to claim the pot of gold.

28-7 OBU lead

45 mins – OBU brings the ball out from their own territory. Caleb Delaney launches a big long cut-out pass to James Poloniati who steams in from about 35 meters to dot down in the corner. Conversion misses. Reece Plumtree comes on for Callum Harkin.

33-7 OBU lead

52 mins –  Shamus runs in a try from around halfway outstripping the defenders for sheer pace. Conversion misses. Subs Caleb, Taine, James, Kenan, Matt Fowler off. Replaced by Sam Godwin, Josh Gimblett, Tiaki Fabish, Matt Sleith and Kyle Preston.

38-7 OBU lead

55 mins – Great run down the right-wing by Reece with a great inside pass to Sam Reid to finish it off. The conversion was successful. Lawrence Lim on for Fui. Lawry, a popular figure, gets a rousing reception from his mates in the Prem Reserve and Colts teams watching on from up on the terraces.

45-7 OBU Lead

70 mins – Sam Reid takes a good run down the right-hand side of the field and releases the pass to Reece running off his shoulder. Reece cuts back on the angle to the posts to shake any last hopes of a Johnsonville defender covering.

52-7 OBU lead

78 mins – Johnsonville penalised in their own 22, quick tap taken but comes to nothing Johnsonville not back 10 so we go again. Eventually, Johnsonville number 15 can’t help but play the ball on the ground. He gets a yellow card for his troubles.

Final Score 52-7 to OBU


Shamus Langton 2 x Tries.

Taine Plumtree, Dale Sabbagh, Reece Plumtree, James Poloniati, Sam Reid, Sam Coombs – 1 Try each

Dale Sabbagh 6 x Conversions