Tight win for Margaret River Gropers in the Bull pen

The Margaret River Gropers travelled up to the Bull pen in Bunbury on the weekend for their second last regular game of the season.

The Bulls boasted their strongest squad of the season and were red hot favourites to upset a depleted Gropers squad.

After travelling through hail and gale force winds the sun came out in Bunbury and it seemed like a clean game of rugby was on hand.

They were to be disappointed shortly after as the weather took a turn for the worst. As the wind picked up, the Gropers won the toss and decided to play with what seemed to be a 20 point breeze.

The Gropers dominated affairs, but some errors at crucial moments let them down, scoring only one try in the first half.

Glenn Giles gathered a wayward kick after pressure by the Gropers to hand the ball to Peter Macauley. With a huge amount of work to do he muscled his way over the line to draw first blood.

The Bulls gained some ascendency, battering the Gropers' smaller pack and forcing their way towards the line.

Gropers managed to thwart this time and again, enhancing their reputation as the best defensive side in the league, despite their smaller stature.

Much of this was due to the Tongan influence of Kaho, Kauni and Tevita. They were destructive in defence and deceptive in attack.

Despite numerous chances for both sides, the score was a tight 5-0 advantage for the Gropers, however Bunbury were playing with the wind in the second half.

Gropers turned the tide in the second; deciding to to keep the ball close at hand and play simple rugby worked. French winger Clem Puyts scored off a fantastic counter attack in his opposite corner.

Young gun Max Dickson scored arguably the try of the season. Like an 80's pinball machine he bounced from side to side beating six defenders to put the put ball over the line.

Mark Sheath had a blinder and created numerous opportunities with some deft offloads.

With ice from the heavens beginning to fall on the heated game, the Gropers managed to scrape a 20-0 win. The next game is at Gloucester Park on August 11 against Dunsborough at 2:30pm.

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Margaret River Mail

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