Uni runs off against Gladstone
GLADSTONE couldn’t top off its family fun day with a win in the A-grade rugby union on Saturday, going down to a sleek University squad, 29-17.
It was a customary slow start for the home side as Uni ran off to a 17-nil lead in the first 15 minutes.
“We were camped down on our line and it wasn’t happening,” Gladstone player-coach Jason Bell said.
That is, it wasn’t happening until a break-away run from fullback Rudy Wentzel set up Ben Nordien to lift the home side as he crossed the chalk for the side’s first points before half time.
Scrumhalf Albury Wentzel thought he was over again shortly after but the referee called play back for a penalty, leaving the half-time score at 17-5.
After the break, Gladstone held Uni in their own half for a solid 15-minute spell and was rewarded with another try through Michael McCamley: his first ever.
But a knock-on from the kick-off put Uni in prime attacking position and they extended the lead to 12 points again.
Working their way back into the opposition’s half, a surging run from a penalty tap put Dan Bates over the line to narrow the gap to 22-17.
But a lack of discipline got the better of the home team, which conceded two penalty kicks in the dying minutes, leaving the game at 28-17.
Rudy Wentzel was a standout for the team, with Bryce Milburn also having a solid game.
Bell conceded the team had a “fairly quiet warm up” before the game.
A disturbed beginning of the season prompted Bell to set two goals for the year: make the club financially stable and develop a core skill base on the field.
While the club has struggled to find results Bell was confident the team had achieved both.
“Next year the guys will have a strong base to build on,” Bell said.
The family fun day also saw Gladstone’s golden oldies take on veterans from Bundaberg and Hervey Bay before the Boars defeated University in their reserve-grade game.