Round 2 of the 3rd Grade Black competition saw Southern Lions take on Joondalup in the Lions Den.
This was another closely contested match which could have gone either way. The first 20 minutes or so saw play oscillating between the 22m lines, with possession being fairly equal. In the 23rd minute, the Lions were awarded a penalty 20m out and a quick reaction by Jason Caruana taking a quick tap saw him beat a number of defenders with a great stepping run to score under the uprights to put the Lions 5-0 up. Tom Job struck a penalty goal shortly thereafter (8-0). Play was fairly even for the remainder of the half, with Joondalup replying with a penalty in the 35th minute (8-3). The second half initially saw some great interplay between forwards and backs, characterised by great support play which ended with Tui Sakaria scoring a well worked try in the 39th minute (13-3). However, Joondalup made good use of the wind, pinning the Lions in their own half for long periods. Whilst the defence held strong for the better part of 30 minutes, the possession and territory dominance by Joondalup at this stage of the match resulted in two converted tries (50th and 65th minute) to take the score to 17-13. The Lions were unable to close the gap, despite efforts to hold onto the ball and play from deep in their own half in the final minutes of the match.
Once again, though, the Lions played determined rugby in a match which could have and probably should have been won, and the players must be thanked for their efforts on the day, as well as all the supporters who braved the elements to watch their team. Wendy and Chris Johansen must also be thanked for their contributions from the sidelines in their role as team managers.