Cubs Blow Away Storm

Posted on February 19, 2010

Sydney Uni kicked off 2010 in style, blowing away the Bondi Storm 72-8 at the St George Hockey Centre in the season opener on Friday night.  In the process, the Cubs registered the highest score (72 points) and largest winning margin (64 points) in their 17 year history, topping their previous best of 58-0 against the Northwestern Predators in 2006.

While the game was nominally a re-match of last season’s grandfinal, off-season departures meant that the Storm were fielding a completely new side for 2010.

The Cubs got on top early and did not let up.  The defence shut down Bondi’s opening possession within the first set of downs, the starting front five of Daniel Pearson, Jack Danielson, Hau Neo, Cameron Prentice and Andrew Shattuck overpowering the Storm’s running game.   The defence secured a turnover at midfield after Bondi failed on a fourth down conversion attempt.

The offence took over and drove in for a score on its first possession.  Sam Darcy led the offence with poise, dishing out a pitch to running back Francis O’Neill to score his first ever touchdown for the Cubs.  O’Neill would lead the Cubs in scoring on the night with three rushing touchdowns, a fitting reward for a player who stuck by the game last year despite having to sit out the season with a broken leg.

The pattern established by the opening drives continued for most of the match.  The defence controlled the Storm’s running game, with first year linebacker Hau Neo making a strong debut for the Cubs.  Neo showed sound technique and good hustle to make a number of key stops against the run.   A number of other players also got in on the act, with Daniel Pearson, Reuben Brien-Arnold and Nabeel Siddiqui all recording important tackles for loss to put the Storm into long yardage situations.  Once forced into long yardage, the Storm quarterback found that his receivers were well covered by the Cubs’ secondary of Chevy Abraham-Jacob, Stanley Chin, Justin Chow, Tim Zhong and David Chow.  Stanley Chin made an important pass break-up and picked off an interception late in the first half while Justin Chow forced and then recovered a fumble after one of the few completions to the Storm receivers.  The defence were unlucky not to be rewarded for their strong showing with 6 points, middle linebacker Cameron Prentice holding a tipped pass over the middle and returning it up the sideline and into the endzone, only for a blocking penalty on the return to negate the score.

The offence scored on every possession.  The offensive line laid a solid platform.  Oscar Heidrich, Alexander Panebianco, Angus Bishop, Kendall Generoso, Elvis Trompf and Jack Horgan rotated onto the offensive line without missing a beat.  The line can be seen opening the way for first year running back Brady Olsson to score on a two point conversion attempt.  The Cubs running game was unstoppable, with Francis O’Neill (3), Harry Granger (2), Brady Olsson and Sam Darcy all rushing for touchdowns.  The Cubs also showed their class through the air, Darcy hitting Max Granger with a long range touchdown with only seconds remaining in the first half and combining with Alex Klaric from short range for a couple of 2 point conversions.  A measure of the dominance of the Cubs is that they succeeded on every one of their 9 two point conversion attempts.  Mention must also be made of freshman quarterback Krishan Dass, who showed great poise to complete his first two career pass attempts for 2 point conversions.

The Cubs also had a good night on special teams, with Brady Olsson taking his first career kick-off return back for a touchdown and Max Granger and the kick-off coverage unit holding the Storm to minimal yards.  Tyrone Williams contributed a number of key tackles on kick-off coverage and grabbed his first points as a Cub with a tough, low catch from Dass on a late two point conversion.

Scoring statistics from the game have been linked to the “Statistics” link on the Cubs page.  The other results from round 1 and the league table have been posted to the “Gridiron NSW Colts Table & Results” link on the Cubs page.

The Cubs next face the UTS Titans at the St George Hockey Centre, Mutch Ave, Kyeemagh, on Friday, 26 February 2010, kick-off at 8.30pm.  The game shapes up as an early match-up of two teams likely to feature in the playoffs this year.  The Cubs will be looking to carry some momentum out of their opening win and establish a strong position at the top of the table.