MACCABI’S 2011 charge for the Meldrum Cup started with a hard-fought, 14-3 win against Clovelly, who knocked them out of the finals last year.
“It was a good win and I was particularly happy about how we put into practice everything we had been doing during training,” captain Keith Friedlander said.
“Obviously, there is a lot to improve on, like our backs and set pieces, but we had very little rust and the forwards were spectacular at the breakdown.”
Friedlander said the team has been working on ball retention in the off-season because it’s the key to winning a game.
“Our ball retention was unbelievable and it was backed up by great defence.
“We didn’t let in one try, and to be able to say that in the first match of the year is very impressive.”
Justin Weiss opened the scoring with a penalty goal in the 11th minute and then slotted another goal through the posts to give the Blues a 6-0 lead midway through the first half.
Both teams had chances to score tries but neither had crossed the stripe when the half-time whistle sounded.
Maccabi received an immediate setback in the second half when Tony Bean was given a yellow card for repeated infringements less than a minute after the break.
Friedlander said the team needs to work on discipline.
“The referee warned us about infringements at the breakdown and we need to learn to adapt so that the situation doesn’t arise again.”
Clovelly used the opportunity to try and fight back, kicking a penalty goal to close the gap to three points.
But less than five minutes later Maccabi’s Ben Selwyn blew the game open when he scored the only try of the match. Weiss missed the conversion but scored the last points of the match when his penalty shot sneaked over the bar with seven minutes remaining in the match.
The 2010 champions, Redfield, started the year with a massive win against Killara West Pymble, 54-0.
The Blues will play Randwick at Latham Park this Saturday at 3.15pm.