A BUMPER home crowd at Lyne Park for Maccabi Rugby Club’s annual Old Boys’ and Family Day had plenty to cheer about last Saturday, with the Blue and Whites winning first and second grade matches in the same round for the first time this season.
Amid a backdrop of a jumping castle, sausage sizzles and spectators in full voice, Maccabi’s undefeated first grade team in the Jeffrey Cup faced a much-improved Sydney Convicts outfit that was up for the challenge.
Maccabi got off to a perfect start when quick-thinking Sam Horwitz took a quick tap after a penalty was awarded and scored under the posts.
Undaunted, the Convicts played with freedom and scored next when their big centre breezed past several Maccabi defenders.
Maccabi edged in front again after a strong run from Mickey Palmer led to a try by Dan Munitz.
But a string of penalties to the Convicts just three minutes from half-time – and the sin-binning of Maccabi fullback Simon Molnar – resulted in another easy try to the Convicts.
With the scores locked early in the second half, Maccabi looked momentarily rattled, but were able to raise their game, particularly in defence, with Dean Friedlander leading by example.
Munitz scored his second try and when it was followed by a superb, acrobatic touchdown by super-sub Nathan Ezekiel – combined with seven points from the boot of Evan Kassel, it proved enough to secure Maccabi a hard-fought 29-19 victory.
In second grade (Noice Cup), Maccabi made the most of the early running, with towering forward David Helfenbaum strolling over for a try and converting it himself.
The Convicts struck back immediately, but all they could add for the rest of the match was one more five-pointer.
Maccabi then went on an unanswered try-scoring spree. Maccabi finished up 61-12 winners.