20 July, 2023

No. 9 notches another hat-trick for Wolves

THREE tries to Lance Ainsworth helped the Stanley River Wolves to a convincing 34-16 win over the Kawana Dolphins in last Saturday’s reserve grade rugby league clash at the Kawana Sports Precinct.

Lance Ainsworth has scored another hat-trick for the Wolves.
Lance Ainsworth has scored another hat-trick for the Wolves.

The Wolves were certain to remain second on the ladder, while the fourth-placed Dolphins remained two points behind the third-placed Beerwah Bulldogs.

It was the second time Stanley River beat Kawana this year, with the second encounter panning out much differently from the first one which the Wolves won 18-16 at home back on May 12.

It was also the second time Lance Ainsworth scored a hat-trick this year, having done so in a 40-6 win over Caboolture at Kilcoy back on April 15.

Wolves co-coach Gary Atkinson-Maul said he couldn’t speak highly enough of the way the team played in the first half last Saturday.

“The performance in the first half I’d say is the best performance they’ve done all year,” he said.

“In the second half they might have backed off a bit, as they had it won.”

While satisfied that all of the Wolves who took to the field had played a key role, Atkinson-Maul made special mention of Lance Ainsworth and John Snow after they were jointly named player-of-the-match.

Ainsworth lined up at hooker while Snow played in the centres, with the duo only recently returning to action after being sidelined with injury.

Two of Ainsworth’s tries came from good support play, and the other came when he scooted out of dummy-half from within the 20-metre zone.

Second-rower Daniel Brooks put in his usual workaholic display, while Tom Matthews scored his first try for quite a while and was understandably elated.

Last Saturday was a special occasion as the Wolves wore black armbands, and both teams observed a minute’s silence following the passing of original Wolves life member Lionel Simpson.

A gun halfback in the inaugural 1974 senior side, Simpson was involved in the establishment of the juniors in 1995 and also performed countless voluntary tasks for the Wolves over the years.

With at least one Kawana committee member having worked with Simpson, the Dolphins were very accommodating with the Wolves’ request to pay respects to Simpson.

Following the minute’s silence, the visitors began the contest strongly and scored an early try as James Cochran crossed the tryline virtually untouched after a set play confused the defence.

With the Wolves in superb form with their attack and defence, they went on to lead 18-0 following back-to-back converted tries to their hooker.

Lucas Bell scored Kawana’s first try, before the Wolves led 28-6 following tries to Luke Messinbird and Ainsworth.

The scoring went back-and-forth as Jack Day scored for Kawana, followed by Matthews’s moment of glory and then a try to Kawana’s Jack Mill.

Atkinson-Maul said the discipline of the Wolves was very good although a couple of decisions left them baffled.

Wolves prop Jaye Allery was dispatched to the sin bin for an alleged shoulder charge, whereas an opponent didn’t receive the same punishment following a similar action.

This Saturday, the Wolves trek to Coolum to contest the eighth-placed Colts who are coming off three straight defeats, and had lost 22-14 to Stanley River back on May 20.


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