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Shore looks the goods in Silverdale demolition

Flagstaff Team

Battering ram… North Shore lock Stephen Dempsey starts his run for a sensational try in North Shore’s 29-11 win over Silverdale at home last Saturday.

The North Shore premiers rugby side gave notice that it should be a title contender this season, with a 29-11 win against Silverdale at home last Saturday.

The emphatic style of the win, which came on the back of an 13-7 loss to Massey, was more important than the score. Based on a solid performance by Shore’s pack and strong all-round defence, they knocked Silverdale off the top of the table.

Lock Stephen Dempsey, in his 20th game for Shore, put in a supercharged performance, strong in the line-out and in the tight. He scored a belter of a try, charging 22 metres, beating numerous defenders to dot down.

Donald Coleman, who had three quarters of a game at flanker and the rest at hooker, made some scintillating breaks, while fellow forwards James Fiebig and Adam Batt were also firing.

Samuel Toa, Fiebig and Batt were also tryscorers for Shore.

Oscar Koller, a top player with Takapuna Grammar School a couple of seasons ago, ran powerfully and distributed well in his third game for the premiers. He kicked three conversions and a penalty.

The game started poorly for Shore, who gave away an intercept try. But although Silverdale defended mightly and mounted several promising attacks, Shore’s pack was too big and strong and increasingly dominated as the game wore on.

The green-and-whites scored two tries in the first half and went into the break up 12-8.

Rather than letting their opponents rally, as they have done on occasion in recent years, Shore kept the pressure on, mounting numerous structured movements, keeping the ball in hand and only kicking sparingly. Silverdale was forced to counter-attack using sparse possession, while Shore’s defence remained firm.

Powerhouse… Multiple tacklers were often needed to stop North Shore’s Donald Coleman last Saturday

The score should have been higher, with Shore scoring what appeared to be an excellent try on full time, with great passing between forwards and backs, only to be called back for a penalty.

The season is looking tighter than ever with the top teams – Shore, Takapuna, Massey, Northcote and Silverdale – all capable of winning the championship.

It will come down to passion, determination and resilience – all of which Shore showed plenty of last weekend.

  • North Shore plays East Coast Bays away on 7 May.

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