Late inclusion Sam Fogarty inspires Merewether win

Late inclusion Fogarty inspires Merewether win Scenes from the Merewether Carlton v University NHRU game on Sunday. Picture Brock Perks
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Scenes from the Merewether Carlton v University NHRU game on Sunday. Picture Brock Perks

Scenes from the Merewether Carlton v University NHRU game on Sunday. Picture Brock Perks

Scenes from the Merewether Carlton v University NHRU game on Sunday. Picture Brock Perks

Scenes from the Merewether Carlton v University NHRU game on Sunday. Picture Brock Perks

Scenes from the Merewether Carlton v University NHRU game on Sunday. Picture Brock Perks

Scenes from the Merewether Carlton v University NHRU game on Sunday. Picture Brock Perks

Scenes from the Merewether Carlton v University NHRU game on Sunday. Picture Brock Perks

Scenes from the Merewether Carlton v University NHRU game on Sunday. Picture Brock Perks

Scenes from the Merewether Carlton v University NHRU game on Sunday. Picture Brock Perks

Scenes from the Merewether Carlton v University NHRU game on Sunday. Picture Brock Perks

Scenes from the Merewether Carlton v University NHRU game on Sunday. Picture Brock Perks

Scenes from the Merewether Carlton v University NHRU game on Sunday. Picture Brock Perks

Scenes from the Merewether Carlton v University NHRU game on Sunday. Picture Brock Perks

Scenes from the Merewether Carlton v University NHRU game on Sunday. Picture Brock Perks

Scenes from the Merewether Carlton v University NHRU game on Sunday. Picture Brock Perks

Scenes from the Merewether Carlton v University NHRU game on Sunday. Picture Brock Perks

Scenes from the Merewether Carlton v University NHRU game on Sunday. Picture Brock Perks

Scenes from the Merewether Carlton v University NHRU game on Sunday. Picture Brock Perks

Scenes from the Merewether Carlton v University NHRU game on Sunday. Picture Brock Perks

Scenes from the Merewether Carlton v University NHRU game on Sunday. Picture Brock Perks

Scenes from the Merewether Carlton v University NHRU game on Sunday. Picture Brock Perks

Scenes from the Merewether Carlton v University NHRU game on Sunday. Picture Brock Perks

TweetFacebookSAM Fogarty was named on the bench, started at outside centre, shifted to inside centre after five minutes, and by full-time had inspired Merewether Carlton to a 27-6 victory over University in the elimination semi-final at No.2 Sportsground on Sunday.

Merewether scored four tries and kept their line intact to qualify for another Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Union sudden-death semi at No.2 on Sunday against The Waratahs, who were beaten 22-19 by Wanderers at No.2 on Saturday.

Fogarty threw the final pass for the first of right winger Sam Rouse’s two tries, and he combined with backline partner Rapine Mason to create a try under the crossbar for left winger Luke Toovey just before half-time to give the Greens a 17-3 lead at the break.

The long-haired centre was equally effective in defence, earning the nod as players’ player.

Greens captain Gareth Ernst was ruled out because of a hand injury he sustained against The Waratahs a fortnight ago.

In the backline reshuffle, Jay Strachan started at halfback, Blake Creighton played fullback and Fogarty ran on as outside centre.

Greens coach Jason Toby had to make another switch after five minutes when inside centre Kent Hatchwell suffered concussion and had to be helped from the field.

‘‘Defensively, Sam led that line-up in midfield and really set the platform for us in defence, so I thought he was our best today along with Patty Ireland on the side of the scrum,’’ Toby said.

‘‘Our defence was one of the big positives out of today, to hold them to no tries.

‘‘We have leaked a few points over the last few weeks, so it was good to have that structure and solidness back in our defence, and the attitude was a lot better in that second half.’’

Toby said Hatchwell would be monitored this week but was unlikely to play on Sunday.

‘‘They’re still assessing Kent now, but he’s had a few head knocks this year, so we’ll have to assess him through the week,’’ he said.

Merewether created several scoring chances in the first half but crossed for only two tries and did not take advantage of the strong southerly at their backs.

Uni, in their first final in five years, began dominating possession early in the second half and cut the deficit to 17-6 in the 49th minute when Jack Rixon kicked his second penalty.

Captain Sam Berry made ground almost every time he touched the ball in broken play, but Uni could not convert possession into points and became frustrated as they chased the game.

Creighton created Rouse’s second try with a well placed chip kick to the corner in the 62nd minute to extend Merewether’s lead to 22-6, then Strachan sealed the deal with a solo scoot to score in the 76th minute.

‘‘It was a bit of a danger game for us because it was their first semi-final in a couple of years and they were always going to be all pumped up for it, too, so it was good to see us weather that storm and play ourselves out of that rut that we were in early on,’’ Toby said.

‘‘We ended up playing some good footy and scoring some good tries, so that was pleasing.

‘‘We weren’t that patient in the first half.

‘‘We had the wind and probably didn’t use that as much as we should have and we squandered some chances, so it came down to patience.’’

Toby said the Greens could not afford to be so reckless against The Waratahs on Sunday.

‘‘They won’t give us many chances and we’ll have to be defensively good because they’re one of the best attacking sides in the comp,’’ he said.

‘‘They throw the ball around and test you quite a bit, so our attitude in defence has to be right.

‘‘And we need to score points – you’ve got to score points to beat Waratah – so it’s all about our execution, and we’ll be concentrating on that this week.’’

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