Oslo’s Eastside squad proved it will be the team to beat in Kenguru Cup 2016 after scoring strong wins in a high quality round one under sunny skies at Voldslokka.
Playing with a mixture of new and old faces, the East shrugged off an indifferent start against Oslo West in the first game to run out convincing winners 61 to 18.
With Danny Aukema and Matthew Trzeciak leading the way, East had winners all over the ground. West managed patches of good play, and the continued development of Norwegian national players Hans Olav Heggen and Klas Alexander Harris was evident, but the team was far less fluid and functional in its forward line than its crosstown rivals. East’s forwards converted well, and once the team gained midfield ascendancy, the result was never in doubt.
Game two saw the Easties teach an inexperienced Ås side the finer points of contested, skilled football, and another comfortable win, 53 to 13. There were some encouraging signs for the Battlers however, who will be looking forward to its full-strength squad taking the field following University exams.
In the evening’s final fixture, West took on and conquered the Ås side, which was ably helped out with some extra players from East. The closest contest of the night saw Ås start brilliantly and head into the half-time break up by eight points. West responded however, and hit back with a flurry of second half goals to put the result beyond doubt. Final scores were West 51, Ås 28.
Round one demonstrated that the intensity and skill level of the league continues to improve, and that there is new talent starting to fill the void left by departed players. Development of local players remains a core focus of the competition, and organisers hope that the group of non-Australian players grows for round two and beyond.
Thanks to the timekeepers, scorers, and umpires on the night, who ran all three games well. Special thanks to Anette Smith for driving the now-traditional post match BBQ, which raised much needed funds for the game in Norway.
Round two is Thursday June 2 at Ås.