Ealing Cougars put in a never say die performance against top of the table Rosslyn Park to keep their dreams of a play off spot alive.
The Cougars dominated most of the game and should have put the game out of site after 3 very good line breaks that should have led to tries. Rosslyn Park held out and The Cougars only managed a solitary penalty for all their first half dominance. In the second half a poor kick was fielded by Park and a good break was finished off to give them a 7 – 3 lead. The Cougars hit back after some good play by the forwards driving the Cougars within 15 metres of the Park try line and a great running line from centre Denis Manterola saw him score under the posts to make the score 10 -7 to the Cougars.
With 12 minutes to go another poor piece of play resulted in a loose ball which Park kicked up field and forced The Cougars to put the ball out. From the resulting lineout Rosslyn Park attacked the Cougars line and in a desperate attempt to defend the try line The Cougars were adjudged to make a high tackle and a penalty try was awarded. makin g the score 10 – 14 in Park’s favour,
The Cougars again rallied and forced Park back into their own 22. A couple of assaults ended with the Cougars being held up over the try line. Another catch and drive from the lineout saw the Cougars 5 metres out and with 1 minute left on the clock a blind side break ended with a short pass for John Haigh playing his first game of the season to power his way over for the winner. Ash Gillard added the conversion to make the score 17 -14.
It was a real gutsy display from the Cougars and in particular a great forward display capped off by the front row destroying their opposition front row and dominating the set piece.Although the Cougars were missing a few key players all the squad showed imense strength of will to get the result and keep the league dream alive.
Ealing Cougars now need to win their final league game next week at home against Hammersmith and Fulham to secure a play off place.