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Eastside Downs Liberty in Washington

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Eastside Downs Liberty in Washington

Eastside continued their strong run of results in Washington state with a 31-8 defeat of rivals Liberty at Pat Ryan Memorial Field.

This was an intense clash between two very good teams. Liberty started off with a blast, making a penetrating run down the right wing that took some desperate defense from Eastside to prevent an early score. It was an early wakeup call for the Lions.

Eastside's forwards dominated the next phases, resulting in a rolling maul that saw the team advance from outside the Liberty 22. Kai Holec, an immense presence in the second row, dotted down on the seven-minute mark. Kieran O'Meara slotted the tough-angle conversion and it was 7-0.

As play continued, both sides secured their set pieces. Liberty's Jamie Brooks showcased impressive towering leaps in lineouts, while Seamus Tuohy stunned Eastside defenses with several torpedo runs in the backline. Liberty, however, lost their way at the breakdown, unable to provide effective support to maintain their momentum. For Eastside, the engine room of Lawson Barton, Kai Holec, and Joseph Chambers, swiftly jackaled any scrap of available ball. A clumsy tackle from Liberty resulted in a red card after a wayward fist connected with Eastside's Puka Masunu, and that put Liberty on the back foot.

In the final stretch of the first half, an Eastside scrum on Liberty's 22 and a piercing run from center Asa Young led to another converted try. Liberty closed the half with a penalty kick from the sure foot of Dylan Lugar and it was 14-3 Eastside.

Liberty opened the second half pinning Eastside in their half. the Patriots looked threatening as they broke lines and pushed Eastisde back. Sefa Leapai scored in the corner and it was 14-8.

Undeterred, Eastside returned the ball with vigor. From inside the Eastside half, O'Meara broke the initial line of defense before the ball went through several hands to set up some impressive interplay between Eastside's props Etu Tuifua and Puka Masunu. Masunu finished it off—just reward for a strong game—and O'Meara converted.

More Eastside scores followed. A territorial kick from Liberty was collected and worked to the wing where the deceptively powerful Tristan Esterhuizen rumbled hard and raced over for a try that O'Meara converted from out wide. A 30-meter surge from No. 8, Joseph Chambers, followed by a scything inside run from his brother and back row mate Lewis that drew in Liberty defenses. The ball was spun wide, unleashing Aseri Kauwea, who scored on the wing.