Maccabiah rugby heroes win Sydney championship

August 23, 2009 by Alex Lehrer
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The gold medal-winning Maccabiah rugby team has added a Sydney championship trophy to their season’s achievements. J-Wire is proud to run a report on the match written by team captain Alex Lehrer.

by Alex Lehrer…..

The Maccabi Blues with the Meldrum Cup

The Maccabi Blues with the Meldrum Cup Photo: Ingrid Shakenovsky

Maccabi beat Manly Savers 24-17 on Saturday to win the prestigious Meldrum Cup. The Meldrum Cup is a Sydney suburban rugby union competition.

After losing in last year’s grand final, the team was overjoyed to come back and take the trophy in 2009.

The victory caps off a historic year for the Maccabi Rugby Club, a year in which two monumental goals were achieved: winning gold at the Maccabiah Games and winning the Meldrum Cup.

The victory in the grand final was hard fought and testament to the character and tenacity of the Maccabi Blues.

Manly Savers had beaten Maccabi two weeks earlier in the preliminary semi-final and early in the second half on Saturday it appeared as though they were going to repeat the dose in the grand final.

After taking a slender lead in to the half time break, Maccabi gave away a penalty early in the second half. Manly Savers kicked the goal to take the lead and with a strong wind at their backs it looked like they were coasting to victory.

Maccabi then started to lift the tempo with strong running up the middle of the field by the forwards and some incisive runs and counter attacking by the backs. Maccabi’s pressure led to points with two tries being scored in quick succession, the first by replacement hooker Sean Jankelowitz and the second by centre Keith Friedlander.

Captain ALex Lehrer with proud father Gus...and the cup

Captain Alex Lehrer with proud father Gus...and the cup Photo: Ingrid Shakenovsky

With a 14 point buffer and six minutes remaining in the match victory appeared assured. Manly continued to attack with wave after wave of forward runners and after a number of impressive last ditch desperate tackles by Maccabi, Savers crashed over for a converted try which brought them within striking distance of taking the game into extra time.

With one minute remaining Maccabi kicked off and tackled heroically to deter Manly’s final onslaught.

The final whistle blew, heralding the end of a famous victory and the conclusion of a historic year for Maccabi Rugby in Australia.

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