With washouts cancelling their two previous 2022 NSW Suburban Rugby season warm-up games, Maccabi Rugby Club definitely made the most of their only trial against UNSW at Burrows Park on April 13, recording a hard-fought 15-10 win.
It was the first time Maccabi beat their higher division opponents in this annual pre-season fixture, which has cheekily become known as ‘The Other Davis Cup’, due to George Davis coaching Maccabi, and his brother David captaining UNSW.
With Maccabi short on match fitness and missing some key players – including star recruit, retired Super Rugby and Pro 14 player Dave Horwitz – it seemed UNSW were in the box seat, and after 25 minutes, they led 10-0.
But Maccabi hit back when flanker Mackenzie Dale crashed over the line following a period of sustained pressure in good field position.
With intermittent rain, the Blue & White’s big front row of Harris Lloyd-Levy, Joshua Hoffman and Shaun Janks gained invaluable metres up the middle throughout the second half, when in a sporting gesture, David Davis pulled on a Maccabi jersey to further boost their troops.
Maccabi finished the strongest, scoring two more tries – the first through a brilliant individual blind side move by Sam Horwitz, who made a welcome return to the team – and the next by debutant Max Epstein, who burst into a hole created by a smart pass by fly-half Max Wright.
David Davis, and much of Maccabi’s squad – including the Horwitz brothers – are also in Maccabi Australia’s rugby squad for the Maccabiah Games in Israel.
Elated by the performance against UNSW, George Davis said, “This is a great sign of things to come. We saw outstanding individual performances, and a great team defensive effort.
“With some [injured] players still to come back into the side, this bodes very well for our domestic rugby season, and also the Maccabiah Games in July.”
Maccabi start their season with an away game this Saturday, April 23.
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