Margaret River hosted two games on the weekend, with the Gropers facing Dunsborough, and the Bunbury Bulls up against Collie.
After an impressive first game, Dunsborough were looking to break their 4 yr drought against Margaret River, and had pressed themselves as favourites after the first round.
They turned up with a weaker side than expected, and the Gropers were boosted with 3 impressive new recruits in the past week.
Luke Coleman is pure quality, and Tane Makoare scored on his first touch which speaks for itself.
A traditional Gropers team will always include a classy Frenchman and Clem filled that hole in the team’s heart.
Add to that the return of Jacob Nesbit, Shane Charlton, Jack Vorwerg, Stephen Rodley, Max Hedstrom, Tim Fearon and Dan Lee (and Dom Carlssen making the trip from Perth), suddenly the Gropers were fielding a formidable side.
Lacking forwards, the Gropers had to play several backs in the pack.
Dan ‘Sleeve Buster’ Lee was apprehensive in his new role, but the hulking athlete dominated the opposition and broke the defence apart, combining with Simon Earl and Cory Bridge to dominate the much-hyped backrowers from Dunsborough.
The hosts dominated a frantic, highly charged opening stanza, with the Gropers desperate to reassert themselves as the ‘top dogs’ in the South West.
With some slick back play, it wasn't long before Jake ‘The Gazelle’ Algate scored in the corner with an acrobatic dive more suited to a 10m Olympic platform than a rugby pitch.
He would go on to score 5 tries in the match, and now has 12-odd to his name in just two matches.
The Gropers scrum was expected to go backwards, with two relatively inexperienced locals in Braydon Nixon-McCormack and Emile Takahashi-Curti teaming up with the experienced but young Vorwerg.
They did the opposite and dominated at the crunch, even when the Dungbeetles were bolstered by the frightening frontrowers of Collie.
This is a credit to the ongoing specialised coaching from the likes of Loren Brown, Darragh Keady and Mark Sheath.
This stabilty in the set pieces included the experience of Tristan Moore, who has moulded the pack this year, and secured and stole ball in the lineout, while Lucas Rudd impressed with hard defence throughout the game.
Inevitably, this clean ball from set pieces enables the Gropers to unleash their potent backline.
Captain Sam Henry was his usual destructive self – breaking and making tackles and generally putting the fear of God into the opposition.
With the ferocity and pace of the game, the score began to blow out.
Jack Osborn proved his potential once again and impressed on the wing along with Aaron Murgia who had several great runs, both defended brilliantly.
The first half ended with the Gropers 5 tries up, to a single penalty goal to the team in blue and white.
In the second half, the Gropers used all of their bench and made sure everyone got plenty of game time.
With the Dungbeetles being aided by players from Collie, the game tightened up somewhat and alot of new guys were thrown into the deep end. Swim or drown: They chose to swim, and despite unfortunately allowing a try to be scored, they still won the second half 3 tries 1.
Vice-Captain Simon Earl also got a double, and was unfortunately denied a third, having been deemed making a ‘double movement’.
The Gropers finished the game with a resounding 46-8 win, and have reaffirmed themselves as the team to beat.
After Round 2 the Gropers sit on top of the ladder with a maximum 10 points.
The next game is in Dunsborough on Saturday where the team will face the Bunbury Bulls. Training for the Gropers are on Tuesday and Thursdays from 6pm on the Nippers Oval in Gloucester Park.
Players, new and experienced are welcome. Contact Ben on 0416 863 639 or visit www.facebook.com/MRGropersRugbyClub