Stannies V Kings
Kings 38 Stannies 0
Report by CentraBest
Conditions could not have been better on the No 1 oval at Stannies on Saturday a lovely Autumn day welcomed the Kings school to Bathurst for the much anticipated encounter.
Kings had the better of the early play the Kings forwards were clinical at the breakdown and their backs asked a few questions of the Stannies defence running some nice lines using the full width of the field. Kings no1 made a good run towards the posts with a quick place the halfback scampered the couple of metres to the try line to score underneath the posts easy conversion to 10 Kings 7-0.
Kings controlled the game well with nearly all the play in the Stannies half, and the backline we had heard so much about was starting to warm into the game. It was some slick work from the Kings backs which opened up some room for Joseph Sualli to score out wide stepping inside one player and fending another on his way to the tryline Kings 12-0.
Stannies had some moments with some nice continuity of phases but often a handling error would bring them undone, keeping the play in the Stannies half. Stannies turned over the kings ball and Rue relieved some pressure with a nice clearing kick only to have a quick throw in from Kings and some beautiful hands across to Joseph Sualli to again find the line 15 in from touch try converted by 10 Kings 19-0 . A penalty to Kings half time Kings 21-0 .
The second half started much the same with Kings aggressive in defense and attack a turnover in the Kings half was snapped up by the Kings fullback who showed some nice step and speed to offload to the 14 who raced away to score. Kings 26-0. The theme for the day continued when a crunching tackle from the Kings 12 in the Stannies quarter led to another turnover with the ball quickly onto the 14 who scored in the corner, try converted Kings 33-0. One more try to the Kings 15 finished the scoring with Kings 38-0
Kings has a nice solid scrum and a good lineout which utilises the rolling maul very effectively. Stand outs in the forwards, the 7 was everywhere played very strong all over the park. I thought the 1, 8 and 5 were the other standouts in the pack but all played a role. The Kings backline are a well balanced unit, 9 gave great service 10,12,13 very strong in attack and defense through the middle and some great finishes in the back three.
Stannies were gallant as always and normally stay in the fight a little longer than they did today. Handling errors and sometimes a lack of spark in attack did not help their cause. Best for Stannies Hooper, Wright and Kemp in the forwards Trengrove at half was busy and the winger Rankine ran strongly all day.
Barker v Joeys
Barker 29 St Josephs 28
A cauldron-like atmosphere welcomed two quality sides to Barker No. 1 in a match destined to help shape the ‘pecking order’ across and within the different school associations.
The better team won in the end, but geez it was close and both sides look destined to finish at the pointy end of their respective competitions.
The opening stanza was a low-scoring evenly-matched arm-wrestle, with play mostly taking place between the two 22s.
Quality rugby was punctuated by forced and unforced errors as two heavyweights probed away, testing for any weaknesses.
From early in the match, it was clear Barker was going to play it up the middle and Joeys out wide.
The set pieces looked evenly matched and spectators were left under no illusion that we had a game on our games.
Joeys made numerous attempts to unleash their backs and looked sharp, but were well marked.
Barker scored first, at the 10 minute mark, after sustained pressure, with Reimer (8) crossing from close range. Conversion missed.
The next and only other meat-pie before oranges was scored on the flank by Wilson (Joeys 14) with Gibbs (10) converting from the sideline.
Half-time score: Joeys 7 – 5 Barker
In a ‘tale of two halves’ the second stanza was a try-fest, with viewers left on the edge of their seats.
Barker dominated early possession, with several punishing charges from Pollard (2) the highlight – his third in quick succession taking him across the line to grab the lead 12 -7 after the conversion by Nercessian (12) was successful.
Barker then took a leaf out of the Joeys play book and spun it wide following a trade-mark Reimer (8) charge and Bryden (11) dotted down. With a challenging conversion missed, Barker lead 17 – 7.
Just when it looked like Barker might run away with it, Gibbs set sail down the sideline and launched a superman dive to score for Joeys in the corner. Gibbs again nailed a sideline conversion and it was game-on again. 17 – 14.
Barker went back to what works best for them and rumbled up the field with great effect. Reimer crossed for his second and the extras were taken. 24 – 14. Fifteen minutes remaining.
The momentum switched back to Joeys, who launched several long range raids, only to be denied by great Barker defence – from Kitchener (15) in particular. Joeys made some uncharacteristic errors with ball in hand and looked to be getting frustrated.
The pendulum swung again, when Barker rumbled their way back into the Joeys 22 and Cameron (6) collected a clever grubber kick to crash over and take the score to 29 – 14.
With only 10 to go, the result seemed done and dusted. But that’s usually when Joeys are at their most dangerous and today was no exception.
Individual brilliance from O’Brien (13) kick started the Joeys comeback. From half-way, he stepped and weaved his way to the line. The kick was good and at 29 – 21 the Barker faithful would have been getting a bit edgy.
Their concerns were well founded when Joeys went coast-to-coast and a Creagh (12) try ticked the scoreboard over to 29 – 28 including the extras.
Surely time was up. But no. Once last chance for Joeys, but no Houdini today.
Full-time score: Barker 29 – 28 Joeys.
While Joeys had their chances, Barker were well-deserved winners.
No other trial seen this season by this writer quite matched the ‘grand final-like’ feel of this one. And unofficially that could be the case if Barker and Joeys go on to win the CAS and GPS.
Barker will take some stopping. They execute a multi-phase game near flawlessly and have some of the most dangerous ball-runners this side of the Tweed.
Joeys look to have the all-round game to match Kings and Scots, with a workman like and proficient forward pack providing quality ball to a very dangerous backline.
Barker – Pollard (2), Reimer (8) and Kitchener (15)
Joeys – Gibbs (10), Creagh (12) and Wilson (14)
Yet another superb day for rugby up at Stanmore between Newington College and Waverley College.
A reasonable crowd gathered to see how both teams would approach this game as the end of the “Trial” games draw near.
Waverly v Newington
Waverly 57 – Newington 29
Report by WLF
It was evident that Newington were highly motivated to produce a solid performance, from the kick off they immediately got within 20m of the Waves line.
A quick interchange of inside passes from the base of the ruck saw no 11 Tom Latu scoot over under the sticks and it was converted by no 10 Mack Fell, 7-0 Newington.
The ease to which this was scored made many of the Waves followers start to think that maybe there was a hangover from last week’s tough grind with Scots, it also signalled that Newington had come to play. Captain and leader no.8 Angus Bell was making his presence felt in the early exchanges, interesting to see him swap from last year’s front row position to lock.
This early shock seemed to wake the waves up and they quickly responded with tries to captain no.7 Molloy and no. 8 Moretti, following a series of strong forward rushes.
This appeared to then wake Newington up and they responded tit for tat with inside centre no.12 Kaeo Weekes showing blinding pace racing 40+m to score in the corner.
With the absence of waves no.13, Levi Milford, the Waves coaches had chosen to blood a year 10 boy Ronald Volkman at 13, his usual position being 10. His maturity and natural ability showed throughout the game, mistake free, and scoring a wonderful solo try just before half time.
Just as it looked like the Waves had resisted the initial ascendency from Newington no 13 Raine Dellow scored for Newington from another good back line raid, this brought on oranges. The game still in balance.
Half Time : Waverley 19 Newington 17.
What became evident immediately from the start of the 2nd was that the Waves focused on setting up their plays, being much more patient than last week v Scots.
Clearly this was spoken about at training and again at half time. Within the next 15 minutes the Waves forwards dominated which saw tries to front rower Aisea Aholelei, Harry Whiteman and Luca Moretti, the Waves had kicked well clear. Newington no 15 Saul Lewis then scored a great individual try stepping the Waves defence and scooting down the side line from 30m out. Over the last 2 weeks the Waves no 5 Alex Rice has really found his feet with strong aggressive running, his effort here saw him back up a solid back line raid and run around under the posts, shortly followed by no 12 Lathan Hutchinson-Walters who scored with another of his solid signature hit ups.
Newington no 11 Tom Latu score again in the dying moments to secure a double.
Full Time : Waverley 57 Newington 29.
Many points scored which highlighted a bit of a sloppy game, defence was not nearly as good by either team as some previous games,
It appeared though that both teams were still experimenting with some new players and moves, which is understandable and probably smart given the impending season start, but there is now only 1 “trial” match remaining, so barring injury, you would expect all schools to run on next week with their strongest line up.
Not surprising, it has become clear that the obvious leaders in all of the teams so far are playing a crucial role in the teams performance on the day.
It will be very interesting to see each school’s run on team next week, hopefully all injury free.
Newington, no 8. Angus Bell, no.12 Kaeo Weekes, no 15 Saul Lewis.
Waverley no. 12 Lathan Hutchinson-Walters, no 7 Connor Molloy, no.8 Luca Moretti no 4. Harry Whiteman.