Australian School Championship - ACT claim title - Green and Gold Rugby
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Australian School Championship – ACT claim title

Australian School Championship – ACT claim title

ACT won the Australian School Rugby Championships yesterday, beating Queensland II 30 – 11 at Sydney’s St Ignatius’ College.

The title was the first for ACT since 1988 and only their fourth in the 43 years the tournament has been running. Queensland I beat NSW I in the third place playoff 29 – 24 in a thriller. Combined States claimed fifth place by accounting for NSW II 22 – 12 and WA’s 48 – 17 win over Victoria grabbed them seventh spot.

Quick links
Squads announced for Australian Schools and Australian Barbarians Schools
Library of photos from Waverley Sports facebook page.


THE FINAL TABLE

1. ACT
2. Queensland II
3. Queensland I
4. New South Wales I
5. Combined States
6. New South Wales II
7. Western Australia
8. Victoria

ACT celebrate winning Australian School Championships  Photo Credit: ARU Media/Karen Watson

ACT celebrate winning Australian School Championships
Photo Credit: ARU Media/Karen Watson

ACT 30 – 11 QLD II

By “aNON_87″

The playoff for first place was won in the end quite comfortably by ACT 30 – 11. The victory capped off an impressive campaign for a team that was not considered pre-tournament favourites, but ended up going through undefeated.

ACT got the scoreboard ticking over with a penalty from sharpshooter Will Goddard (10) after they dominated possession and field position for the first 10 minutes. QLD II tied the game up shortly after through the boot of 5/8, Carter Gordon.

Will Goddard - ACT superboot Photo Credit: ARU Media/Karen Watson

Will Goddard – ACT superboot
Photo Credit: ARU Media/Karen Watson

The first try of the game came late in the first half, when Josh Vuta (9) crossed for QLD II following solid lead-up work from Kohan Herbert (7) and Rhys van Nek (2).

Goddard then reduced the gap to just two on the stroke of half-time with three points from the kicking tee.

Half time score: QLD II 8 – 6 ACT

QLD II bench - happy with half-time score Photo Credit: ARU Media/Karen Watson

QLD II bench – happy with half-time score
Photo Credit: ARU Media/Karen Watson

ACT were first to score after the break when Goddard added three points. Then Seamus Smith (9) punctuated a great captain’s knock with a try and the conversion was successful.

QLD II kicked another penalty to reduce the margin to just seven. But from there it was all ACT with tries to Brendan Jimenez (15) and Lachlan Lonergan (2). Extras were added with both attempts.

SCORING
ACT 30 (Smith, Jimenez, Lonergan tries; Goddard 3 con; Goddard 3 pen) def. QLD II 11 (Vuta try; Gordon, Whiteside pen)

Brendan Jimenez - one of Act's best Photo Credit: ARU Media/Karen Watson

Brendan Jimenez – one of ACT’s best
Photo Credit: ARU Media/Karen Watson

QLD I 29 – 24 NSW I

By “William88″

NSW and QLD put on a strong display of rugby, starting with some dominant forward play by QLD. QLD’s Trevor Hosea (5) again demonstrated some powerful ball running and heavy defensive skills early. But NSW were first to score with smart play by Luke Reimer (20).

QLD responded with three tries in the half to Noah Lolesio (12), Jangala Bennet (14) and Max Dowd (15). The highlight, the try by Bennet after some magical rugby from QLD.

NSW winger, Will Lloyd (11) managed a hat trick for the day and scored his first before half-time after some smart work from NSW centres, Lachlan Ilias and Brooklyn Hardaker.

Half time score: QLD I 19 – 12 NSW I

Try time

Try time
Photo Credit: ARU Media/Karen Watson

The second half was a far more intense affair. Both teams looked nervous and desperate for the win, with QLD playing territory rugby and NSW trying to force the pass on a couple of occasions, resulting in some lost ball.

NSW struck early with Will Lloyd’s second try after a slicing run from NSW 10, Ben Donaldson.

After some great defence on their line by NSW 14, Albert Hopoate, NSW gained a lineout. From the overthrow QLD scrummie, Phoenix Hunt, managed to pick up the ball and dart through the NSW defensive lineout to take the lead back away. Smart play. 26 – 17 QLD.

Charlie Rorke - plotting a NSW I comeback  Photo Credit: ARU Media/Karen Watson

Charlie Rorke – plotting a NSW I comeback
Photo Credit: ARU Media/Karen Watson

NSW hit back soon after and Will Lloyd collected his third with a run down the left hand edge. With QLD responded with a kick for goal by Campbell Parata two minutes later and the score was 29 – 24, QLD in front.

Some impressive attacking and defensive rugby followed. The highlight a kick chase by Ben Donaldson, who kicked and regathered and nearly had Lloyd over for the game winner, but QLD 14 made a miraculous tackle to save the try.

The NSW team then kept attacking the QLD line for the last five minutes, but QLD held out all comers for a famous 29 – 24 victory.

QLD I win in a thriller Photo Credit: ARU Media/Karen Watson

QLD I win in a thriller
Photo Credit: ARU Media/Karen Watson

NSW STANDOUTS

Will Lloyd (11): Scored a hat trick and got himself into good positions to take the pass. An excellent try scorer.

Albert Hopoate (14): The year 10 student was kept quieter than usual but made a huge defensive effort to stop a certain try and looked dangerous whenever he had the ball.

Ben Donaldson (10): A stand out in the beaten team. Nearly won it for them in the dying seconds if not for some great defence.

Ben Donaldson glides through QLD I defence Photo Credit: ARU Media/Karen Watson

Ben Donaldson glides through QLD I defence
Photo Credit: ARU Media/Karen Watson

QLD STANDOUTS

Trevor Hosea (5): Consistently has such a big impact on the game. His defence was huge and his lineout work was destructive against NSW. Expect to see his name for many years in Australian rugby.

Harry Wilson (4): Absolutely huge in defence. Was there to save a certain try at the death.

Noah Lolesio (12): A dangerous man with ball in hand and great defensively.

SCORING
QLD I 29 (Lolesio, Bennet, Dowd, Hunt tries; Parata 3 con; Parata pen) def. NSW I 24 (Lloyd 3, Reimer tries; Donaldson 2 con)

Wilson and Hosea - QLD I locks Photo Credit: ARU Media/Karen Watson

Wilson and Hosea – QLD I locks
Photo Credit: ARU Media/Karen Watson

COMBINED STATES 22 – 11 NSW II

By “aNON_87″

Combined States beat their more fancied rivals NSW II in a convincing manner 22 – 11 in the playoff for fifth place.

NSW saw more of the ball in the opening exchanges, but were unable to make the most of their opportunities. Impressive defence from Combined States and NSW errors kept NSW scoreless in the first half. For Combined States, Charlie Baker (14) crossed for a double, the first one from an intercept.

Half-time score: Combined States 17 – 0 NSW II

Combined States outplayed NSW II Photo Credit: ARU Media/Karen Watson

Combined States outplayed NSW II
Photo Credit: ARU Media/Karen Watson

Combined States continued their good form in the second half, with a try to Jack Walsh (22), following individual brilliance from Michael Pavlakis (15).

NSW II then launched a late comeback, scoring two tries. In the first, Angus Bell (1) bullocked his way over from close range, while Brett Wellington only had to fall over the line in the second.

But it was too little too late for NSW II and Combined States ended up deserving winners.

SCORING
Combined States 22 (Baker 2, Walsh tries; Pavlakis 2 con; Pavlakis pen) def. NSW II 12 (Bell, Wellington tries; Minogue con)

Michael Pavlakis - attacking genius for Combined States  Source : www.facebook.com/waverleysport

Michael Pavlakis – attacking genius for Combined States
Source : www.facebook.com/waverleysport

WA 48 – 17 VIC

Unfortunately no report was submitted for this playoff for 7th place. Below are a selection of photos from the match from ARU Media/Karen Watson.

Photo Credit: ARU Media /Karen Watson

Photo Credit: ARU Media/Karen Watson

Photo credit: ARU media/Karen Watson

Photo credit: ARU media/Karen Watson

Photo credit: ARU Media/Karen Watson

Photo credit: ARU Media/Karen Watson

WA vs VIC - 7th place playoff at 2017 Australian Schools Championships at Riverview

Photo credit: ARU Media/Karen Watson

  • Nutta

    Thanks Richard for the article.

    My understanding is that ACT won the show undefeated. Huge congratulations to them. And well done to all who put in to make the event happen.

    And yet I also see that the ACT has only 2 or 3 guys in the 25 who make up the Oz Schoolboys team selected with NSW – whose teams came 4th and 6th – getting around a dozen guys in that team. So to be crystal clear, ACT don’t just win, but do so undefeated, and only get a couple of token spots? At the same time NSW who have all the right connections, kit and gear – but lost – get the bulk of the spots (about 12 of the 25 I understand)? As a matter of fact, NSW have more spots than ACT and Qld COMBINED even though they were handed their arses by both?

    Those NSW lads are obviously good trainers.

    Is this the Labor party at work? Oh no, it’s the other great cess-pit of nepotism – No9 Christie Street, St Leonards. Christ On A Stick and we wonder why rugby in this country is so FUBAR’d at the moment?

    • Bakkies

      Absolutely. Given the dire performances of the Aus Schoolboys and Aus under 20s in recent years the ACT players will be better off outside of those teams (a pity as it is good as it gets for a lot of the young players overall) developing with the Brumbies. The caveat is that they are going to stay put rather than go to the NRL or NZ.

      • Not in Straight

        Bakkies, think you need familiarize yourself with 2016 Australian Schoolboys Rugby.

        How you can call their effort Dire I do not know. For the record they did lose to NZ, but almost won it and had leveled the score with 10 to go, and they did score more trys.

        Is that really dire?

    • PJ

      Last year ACT were woeful and had 6/7 players in the aussie sides. I didnt hear anyone from Canberra complaining then

      • Nutta

        Funnily enough PJ that reinforces my whole point. If a side is losing then how do we justify an over-representation of their players? If the ACT lads of last year were as bad as all that they they didn’t deserve such a spread. I would say that, unlike full time professionals, Schoolboys would be much like the true rep sides of yore where familiarity and combination really counts. So you take the combo’s that have proven successful which in this case is obviously the ACT lads.

        (BTW – I’m not an overt ACT supporter. But I can’t help notice the disparity between result and reward)

        • Christopher

          The boys play a lot more games than the 4 played in the championship. If one team has the wrong mix/game plan is it the fault of individuals?? The Australian team is a rep team of individuals not a selection of best performing pods.

          Using the above logic (and extrapolating slightly…) you could argue no NSW1 players should be selected as there are 3 players in a higher performing team ahead of them.

          Given Qld 2 finished higher than Qld 1 you would also have to ignore the Qld trial form because Qld2 finished higher. This is despite Qld1 being picked from GPS1 who dominated their opposition.
          I don’t care – just an alternative view point.

        • Nutta

          Your point is valid – are they picking off the tournament or off overall performance expectations? And certainly there is validity in recognising true ability amongst a beaten team. But that’s to be applied as exception stuff – not to the over-whelming bulk of the squad. If NSW1 have (say) truly great 10 and 7 the pick them but we can’t justify picking the bulk of a squad from the guys who came 4th & 6th surely? If those squads were so dominant as to demand the selections then they would have won or at least done better than 4th & 6th right?

          I think a great malaise of Aus rugby right now is that we don’t reward performance and we have a heap of “talent” who is not actually performing. Just on the weekend I was discussing a certain lad of front-row disposition of approx 22yrs who has played a grand total of 11 matches in the past 2yrs because he is “in-squad” and “training” but not actually performing. So where does he actually learn his trade? When the time comes, we have squads chock-full of guys who “look the goods” on paper but have no history of actually performing. And then we are all shocked and mortified when they can’t actually play out a game.

        • PJ

          at the end of the day in my opinion the Aussie team has been “selected” long before these championships. If these championships meant anything that young fullback from the Brumbies would be in the Aussie team. This is half the problem with Aus rugby kids are identified as talented players at 12/13 and then are gifted into rep teams as they get older. It is as if selectors cant admit they got it wrong.

    • hippyb9

      Schools rugby is and has always been a swamp of private school players’ reputations (often unwarranted) and school/parental influence counting for everything unfortunately.

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