It was going to be another Saturday of chasing unbeaten Knox or not losing ground to them; Cranbrook was unlikely to upset them playing away; so the other contenders had to keep winning and wait for their return match with them.
Waverley had lost only to Knox, and with their expansive backs were fancied to beat brave Aloys, who were yet to win a game.
Trinity, who had won three out of five, were expected to win at home against Barker, using their big forwards. mind you: Barker kept them honest in the opening round of the season.
by Rod Skellet
The weather gods were kind and the Trinity No1 Oval was in great shape for a match that suggested an easy win for the home team, on paper.
Although Trinity were without LHP Wayland their pack was bigger by some margin than that of Barker, who welcomed back THP Anstey.
With CAS jerseys up for grabs, this match was the last chance for players to impress.
The return of Anstey’ gave a psychological lift for the Barker pack and after the initial encounters, Barker went for a scrum option after a Trinity infringement. Their front row had the Green machine on roller skates and that would be the trend for the rest of the day.
You would think that with backs like five-eighth Longville, centre Morris and fullback Payne the points would come for Barker off the strength of their scrum and other good play; but the points didn’t come because of too many unforced errors from the back line.
But one thing Barker has had plenty of this year is tackling practice and tackle they did, snuffing out many a Trinity attacking raid.
Trinity’s Rasch was dominating the lineouts as expected, but around the park the Barker forwards were outstanding. Lock Northcote was everywhere, playing more like a 7, while 8 Reimer and hooker Coghill were damaging by running hard and straight.
This strong play was rewarded after 20 minutes when Reimer crashed over for the first try and after Nevison converted, Barker lead 7-nil.
The hard tackling from both sides took its toll. Trinity lost their big number 5 Bechara to a foot injury and Barker lost their half, Tejcek to a recurring shoulder problem. Barker shifted Kitchener to 9 and bought on Story from the Seconds to play 10. However the change did not fix the error-rate and the Reds’ backs butchered a near-certain try.
Clean ball from a Rasch lineout win, gave Longville time and space to break the first line of defence and Trinity’s second-row replacement Vlahapoulos found himself “Johnny-on-the-spot” scoring their first try, which was converted.
Half-time score: 7-7
The second half was frustrating for both sides in an exciting way. From the kick off Trinity camped in the Barker 22 for 15 minutes, launching wave after wave from both forwards and backs at the Reds line. Morris was linking well with Longville, whose foot speed and dangerous step kept the defence guessing.
But Barker’s defence held, and after not being able to score a five-pointer Trinity opted to take three points after Barker were offside. Trinity 10-7.
The last 15 minutes of the second half was excruciating for the Barker supporters. Great field position was not used after more poor handling by the backs, and poor execution at lineout time.
With Rasch at two in the lineout on Barker’s throw, the Reds were forced to throw middle or long and invariably it was not straight, giving possession back to Trinity.
Despite this, Barker still had their tails up. A tight head scrum win provided more momentum to the Reds but turning down a penalty in front to go for the try proved a bad call, with a poor throw lineout throw spoiling Barker’s chances for points again.
With the clock running down Trinity’s line held; then after a break from Longville, Trinity marched down the field and winger Brian O’Neill scored in the corner. Trinity 15-7.
Eight points down, Reimer scored his second try for Barker but it was too late and Trinity escaped with the win.
Final score: Trinity 15 – Barker 12.
Best for Trinity : Longville, Rasch, Morris, Payne
Best for Barker: Anstey, Reimer, Coghill, Buffa
Trinity stays in the race for second place or even a miracle should several ducks line up. Barker will have to smarten up their handling and lineout work if they want to beat Cranbrook and Aloys in future games.
Trinity 15 (B. O’Neill, P. Harris tries; J. Morris pen, con) def. Barker 12 (L. Reimer 2 tries; M. Nevison con).
Photos of Trinity v Barker by ace photographer Lachlan Skellet (aged 10) – thank you.
Round 2 of the CAS season started on a balmy autumn day in Sydney. Aloys, Barker and Cranbrook, who all lost last week, wanted to get into the winner’s circle.
Knox hosted Cranbrook to start the second round of the CAS competition. It was the top side against the fourth with most pundits expecting Knox to win in a canter. However Cranbrook were to have none of that and would prove to be tenacious if not competitive.
The first quarter of the game was all Cranbrook. Knox kicked off, but soon found themselves defending in their half. This was due to mistakes, penalties and the pressure applied by the visitors. Cranbrook were also playing a smart tactical game kicking for territory and chasing hard.
Knox looked unsettled and Cranbrook soon gained a penalty close to the line. Showing confidence they went for a lineout. They battered the Knox line, but were held out. Rewarded with a further kickable penalty, they went for the corner again. This time they got over, but were still denied a try.
Cranbrook dominated possession and territory. Knox’s clearing kicks were ineffectual allowing Cranbrook to maintain their attack. Though there were some good strong runs, especially by Kemeny 7, Knox’s defence was strong.
At times the attack of Knox is a haphazard, but their defence shows patience and order. They are willing to soak up an attack and await their turn.
And it was soon their turn. A scrum to Knox and the ball moved quickly through the hands. From halfway a good break by 14 (Kane) and an offload to Stocks (15). It looked simple, but was executed well. Knox went up 7 nil after the conversion by Bosch (9).
Soon after a Cranbrook clearing kick was fielded by Margin just past his 22. Showing pace and power he scored out wide. 12 nil to a Knox side coming into the game. Knox finished the half with a try to Upton (2) from a rolling maul. Three tries; yet you couldn’t say that Knox had this game won.
Half-time score: Knox 19-0.
The second half was similar to the first in that Cranbrook’s attitude belied that of their position on the table and attacked and pressured Knox. Cranbrook’s game was to go for territory.
They didn’t use the width of the field when they had ball in hand, rather would pass to a deep runner coming to the line at pace. This often broke the first line of defence, and kept pressure on Knox. And pressure amounted to penalties. As in the first half Cranbrook had the better of the opening stages of the half.
With continued possession in Knox’s 22 Cranbrook’s Lamens (12) crashed over for a try. 19 – 5 to Knox.
Knox responded to this by scoring another try from good forward’s work to 5 Ireland. It was converted and Knox moved away 26 – 5. At this stage Knox looked in control and could match anything Cranbrook could do.
However Cranbrook were not giving up and were also aided by uncharacteristic errors by Knox. The home team were trying too hard and not playing as a team. A breakdown in communication saw the ball go into the hands of the Cranbrook replacement winger Anderson to score.
This sparked Knox into action, and though a man down – Armstrong for a dangerous tackle – they scored two good long distance tries. One in which the winger Kane (14) showed good speed and the other in which Frost (5) belied his size with a good display of athleticism in chasing a kick.
At 36 – 10 the game was comfortably won by Knox but Cranbrook hit back with a well-deserved try to Kemeny at the end. He showed great pace and determination and was probably MOTM.
It was a funny game, not necessarily that attractive – there was continual stoppages – the ref was taking time for each scrum set and there were a comprehensive set of errors – but it was intriguing.
Cranbrook would be pleased with their effort. Their forward pack is one of the better ones in the competition and in Kemeny they have a good leader.
Knox would be disappointed. They won the game due to having great individuals rather than working as a team. They were rushing things in attack, rather than being patient. Their penalty count would be a concern.
Knox 36 (J Upton, L Ireland, N Frost, H Margin, J Kane, H Stocks tries; Bosch 3 cons) def. Cranbrook 15 (J Kemeny, T Lamens, J Anderson tries)
by “Anonymous Al”
With CAS rep honours up for grabs Waverley and St Aloysuis did battle at College Oval, with the Double V dominating.
Waverley didn’t waste any time in applying sustained pressure on the Aloys defence. After good lead up work from #10 Ben Donaldson and #6 Lachlan Drew-Morris, scrum half Tyzac Jordan fired a long ball out to winger Zac Carr who dived over in the corner. Waves 5-0
Waverley then scored one of their trademark length-of-the-field tries. From their own line they threw the ball around to see Jackson Mohi sprint up the sideline to within 20 metres of the Aloys line. He then passed inside to Tom Fuller who touched down in the corner. #15 James Mood converted to make it 12 nil.
The Waves continued to put together some good phases of play and after charging runs from #1 Finn Wright and #7 Joel Ellis, Jordan scooted over from a 5 -metre ruck. 19-0.
The Double V forwards maintained pressure to once again advance the ball into Aloys territory. Another long pass from Jordan found Wright standing wide; he barged over to increase the score to 24-0.
Aloys then gained the ascendency on the back of Waverley’s drop-in focus and discipline. SAC gained territorial advantage from penalties and then gained a further advantage when Wright was yellow carded for what seemed an innocuous indiscretion. From a scrum, the Aloys backline put the ball through quick hands for #15 Jack Mazaraki to open the scoring for the home team. Matthew Dainton converted.
Half time score Waverley 24 – SAC 7.
Waverley continued to apply attacking pressure on their opposition who were struggling to contain them. Fly half Donaldson stamped his authority on the game through some incisive running and assertive direction of play. He sparked several attacking raids which had the SAC team on the back foot.
From a ruck ten metres out from the Aloys line, the Waverley backs employed quick hands to see #13 Jaya Yoannidis cross the white stripe to increase the score to 31-7 in favour of the visitors.
Waverley continued to make ground when Drew-Morris broke through the defence. He found Mohi backing up which resulted in a runaway 60-metre try. 36-7.
From within his own half, Mohi once again showed his blistering speed and skill. He raced downfield and kicked ahead for Mood to dive on the ball over the line. 41-7.
Aloys were going backwards and under pressure. Some sustained phases of play and strong running, particularly from young forwards Luca Moretti and replacement Tadgh Murphy resulted in the Double V carrying the ball into Aloys red zone again. From a penalty 15 out, Jordan took a quick tap and powered his way through the defence to score under the posts.
Final Score Waverley 48 – SAC 7
Aloys were a unlucky not to score one or two more tries. They were dogged in their determination and their scrambling defence thwarted quite a few attacking raids from the opposition; but as a team, they weren’t strong enough to match the attacking prowess of Waverley.
Waverley – their defence was strong and they combined to play their usual free-flowing brand of running rugby. However, they gave too many penalties away.
Aloys were best served by #4 Ben Sullivan, #5 Will Denny and the Hrdina brothers in the forwards and Dainton, #13 Peter Slaven and Mazaraki in the backs.
Waverley – their forwards Drew-Morris, Wright, #3 Liam Smith and Ellis impressed as did new comer Tadgh Murphy. Their backline oozed class, speed and skill, but flyhalf Donaldson directed play well and was their best player.
SAC showed their usual fight, especially at home, but were forced to defend for most of the game. Waverley were too strong right across the park.
Waverley 48 (Jordan 2, Carr, Fuller, Mohi, Wright, Yoannidis, Mood tries; Mood 4 cons) def. SAC (Mazaraki try; Dainton con)
Waverley won the 2nds, 3rds and 4th XV games and lost the 16As 7-12.
Images of Aloys v Waverley courtesy of https://www.facebook.com thnak you.