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Australian Schoolboys & National Championships 2008

Discussion in 'Schoolboy Rugby' started by Lee Grant, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. Lee Grant John Eales (66)

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    It?s that time of the year again when we look at the schoolboy games. We will shake the tea leaves and pick out who are going to be Super14 and even Wallabies players based on fleeting views of young fellas all trying their best for the school and perhaps with no interest whatsoever in a professional career.

    I?ve watched Joeys, frequent winners of the Sydney GPS comp, play 3 trial games including a midweek one yesterday afternoon in dreadful conditions but they are struggling to be honest. There are no Burkes, Beales and Burgesses in that lot; not that Burgess made the Joeys Firsts. (And neither did another scrummie, NFJ, for Newington.)

    They do have the typical blue heeler, never say die, attitude though and that could win them some close ones when the comp starts.

    And the teams I have seem them beat in the trials: St. Augustines, Waverly and Knox, don?t have any standouts in their teams either though an injured THP Salesi Manu came on with 10 minutes to go for SAC and shunted his side of the Joeys scrum back. For those who don?t know: schoolboy Manu was in the Waratah amateur Academy this year, as were Cameron Mitchell (watch this space) from Kings and Tim Bennetts from Pennant Hills (a state school, yipee).
  2. AussieDominance Trevor Allan (34)

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    Know all three of the boys you have talked about.

    Manu from Gordon Juniors and Mitchell and Bennetts as I have been to both of their schools.

    All 3 are supremely talented and Mitchell is possibly as good as Horne big call I know but im prepared to back him if he puts the hard work in.

    Bennetts I think is 2-3 years away but is still talented enough that he may surprise us all and with Manu you have a guy who is big and is a prop so he could get rushed in.?

    Thoughts Lee?
  3. naza Alan Cameron (40)

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    I fearlessly predict that Riverview will be robbed. Again !
  4. barbarian Nick Farr-Jones (63)

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    GPS will be an interesting comp this year. Joeys are favourites (to use Lee's signature- you could go to the last GPS comp in mankind and Joeys would be favourites for it), with View and Kings having reasonable sides. The bolter could be Newington, who have a good proportion of their side returning and could cause a few boilovers. But you never know with these things.
  5. Lindommer Steve Williams (59)

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    Was it two weeks ago Knox beat King's 16-14 or so? Yesterday Joeys beat Knox by the same score at Hunters Hill in a quagmire with about eight of their firsts out. The seconds touched up Knox about 50-0.
  6. Lee Grant John Eales (66)

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    Horne and Mitchell played together in the NSW Ones last year though Mitchell still had a year of schooling to go. He was overlooked for Tapuai in the Oz Schools starting side last year, and played from the bench, though that is no disgrace since Tapuai is a bloody good player and a future Red.

    Mitchell is not as fast as Horne though that is hardly a disgrace either. Let's see how he goes in 2008, a year older.

    Manu won't be fast tracked for the Waratahs. You don't fast track THP schoolboys however big they are because they have to get strength as well as technique. He's a big Islander lad and first of all we have to see him playing grade against men and not against boys who are behind him now in physical maturity, though are of the same age.

    His first target will be to promoted out of Colts next year into grade and the year after to make the Oz U/20 squad. The Waratahs may give him a Waratahs Pro Academy contract in 2009 to warehouse him and to get him full time in the gym and opposing the S14 players at practice. He'll be earning some good change - about half the basic wage of a rookie S14 player.

    But if he doesn't make the Oz Schools team this year, the NSW Academy and I have over rated him; so what I have written should be ignored.
  7. spectator Bob Davidson (42)

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    Mitchell looked a good player last year but I wouldn't place him in the Horne category just yet. Be interesting to see how he goes this year as one of the 'senior' rep players.

    LG - What of players like Karamanis from the 16's a couple of years back? NSW had a few good forwards from memory?
  8. AussieDominance Trevor Allan (34)

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    All reports have been that Kings are favourites not Joeys that you have mentioned.. The Knox game that Kings lost by one point was King's 1st game while Knox had been on a tour so it was fairly harsh to expect a big performance first up.. Riverview lost to Barker with a few weeks under their belt while Kings thrashed Barker. 32-10.

    Kings have imported a bit I must say though. You shall never write Joeys off as well!
  9. AussieDominance Trevor Allan (34)

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    What are your thoughts on Ben James?

    Quite small but talented he has just come back from injury though started back in 2nd grade colts and I think has moved up to first grade colts now which will help Timmy Bennetts in the centres..

    Australian Schoolboys? I think he has to be in with a fair chance of making NSW Schools.

    One thing I must say though is that it's great to see all the Eastwood boys from what would now be an U18's rep side sticking it out at Eastwood. Instead of taking the money elsewhere.

    Mcaffrey moved to Uni for a while but has come back,James,Bennetts,Mitchell(When he finishes school), Karamanis(???) etc all highly talented footballers and pretty certain that all will play first grade.
  10. Lindommer Steve Williams (59)

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    Sounds similar to Rodney Blake. Here's hoping he doesn't end up the same. God knows we need some good props to come through.
  11. Lee Grant John Eales (66)

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    Agree on Mitchell. He'll probably captain NSW Schools this year so lets see how he goes.

    I believe that Karamanis is still at school at Westfields. I hope that he has grown a bit since I saw him last. Other forwards from that U/16 team who are still at school, I believe, are: LHP Mac Rutledge (Kings), Hooker Richard Casali (Riverview), Lock Mark Johnson (Knox) and Lock James Cunningham (St. Ives). Cunningham is playing rep league also!!!!


    Ben James? I haven't seen him this year and won't until CHS play against GPS and CAS but he looked pretty good for CHS Twos last year. He was at least of the same standard as the flyhalves picked in the two NSW squads. It's not a great compliment because NSW were particularly weak at 10 last year IMO.

    But since Ben was in Yr. 11 last year I am sure he will step up. As I remember: he was a good organiser and ball player but needed to run to the line more now and then.

    If NSW Schools have a better no. 10 than Ben for their Ones this year he'll have to be very bloody good.


    Salesi looks a bit more mobile than Rodney was at school and he can handle the pill too. Lets see how he goes in the Schools comp in Canberra in a month's time in his 2nd year in the NSW Ones.
  12. AussieDominance Trevor Allan (34)

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    Richard Casali has come to Kings this year. Had a falling out with infulential people at View but I am pretty sure he did 1 or 2 junior years at Kings to start off with. Cunningham is playing Toyota Cup for Manly as a Prop. It makes the Kings front row look impressive with Rutledge,Casali and Brass(Big Islander Salesi type Lee) Brass is about 130 kg's.

    I can tell you that the NSW selectors were at the CHS Carnival(My dad stayed with one) just finished which Ku-Ring-Gai won. Ben James was the Ku-Ring-Gai 5/8, Bennetts inside im pretty sure and Isberg at half. All Pennant Hills and Eastwood boys and all made the CHS squad for a second year running. So im pretty sure they would have seen James's ability to control a side in wet conditions. It's good to see these boys in union as both of them played for Balmain in Harold Matthews. James struggled last season when he played his CHS 1's game and was thus moved down to 2's and then struggled there and ended up in 3's so it's interesting in what you say Lee. Cunningham was also in that side.
  13. barbarian Nick Farr-Jones (63)

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    Is that code for expelled? ;)
  14. AussieDominance Trevor Allan (34)

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    Nah talking rugby here I am pretty sure as in the 1sts management team/head of rugby. Purely rugby nothing to do with the actual classroom activity etc.
  15. Lee Grant John Eales (66)

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    Sounds like Kings will be a bit nasty for other teams this year.

    What do you think the likely pecking order for GPS is prior to the comp starting? I really don't have any idea until I see the teams play, and Joeys haven't played any GPS teams in trials, whereas you seem to know all the scuttlebutt.
  16. AussieDominance Trevor Allan (34)

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    Well you have the traditional boys going at it again.

    My tips would be.

    1. Kings

    Kings should get through the season fairly unscathed with I would guess Riverview running them close and maybe a surprise packet in Shore or Scots.

    The last game will be the title decider though I would think Kings v Joeys at HH. Could be reminiscent of that fantastic game in 2000.

    2. Joeys

    Look strong as always but not a glory year I don't think still im not discounting them and I can assure you they will push Kings.

    3. View

    Strong but not quite strong enough. A few young boys in there next season could be the year for View.

    Scots, Newington, Shore could go any way.

    Then you have High and Grammar whatever happens to them.

    Kings line up atm goes like this.

    1. Rutledge(NTS)
    2. Casali (Tahs Contract)
    3. Brass (Western Zone) - I wouldn't be surprised if he improves a lot this season due to the whole aura about playing 1's might have got him fitter and more mobile big boy though 130 kg's.
    4. Kurt Larsen - Big fella grafter don't see him much which they say is good.
    5. Richard Inglis - Real passionate bloke will lift the King's boys but not a superstar just an honest toiler.
    6. Josh Ellice-Flint - can play this bloke works hard big guy for a 6.
    7. Chris Sheather - Small bloke talented only year 11 but if there is an area in which Kings could improve a bit it is in this area. The guy can play alright though.
    8. Adrian Maggiotto - Decent worker but not outstanding at breakdown still I am talking and comparing to the like of the NSW standard flankers - Goodman's,Ale's etc. Although Goodman did not set the world alight against Kings a few weeks ago.
    9. Tom Tanner(NSW 16's) - Been changing a few of the halves in the last few weeks but talented this bloke nontheless probably the best of those lot.
    10. Harry Bennett(GPS 3rd's) - Played half for Kings last season doing a decent job at five eigth although is using these trials for a purpose and to piss everyone off trying to use his left foot kick! Is currently captain.
    11. Nick Rutherford - Young bloke can play though can kick left footed and is big and strong.
    12. Mike McDougall(Sydney 16's/maybe NSW) Very good player this bloke big and strong with good skills only 17's this year but year 12 is a standout though.
    13. Greg Jeloudev - Fastest man in GPS(10.91 at GPS athletics) ran in Junior Olympics can run faster!
    14. Henry Cranney - Big, Strong can play.
    15. Alec White - Very reliable fullback good kicker etc.

    Most of those guys played GPS last season can't remember all so I didn't put them all in tried to put other teams in etc.

    Of course Cam Mitchell to come back along with a few others.

    Kings does have depth though with Scott Ferris(Sydney 16's last season) and Matt Armour Sydney 16's last season in 2nds and 3rds respectively Ferris played two firsts games and Armour should make his way up soon due to being injured.
  17. Lee Grant John Eales (66)

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    Casali - Waratahs contract? I assume that you mean an amateur Academy contract. You sure about that? Don't know him.

    How have Kings gone in their trials? I heard that they lost one but that is neither here nor there; trials are trials.

    I hear that Newington is giving a bit of cheek because they have a lot of boys back this year. Heard anything about them?
  18. spectator Bob Davidson (42)

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    OZ trials are on in Canberra again beginning 8th July.

    Not much on offer locally in terms of International games. Couple of games by a touring Fiji side with the main game in Brisbane on Sep 13 as Bledisloe Cup curtain raiser. The rest of the season is a tour of Tonga and NZ.
  19. Lee Grant John Eales (66)

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    Yeah I saw that spekkie - why don't they have the Oz Schools tournament up there any more? Not that I'm complaining, though I will be in Canberra for a few days freezing my bum off again.

    So, that's 3 years in Sydney followed by 2 in Canberra. What's going on?

    But it looks like I will be having a year not seeing the Oz Schools team in action. You will have to keep me posted.
  20. spectator Bob Davidson (42)

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    You can have that miserable Canberra weather Lee, but look forward to the reports.

    Based on the NSW 16's two years back and the fact that Qldr's generally finish a year earlier, I would say that Qld will struggle for a 'three-peat'.

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