There were six NSW Opens selection trials at Curagal Field in North Turramurra yesterday with teams from Country, Combined Catholic Colleges plus two teams each from ISA, CHS, CAS and four from GPS.
The main game was between GPS I and CHS I and it was a squeaker.
GPS I 22 — CHS I 2o
GPS were lucky to get away with a win against CHS
GPS were quickly out of the blocks and 15 Bill Freeman scored in the corner after a few minutes of play.
The GPS backline appeared to be working OK and the forwards were doing well.
Two penalties to CHS saw them take the lead 6 -5 in the first 20 minutes.
In the interim GPS 6 Max Girdler had a head injury and was replaced by Hayson for a few minutes
Quick penalty taken by GPS and a try to 14 Tom Wright near the corner was not converted. The speed of the play beat CHS who were not in position. GPS 10 – CHS 6
2 Ed Craig, 3 Peter Ivic and 4 Andrew Vatuvei for CHS combined well for some good forward play and made inroads into the GPS defense.
Good GPS try with a backline movement seeing 13 Henry Hutchinson set up 12 Dan England to score and converted by 10 McGregor which gave a halftime score of GPS 17 – CHS 6.
CHS forwards came out with the front row stepping up and the second row winning GPS lineouts. CHS 1 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 4 Andrew Vatuvei, 5 and 6 Kieran Bonin playing well.
CHS 7 Phil Bradford and 8 LachlanArgis also stepped up. GPS brought on Jack Hayson to replace Girdler
More penalties against GPS with pressure being applied CHS 1 Johnson-Holmes continues to play well, and 9 Ben Ridgeway is looking impressive. 10 Josh Thorndyke and 15 Jayden Wright are also playing OK
GPS 12 England held up over the line after a good movement.
CHS have stolen the ball again, forwards have turned things around.
Angus Crichton scores after passing from the breakdown: 9 Theo Strang to England to Crichton to go over unopposed in the corner.
22 – 6 with kick unsuccessful.
From the kickoff 25 Lukhan Lealaiauloto for CHS passed to Vatuvei to score a try, which was converted by 15 Wright.
GPS 22 – CHS 13
1, 2, 4 & 5 for CHS have improved their workrate and impressed at the breakdown and seemed to outplay their opposite numbers at times during the half.
GPS kept attacking however were not retaining the ball at contact or finishing the moves.
Lineout was won by 5 Will Finley and taken in by 4 Andrew Vatuvei who scored next to the posts which converted by Wright with only a minute to go.
GPS 22 – CHS 20 Fulltime
Game of two halves GPS 1st half winners and CHS 2nd half.
It was an interesting game with GPS starting off well in the first half and going out to a good lead with the backs and forwards combining well.
The second half was won by CHS with two converted tries to bring them to within two points of victory.
Best for GPS were 15 Freeman, 14 Wright, 13 Hutchinson, 9 Strang, 8 Crichton and 3 Fifita
Best for CHS were 4 Vatuvei, 2 Craig, 5 Finley
15 Freeman 14 Wright 12 England 8 Crichton tries
10 McGregor 1 conversion
4 Vatuvei 2 Tries
15 Wright 2 Penalties 2 Conversions
See reports of earlier games on next pages