Newington v Riverview
Back to Newington Day provided the festival backdrop to the anticipated action on Johnson Oval.
The prize for the hosts an outright or joint title (with Scots). For the visitors, personal and collective pride, aiming to knock off one of the season’s heavyweights. Both teams were missing an Aussie Schoolboy representative, Kennewell for New and McGregor for View but both sides were also brimful of attacking weapons.
After a solid opening with View enjoying the benefit of the breeze, a quick penalty tap and backline foray saw Pirina (#12) put Nona (#11) away for View’s opening try. Converted 7-0.
At the 14th minute mark, New’s powerfully built winger, Taukamo ran a beautiful unders line and was rewarded with New’s first try. Unconverted View 7-5.
An errant lifting tackle by View’s #10 Lenehan brought the ire of the ref and a yellow card. The penalty was slotted by #11 Simonsson. New 8-7.
Simonsson continued his scoring this time outwitting View’s defence out wide and converted his own effort N 15-7. Given the wind advantage there was a strong sense that View had to at least be in touch at oranges.
Maintaining possession deep into New’s territory, canny #9 Noonan, whose stature grew for the visitors throughout the comp, snipped away for a converted try: N 15-14.
The points were still coming out wide for New and next in was #13 Duvall, unconverted N 20-14. However, View kept coming and after a series of penalties and illegally collapsed mauls the ref moved under the goalposts to signal View’s penalty try. Converted – View resumed the see-sawing scoring: View 21-20.
New’s Oz schoolboy rep, Loga-Tarogi produced one of his several jinking and guileful runs to outwit the cover defence and his try gave New the half-time lead: 25-21.
With seemingly few stoppages, my watch showed that it was a 44 minute half; so all players were more than deserving of a breather.
With 46 points in the first stanza how much more action could these players produce for the engaged crowd?
Newington opened the scoring with the breeze at their backs, #4 Mannix diving over from close range. New 32-21. View returned serve with Noonan again showing his elusive show and go flair, an unconverted try 32-26.
When the speed and footwork of dangerous Oz rugby league representative Murray #12, proved superior to View’s defence, New had a 37-26 lead.
To their immense credit the injury-plagued View pack, including three Yr. 11 and one Yr. 10 starting the game, showed maturity and resolve that belied New’s weight and height advantage. One of View’s best #5 Fenn stole the kick re-start and after several raids it was Fenn who was rewarded with View’s try out wide: Newington 37-31.
Perhaps it was New who was tiring as View again scored with #4 Fitzpatrick’s maiden season try, lunging with intent: View 38-37. Boil-over to be?
This one point margin induced razor jagged nerves for the onlookers. View’s forwards, Morrison #1 and young C. Rorke #8 threw their bodies into the fray with Fenn, Scott #6 and Hamilton #2 also at the forefront.
Possession was gold and both sides knew they had more points in store. When New were awarded a penalty within kicking range it seemed inevitable they would again resume the lead but it was a near miss.
New kept pounding away but View’s bodies refused to wilt. Following a 20 plus phase raid, powerhouse #2 Atiola picked the ball up nonchalantly from the ruck and strolled over. Perhaps incited by their old boys’ contingent, New’s student body couldn’t contain themselves and it was a pity to see the pitch invasion.
New had earned their 42-38 lead but given both teams’ scoring ability from all vantage points, View didn’t have the chance to kick-off before sir said “no more”. A pulsating game of schoolboy rugby that was a testament to the code’s enduring qualities.
Opeti Atiola: 3 points, always damaging and chewed up the metres and View’s energy levels with his constant carries and bruising defence and produced the match winning effort.
Cameron Murray: 2 points, captained his team to a joint premiership and was always a threat and organized his troops; inspirational in the come from behind win.
Charlie Mannix: 1 point, after losing partner Pirrodi in the first half, maintained his quality line-out and all round efforts for the duration.
Jack Morrison: 3 points, easy to see on this captain’s display why the GPS selectors picked him in their top flight team as prop after only 3 games in the position. Tireless & tremendous performance.
Charlie Rorke: 2 points, pinch yourself dear reader, he’s only 15 y.o! A star of the future, boundless power running and defence.
Michael Fenn: 1 point, another one of View’s engine room dwellers who put on a manful display and will be back to entertain next year.
2nds: Newington (on the bell) 15 Riverview 12
3rds: Riverview 31 Newington 0
16As: Riverview 39 Newington 7
Photos by “factanonverba” – Thank you
Click on Page 3 below for a report of Kings v Scots by “Rich_E”