Kings v Scots
During a picture postcard perfect afternoon at North Parramatta, Scots beat a tenacious Kings side 31 to 13 and finished the season joint-premiers with Newington.
Both Kings and Scots must be applauded for putting on an entertaining match in which all players gave 100% for the full 70 minutes.
Only a couple of minutes into the match, some sharp passing along the King’s backline put Jake Laferla (11) into space on the left-hand flank. From there, he sprinted away to cross for the first try of the game, which was converted by Chris Orpen (15). Kings were up 7 – 0 and the Scots supporters were looking a little nervous.
You could tell the pressure was affecting the Scots players a bit too. This was not in their script. But Kings abrasive in-your-face defence was doing the trick. And rather than the usual run it from anywhere approach, Scots put the ball on the boot on several occasions.
It took some fancy foot work from Scots hooker, Dylan Woods, to get things going for the visitors. He made a clean break, stepped off both feet and off-loaded to the ever-present Charlie Smith (7) who touched down under the sticks. Nick Shannon (15) added the extras and the Scots faithful collectively breathed a big sigh of relief.
Clean breaks by Matthew Orpen (12) and Daniel Poletto (10) then followed in separate plays and it was clear Kings were desperate to score next. And that’s what they did. A Chris Orpen penalty goal put Kings ahead 10-7 and the pressure was right back on Scots.
The Kings old boys then let out a collective roar when Nicholas Stubbs (13) took off for a strong run that was ultimately cut down. And one lad, presumably ex-Kings, decided to show his appreciation for the fight the Kings boys were putting up by firing up his ute and revving it some, in ‘B and S’ like scenes.
Scots then started to get a case of the dropsies. But with around ten minutes to go until oranges, Scots Jake Prindiville (11) took off up the left flank. With a few to beat and no support in sight, he kicked in-field.
Dylan McLachlan (10) regathered, but he was completely on his own. After running in the opposite direction for a few steps, Dylan found some support. A strong charge from Ryan McCauley (5) sucked in the King’s defence and in the next phase, Max Girdler (6) crossed near the sticks untouched. Conversion missed. Scots were now up 12-10.
Shortly thereafter, Kings had the ball in their own 22. A pass went to ground. Scots grabbed it. Kicked ahead. And Strath Yeo (14) swooped on a favourable bounce to score Scot’s third try for the afternoon. The conversion was again missed and Scots were leading 17-10.
Kings better day with the boot continued with Chris Orpen knocking over another penalty to bring the score to 17-13 in Scots favour. Then, with time nearly up on the clock, Scots found another gear.
After around twelve, or so, phases at least three Scots players put themselves in position to take the next pass, each running different angles. Charlie Smith (7) was the recipient and he sliced through the King’s line to dot down. The kicking duties were handed to Dan England (12) who knocked over a sitter and the half-time whistle was blown.
Half time score: Scots 24 – Kings 13
A quick chat was had at half time with some ex-Wallabies who were watching from the same vantage point. And the broad consensus was that while Scots definitely had the better of the first half, Kings were still well and truly in the game, not just on the scoreboard but between the ears. They were not going to sign off on season 2015 without one last full on effort.
The King’s defence was again putting Scots under lots of pressure. And again Scots uncharacteristically put the ball on the boot on a few more occasions. A clear sign of respect for the home team.
Jake Prindiville (Scots 11) set off on a number of strong runs that have become a bit of a trademark of his. But his counterpart, Jake Laferla (Kings 11) also wanted to be in on the action and made plenty of metres in the second half, as did Daniel Poletto (Kings 10).
With around 15 minutes left, Ryan McCauley (5) was rewarded for another strong game for Scots by crossing for a try which was converted and the score was taken to 31-13.
The remainder of the match combined big hits and half breaks from both sides but the score didn’t change. And when the full time whistle blew, both teams were clearly exhausted.
Scots had done all they could to secure a spot at the top of the table. And for a brief moment it looked like they would be flying solo. Word through from Stanmore was that View were ahead with only a minute remaining. But then came the news that New had scored on the bell and would be sharing the big prize with Scots for the second time in three seasons.
A big congratulations to Scots and Newington. Also, Kings deserve a clap for taking it to Scots. This Tuesday we will release our 2015 season review where you will get to read more insights on the performance of each team and the players.
Final score: Scots 31 – Shore 13
Jake Prindiville (11) – 3 points. Made lots of yards with every touch and was heavily involved in Scots second try that put them in front for the first time.
Charlie Smith (7) – 2 points. Scored twice in a classy display overall.
Dylan Woods (2) – 1 point. Great game with big contributions in the loose and tight.
Nicholas Stubbs (13) – 3 points. Brought the crowd to their feet on many occasions and matched it against some pretty handy opposition.
Matthew Orpen (12) – 2 points. Also very impressive. He and Stubbs combined well.
Joey Skelly – 1 point. The best in a pack that competed well against larger opposition.