The GPS First XV competition started its third round yesterday with King’s and Riverview unbeaten. and Joeys and Scots with one win, but not wanting to fall further behind the leaders.
Meantime Newington and Shore were desperate for their first competition win of the season.
The away team had won five of the six matches matches in the first two rounds—would that prevail for Round 3?
Scots v Newington
With Season silverware aspirations already on the line, Scots hosted Newington on a fine dry track at Bellevue Hill.
It was a tense, physical opening, both teams stress-testing relative strengths and perceived weaknesses.
An early Scots’ penalty goal was nullified when New turned the ball over with strong mid-field defence inside Scots’ half, and nippy James Haldane (9) squirted in to open New’s account. The conversion missed as did the other attempts by New on the day. Newington 5-3.
In his run-on debut for Scots 1sts, right-wing Tom Yassmin made some destructive charges, thwarted by excellent Newington defence at the back, but from those early bursts, Scots set up base-camp in the visitors’ quarter.
The Scots’ scrum held its own in the set pieces against a heavy Newington pack, and the line-out worked well with quick-time, accurate throwing from hooker Charlie Jeavons-Fellows, keeping the Newington lads off balance.
Scots exerted pressure from early possession, but New’s defences held and Scots couldn’t convert the advantage into points.
With ten minutes remaining, New broke the shackles when flyhalf James Turner slipped through the D-line. From an attacking scrum the ball went out through hands to classy fullback Bailey Simonsson, who crashed over. Newington 10-3.
Strong running from inside centre Ryan O’Bierne earned Scots an attacking line-out, and Jeavons-Fellows set up a Scots’ rolling-maul, bound for the stripe. A tumbleweed of Newington bodies at the line fell foul of the referee, who awarded Scots a penalty try for New collapsing and the scores were locked,10-all.
Close to half-time, New opted for attacking line-outs, deep into Scots’ corners. With a deft pirouette close to the line, Simonsson, Newington’s best, crashed in for his second piece of meat.
Half-time score: Newington 15 – Scots 10
New’s highlight reel was filled with barn-storming charges from Simonsson (15), Tyrone Taukamo (12) and THP Opeti Helu (3), but it was Scots who dug out first points after the break when Yassmin (14) burrowed over from patient recycling work by the Scots’ Piggies. Scots 17-15.
The ebb and flow was now well established, and New were next to trouble the scorers with Hamish Duvall (13) finger-tipping a touchdown inside the corner post. New 20-17.
But Scots kept ball in hand more than they did the week before, and it asked big questions of New’s defence which they couldn’t answer. A five-minute three-try spree broke the game open for the lads in Gold.
In the first, a Brian Smith set-play involving most Scots’ backs, enabled Winston Yunupingu (11) to break New’s defence and hearts, feeding Archie Gavin (13) to score. Scots 24-20.
For the second, a charged-down clearing kick from flyhalf Nic Shannon (10), was recovered, chipped ahead, re-gathered, and fed to Yassmin (14) to link with ever-present Hugh Green (7) who crashed over. Conversion successful. Scots 31-20.
The third followed another clean-as-a-whistle Jeavons-Fellows ‘poach’ from a mid-field ruck which sent O’Bierne hoofing upfield to link back inside with trailing tall timber Sam Ridley (5) to add the day’s final score.
In a thrice, Scots had gapped the young men in Black & White, and even with ten minutes remaining, they wouldn’t recover.
Full-time score: Scots 36 – Newington 20
3pts: Charlie Jeavons-Fellows (2) – played “enormous” and led his team all day; superb tackler and extra loosie in attack
2pts: Darcy Breen (3) – locked down Scots’ scrum against a big New front-row; stood up in defence in the outside channel
1pt: Hugh Green (7) – an Eveready Bunny; ubiquitous and pesky-as around the rucks
3pts: Bailey Simonsson (15) – looked dangerous each time he touched the ball; a live-wire across the backline
2pts: Tom Serhon (6) – his battle with the Scots back-rowers was a game highlight
1pt: James Turner (10) – mixed a strong running game with unleashing his outside backs.
Scots built confidence keeping the ball in hand in attack, but their win was built on a solid foundation of stout defence against New’s big block-busting ball runners.
Newington – Their record may be 0-3 but they shape as a dangerous Premiership “spoiler” to the tournament front runners.
Scots 36 (Yassim, Gavin, Green, Ridley tries; penalty try; N.Shannon 4 cons, pen) def. Newington 20 (Simonsson 2, Haldane, Duvall tries)
Photos of Scots v Newington supplied – thank you
Kings v Joeys
What can be said about the Cerise faithful. Not only is the school playing the lone hand in their support of GPS rugby, with bus-loads of students arriving throughout the afternoon to support their teams but huge number of Joey parents also there to support of the school rugby program is magnificent.
The 2nd XV game, while a bit dour, nonetheless had both sides well-committed – and there were some glimpses of some good rugby in a game where Joeys came home with a wet sail to win 16-10. Of note Kings Jack Mann was taken straight from the field to hospital with a dislocated shoulder. Possibly another season-ending injury which very sad for a lad chasing his 1sts rugby dream.
A high quality, evenly-matched thirds fixture between Kings and a TAS side, had Armidale winning a squeaker 5-3.
There is no other day in any schools rugby calendar than when SJC come to play. The largest crowd for many a year greeted the two sides running out onto the White Oval. There were changes to both sides from last week, notably those forced by the injuries of Joeys.
Missing were flanker Feltis, who sustained a bad injury against Shore and LHP Holley, whose experience and lineout throwing would be missed. Surprisingly Crotti was not promoted from the Joeys’ Twos after his strong showing subbing in Firsts against Shore.
The first ten minutes had both teams prod each other seeking the advantage and Kings getting a bit of a roll on with 8 Peitsch making some yards into Joeys’ territory before the ball came loose. Calls for a knock on from Joeys supporters but very experienced referee thought otherwise.
In the next ruck the ball shot out sideways and 13 Rhys Millar hared up touch with it before dishing inside to Nick Brown for the score out wide.
After two penalties from 9 Kyle Brown, King’s were ahead 11-0 at about 20 minutes.
But Joeys’ intensity didn’t drop and their outside backs were creating space and opportunities. From their first real occupation in the King’s 22, Joeys’ winger Day went over out wide. King’s 11 – Joeys 5.
Near the half-hour mark Day kicked a penalty for the visitors as Joeys were making up for a slow start.
Half-time score: King’s 11 – Joeys 8.
Kyle Brown slotted two penalty goals after the break produced by bad discipline by Joeys though caused by the forward pressure of King’s.
But 15 minutes into the half after Joeys repelled King’s repeatedly at one end, 6 Ashhurst took the ball up for Joeys and popped the ball up when tackled to scrummie Dowling. He scampered from the King’s 22 and rounded under the posts with no hands laid on him.
Kings 17-15 – it was game on !!
It was an arm wrestle in the fourth quarter of the game with King’s usually on top but Joeys defending to the last gasp.
With about five minutes left and King’s pounding the Joeys’ line King’s hooker Lynch broke the deadlock with a neat left-foot step and dive.
The score was 24-15 with only minutes to go an although Day slotted a penalty for Joeys they couldn’t score the converted try to win.
Final score: King’s 24 – Joeys 18
The Joeys forwards fought to the last minute to the last man but the Kings forwards were physically stronger and it bore results.
3 points – Hooker James Lynch – a non-stop perfomance and taking his opportunity to clinch the game.
2 points – Lock Nick Brown – the dominant forward in the dominant pack.
1 point – no8 Dylan Pietsch – a smooth runner and ball player though better in the loose than the tight.
3 points – 13 Yirrbi Jaffer- Williams – like a swan a amongst the ducks in the backline.
2 points – winger Lachlan Day – not a perfect game and some kicks from hand were wayward, but was a danger man
1 point – 9 Dylan Dowling – another good passing game and sniped for a score; something he should try more.
King’s 24 ( N. Brown, K. Lynch tries; K. Brown 4 pens, con) def. Joeys 18 (L. Day, D. Dowling tries; L. Day 2 pens, con)
Photos of Kings v Joeys by “Lee Grant”
Riverview v Shore
by “Not in straight”
Riverview was undefeated and looked like contenders for this year’s title whereas Shore was desperate to post its’ first win.
From the start Shore show they have turned up to play. Four minutes into the game and Shore are controlling the ball and making big meters. No 7 Joyce goes in off the ruck to score, Sinclair converts.
Riverview hit back four minutes later, off a scrum deep in Shore territory. 13 Terry runs a great line to beat the defence. Fullback Fahey converts and scores are level 7-7.
Riverview attempts to clear from their own line and Shore charge down the kick. Edwards falls on the scraps for the easiest of tries. Sinclair converts.
Score 14 – 7 to Shore, it remained this until half-time; an upset was brewing.
Only the coaches and the players will know what was said at half-time. However give credit to the View coach for the improvement.
Riverview came out firing in the second half. Three minutes later Rorke #6 was in to bring the scores level.
Two minutes after the restart the big No 5 for Riverview breaks the line with Rorke again in support and he is in under the posts for a well-worked try.
Dream start to the half for View, nightmare for Shore. Score 21- 14 to View five minutes after the break.
Shore now without centre Hedley (ankle) got back some composure but View had clearly stepped up and were dangerous. 20 minutes in, the View prop Williams ran in another try and shortly after Rorke was in again both extras added by Fahey.
Score 35 -14, with 15 minutes to go. Riverview firmly in control.
Shore is not done yet. In a excellent try #3 Furby for Shore broke the line with only the fullback to beat. Pass or step? No, it’s the Lomu step and the fullback is up to the challenge. But the Shore support is there and a wide pass found #14 Stinsen, and Shore go in for a third. Sinclair converts.
View lead 35-21, and Shore looking to mount a comeback with 15 to play; but it wasn’t to be.
In the dying minutes a View player got a yellow card for a late tackle on Shore flyhalf Sinclair, Like Hedley, he had to retire, which caused further disruption to the Shore back line.
View #12 Prina bags a try out wide in what everyone thought was the last play. As the View boys headed off the field the ref says there was more time and Shore had to restart play, a poor kick was run back at the tiring Shore boys with interest and winger Smealie was in for the last try.
Final score: Riverview 45 – Shore 21
Riverview: The big difference between the teams was the Rorke X-factor. His play right across the park in all areas was outstanding (3 tries). Fenn ran some good lines and the No 5 Silk also had a strong game and set up one of Views best tries
The centre combination of Pirina and Terry was lethal. Captain Terry played superbly; Fahey also had a sound game with the boot.
3 points Rorke, 2 points Terry and 1 point Silk.
Shore: The forwards played well, especially the front row. Edwards and Suttor both played solid games bending the defensive line with their pod plays. Captain Allan was solid.
The backs first half was faultless. Sinclair the controller at 10, with a strong kicking game including three conversions. Haskins and Gregory both deserve mentions.
3 Points Sinclair, 2 points Edwards, 1 point Gregory
Shore will take some heart from the game; they played their best 35 minutes of Rugby this year against a heavyweight side and led at half-time. The forwards are competing well against all teams. The backs need some consistency. Shore look closer to registering a win.
Riverview will be set for the top of the table clash against Kings next week. They will take a lot of confidence out of the dominant second half of this match but will be looking to start quicker.
Riverview 47 ( H. Rorke 3, W. Terry, S. Williams, J. Pirina, O. Smeallie tries; C. Fahey 5, O. Clark cons) def. Shore 21 (L. Edwards, J. Stinson, C. Joyce tries; M. Sinclair 3 cons)
2nd XV: Riverview 29 – Shore 12
3rd XV: Grammar 28 – Riverview 7.
Photos of Riverview v Shore by “Not In Straight” – thank you
Third XV competition
Round 2 of the 3rd’s Competition saw another week of entertaining rugby and surprising results.
High v Shore – Shore ran riot at McKay Oval for the first game of their season. High were slow off the mark, with both Shore wingers breaking through soft tackles to score in their respective corners. High responded positively however, with captain Jacob Katafono crashing over the line in the right hand corner off the back of a well constructed passage of play.
In the second half, both Shore wingers again showed immense strength and speed to score tries with limited space. But a gusty High side finished the game strongly, with the #14 blitzing through the Shore defence untouched off a deft scrum move to score under the sticks.
Final Score: 36-12
Riverview v Grammar – Grammar looked to bounce back from a devastating loss to TAS with a clinical display against Riverview. Tries went to Sheldon (2), Smith and Mallett off the back of an incisive attacking performance. Riverview’s only try came at the hands of their replacement hooker, who beat multiple Grammar defenders over 30m to score the final try of the game.
Final Score: Shore 28-5
Scots v Joeys – Determined after a disappointing loss to Kings in the previous round, Scots were able to break Joeys’ undefeated streak, which had lasted over a season. With their forwards getting a solid roll on, Scots were able to keep the scoreboard ticking, holding off a last minute Joeys’ onslaught to score their first win of the season.
Final Score: 22-21
Kings v Armidale – At J.S White Oval, a late try to the #8 Henry Coldham allowed TAS to win a 5-3 squeaker over a courageous King’s side.