GPS Round 8 surprises - Green and Gold Rugby

GPS Round 8 surprises

GPS Round 8 surprises

Round 8 of the GPS was not expected to present too many surprises. Riverview would surely prove too strong for Kings who were monstered by Newington last week, and Scots should account for Shore who had not won a game yet.

But Joeys played well losing at Scots in Round 7 and could threaten undefeated Newington if they could play at the same level. They went down by three points in Round 3 in soft conditions at Stanmore but would have felt more confident of bothering New on a hard track.

Scots fans would have been making calls to friends at Hunters Hill; should Joeys win, their team would be on level terms with Newington with two rounds remaining.

Joeys v Newington

Hot, firm conditions would suit Joeys’ up-tempo game and Newington’s big pack would not be able to impose their slower style on them—or so the Joe Boys fondly hoped.

Joeys Scrum

First half

Joeys started well and spent a lot of time in the New half but poor handling cost them.

Then Newington got on a roll and 14 Bailey Simmonson smoked some defenders before passing to 11 Tyrone Taukamo. The big bopper did an in-and-away to beat the last tackler before rounding to make it easier to convert his own try.

Newington led 7-0 after twelve minutes. It was an impressive long range try but the defence of Joeys was sloppy..

After 15 Tim Clements and 14 Yirrbi Jaffer-Williams combined on a dangerous move for Joeys, Newington lost a player for cynical goal line defence.  Clements stepped inside from a lineout and charged to the line, but scrummie Will Wennerbom got the bum-pats for grounding the ball. He converted his try to tie the game up 7-7 after 17 minutes.

A timely interception by Bailey Simonsson

A timely interception by Bailey Simonsson

The Joe Boys looked in again soon afterwards but a timely defensive intercept by Simonsson stopped the move.

The home team had other chances that were spoilt by poor ball work and, as though in sympathy, Newington started handling poorly also. The random dropsies that resulted offered sudden chances to the other team but none were taken.

There was no more scoring in the half though Simonsson went close when he lost the ball over the line in traffic just before the break.

Newington were missing Kennewell and Kuenzle but looked anything but Championship leaders anyway. Apart from their handling and crabbing, Joeys were more impressive, though they were without Wright and Barnes.

Half-time score: 7-7.

Opeti Helu - hard to bring down first time

Opeti Helu – hard to bring down first time

Second half

Three minutes in Joeys dropped the ball again and THP Opeti Helu advanced it and dished it SBW-style for New. Then 12 Cam Murray hypnotised defenders and scored 30 meters later, untouched.  The easy conversion missed but Newington led 12-7.

The teams exchanged turnovers and 7 Lachlan Simpson hacked a Newington dropped ball ahead twice for Joeys, and Jaffer-Williams was too fast and grounded the ball for five points.  After a wide conversion by Wennerbom Joeys led for the first time, at nine minutes, 14-12.

Tom Serhon nabbed

Tom Serhon nabbed

Joeys went back to wasting attacking chances, including when Clements broke through brilliantly and passed for a try—but 9 Matthew Long got the second key defensive Newington intercept of the day.

About this time you noticed that Newington weren’t doing a lot except reacting to what Joeys were doing; that was their theme for most of the half.

If the Joe Boys could play more accurately they could beat the competition leaders. The dominant Newington scrum evident in Round 3 was absent, and their big boys were playing only in spurts. Not for the first time this year, they were tiring early.

Tom Leaver setting up match winning try

Tom Leaver setting up match winning try

After New took a turn at ruining a try opportunity Joeys stuttered into another attack.  It was  disrupted by Helu and hooker Teu Atiola  but Joeys’ 6 Dom McGrath slipped the ball to 8 Tom Leaver deep in his own half.  He was stopped following a long run near touch after beating two backs, but THP Tom Horton came flying onto ruck ball and had nothing but grass in front of him.

It was a well-taken long range try to the posts and Joeys were ahead 21-12 with eleven minutes left.

Joeys were nearly in again twice before the end after Ed King went close on a weaving run, but was pinged for holding on—and when Jaffer-Williams was scragged into touch near the Newington corner post.

With the game well-won Joeys were content to run down the clock with two penalty goals.

Final score: Joeys 27 – Newington 12.

Tim Clements - one of best fullbacks in the GPS

Tim Clements – one of best fullbacks in the GPS now

The players

3 points – Winger Bailey Simonsson was a handful in the first half, and nearly scored a try as well.
2 points – 12 Cameron Murray. Class player; had to be watched every time he touched the ball.
1 point –  7 Campbell Clifford came off the tackle line quickly to force errors.

3 points – 15 Tim Clements featured in several Joeys attacks and set up the first try.
2 points – 9 Will Wennerbom kicked well for the posts, released the ball quickly and sparked the team.
1 point – 8 Tom Leaver set up the match-winning try for the second time in three weeks.

Bailey Simonsson - a handful in the first half

Bailey Simonsson – a handful in the first half

The wrap-up

Newington was like a heavyweight boxer who didn’t throw too many punches; Joeys was a lightweight who threw a lot of them, missed with too many, but won on points.

With two games remaining Newington are now even with Scots. They both have to play Riverview, but Newington plays Shore in the other game and Scots plays Kings.

Newington had better pull their socks up.


Joeys 27 (W. Wennerbom, Y. Jaffer-Williams, T. Horton tries, Wennerbom 3 cons, 2 pens)  def. Newington 12 (T. Taukamo, C. Murray tries; Taukamo con)

Other scores
2nd XV:  Joeys 34 – Newington 10
3rd XV: Joeys 52 – Newington 3
16As:  Joeys 41 – Newington 0

Photos of Joeys v Newington by “Lee Grant”

Video of the five tries, courtesy of “sidesteppa” – Thank you.

Click on Page 2 below for report on Scots v Shore by “Rich_E”

Pages: 1 2 3

  • James

    The New boys are probably thinking about there rugby league contracts for next year instead of job at hand. Otherwise the comp is a sad boring affair as the schools that play by the rules loose interest, and Scots sneakily think about building the lower age groups so they can continue to conquer the world. A disgruntled Scots parent told me there was 4 NSW rep players in the 13As. What amazing pot luck for the registrar!! I simply can’t understand why if the GPS code states no financial sporting inducements why it is still happening. Scots and New should have there titles stripped for last few years.
    Contributors to this forum ask why the crowds have gone – Back in the day a group of boys would get together, work hard for 6 years and see what they could achieve. These are the skills they need through the rest of there lives. During this time the school/family community would be involved and support and hence the big crowds. Now nobody cares and atmosphere is completely different. Something substantial must be done before GPS rugby is destroyed completely.
    How these schools could be teaching there boys that “if you want something just go and buy it” is beyond me. Life just ain’t that way!!

    • Shane Website

      so what about for all the years that the others did it just as sneakily in the 90’s. *cough TKS* *cough SIC* *cough SJC* dressed up as other scholarships. i know men who went to these schools and openly admit to scholarships to play sport at these schools.

      • Colonel Klinc

        Dead right Shane. There is a SMH article written around the year 1900 where it exposed an SJC player with a forged birth certificate. He was actually 20 years old and playing for Joeys! Every dog has it’s day and in the end, these are children we are talking about.

        • qwas

          Every dog has its day and two wrongs make a right and an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind…

        • Colonel Klinc

          Sounds like sore losers to me. Where was the outcry during the Joeys reign of the 80s and 90s where no one could beat them? There was none, with the smart schools eventually changing their strategic planning for enrollments, academic structure, buildings upgrades etc. Stop crying and get on with it.

        • qwas

          I honestly don’t care who wins. I’m concerned by how this effects rugby. The players that newington bring in are going to league. That doesn’t help rugby at all. But the worst thing is the gulf that’s opening. Already they’ve relegated high and grammar. Shore is next and shore is a massive rugby school but unless they start genuinely recruiting players like the other schools then they can’t compete.

          I think if players are that good they would be best off going straight into club rugby where they can be really tested against quality opposition. This would make them better players (ie teach them to tackle – quade, kb) and better people by knocking them down a couple of pegs (JOC).

          Apart from that let schoolboys play schoolboy rugby because it should be different to watching professional sport and this trend will kill off the popularity of rugby for the students.

        • Shane Website

          no but as the famous sign was held up at SJC mid 90’s ‘revenge is sweet’. The shoe is now on the other foot and it hurts.

      • Jake

        Tell me about the SIC ones mate? Never heard of one. I don’t believe it happened at SJC either other than kids wanted to go there to be better rugby players. It IS however well documented that TKS did it and as for TSC and Newington – well, everyone knows they recruit. Its well documented in the SMH over the years.

        I always say that the scholarships are a reflection on the institutionn’s self esteem. Go figure mate.

    • Dan

      Whats wrong with 4 Rep U13 players? Schools are happy to prepare students to be lawyers, doctors, farmers (I’d like to think), accountants etc..whats wrong with producing professional athletes? We may have less JOC, Quade and KB incidents if the schools prepared people better for their chosen profession.

      • qwas

        Except these schools specifically state they aren’t trying to groom professional athletes. If these schools want semi pro school sport like the States thats their prerogative but then they will need to legitimately have their own league with other schools of the same mindset. Currently the system is a farce

    • Monty

      James, Scots 13As has 3 State primary players not 4 one of which lives around the corner and has family at the school the other two are country kids. Scots did not chase these kids, their parents made the choice and they were enrolled well before they made the State side. Where do you suggest these kids go to board ?

    • Nick

      I fear the Rugby League component will only grow bigger. I remember Daniel Conn turning down Aus Schoolboys in 03 as the Canterbury Bulldogs didn’t want him playing. A quality education is a significant inducement for a kid especially if their chosen sport doesn’t work out for them.

  • the has been

    Agree with James ,it is a 2 tier comp now with Scots New and Joeys in one corner and the rest in group B ,, it will kill this competition eventually ,it is only a matter of time. It should be one in all in either way.It would have been 100 nil against Shore if Scots didn’t take their Aussie schoolboys off. I am sure they did it to save bad press they got last time against Newington.

  • James

    Yes absolutely Colonel They are children and that’s why it will be a tragedy when a boy gets and injury that none of us want to think about in games like Kings v New where one team is maybe 20kg on average lighter due to unnatural selection. Take a look at the huge injury lists of Kings and Shore. Producing professional athletes Dan is fantastic but rugby is a contact sport and the welfare of children is at stake (even little U13 children). A team of rep players vs a team of rep players is fine (that’s what the rep system is for) but a team stacked with rep players v a school team? What don’t you understand what is wrong here? Can someone else please explain – I give up
    Wouldn’t it be nice to develop the children you’ve already got at each school or aren’t they important. The JOC (?), Qs (Churchie scholarship) and KB (Joeys scholarship) problems happened cause they WERE given scholarships,pampered and look how that turned out. If they weren’t given them they still may well have made it because of there incredible raw talent. You don’t have to go to a GPS school to become a wallaby.
    And Yes Shane spot on, its been happening for way too long, Scots and New have taken it to another level BUT as long as people out there are still condoning it and don’t work together to stop it shortly or (as “has been” said) there will be nothing left.
    It wasn’t stopped in the early 90’s and hence it is STILL a problem that make us all upset.
    The fact is it is AGAINST THE RULES – VERY SIMPLE. If you brake the rules anywhere else in life it is unacceptable and punishable. If adults cant understand that simple concept how do we teach our children the concept??? If you want professional rugby teams in schools then change the rules to allow and let parents know so they can make a decision on wether or not to send there boys to the GPS system.
    P.S – I went to one of the schools I am picking on and have 3 daughters – I just love the game because I was a short fat kid that could not find my way in any other sport. Few other sports have a spot for the short fat kids through to the national sprinters. I don’t want to see the GPS rugby destroyed – it gave me lifelong friends I still rely on.
    And yes, the game is won in the front row! – as long as we don’t kick it!! My pie is waiting – cheers

    • Nick

      I don’t agree with everything you’ve posted but I strongly agree that we are talking about school kids playing other school kids. You are right when you assert that the rep system is purpose-made to further develop the best prospects.

      I’ve said before that it’s sad it has come to this as we have already lost Grammar and High who were an integral part of the competition I once took part in.

      Some of the administrators at these schools need to ask themselves if they are really looking to give the best education to their students as the resources directed towards other pursuits suggest otherwise.

  • Mick

    We are at that stage of the season where the moaning begins. As the Joeys boys proved on Saturday, bigger is not always better. This is a tough Comp to win and that’s a good thing people! As a lover of the game, I think any school fostering and nurturing Rugby should be applauded. I take my hat off to all these schools and hope they keep developing their entire rugby programs.

  • Vern

    The guy at Scots who is the Headmaster clearly wants premierships and has paid for it. Its the denial that bugs people. If it was admitted most people would say “okay, that’s what we’re up against”. There’d be some acceptance. But of course it is denied. Its been going on for years!

    As for Newington? Dunno about rugby but I know they pilfer from Trinity for their swimmers and water polo players. As for Basketball – well let’s just say there is “interest” by both schools at the Aussie nationals.

  • sidesteppa

    and here are the full highlights [well 99% of the ball in play], it’s 43mins long


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