With two rounds to go Scots could lose their lead on the NSW GPS ladder if they lost; but if they won they were assured of at least being Joint Champions.
Having secured ten wins in a row against Joeys earlier in the season, Scots were going for eleven, and a chance for an unassailable lead to win the AAGPS title—provided they secured victory today in heavy conditions.
Two minutes after the opening whistle the home crowd roared approval as #2 Charlie Jeavons-Fellow picked up a short pass off a lineout on the blind, to dive over to open proceedings. 5-0 to Scots.
Three minutes later, Scots #14 Tom Yasmin made matters worse for the visitors touching down in the right-hand corner off a well-executed back line move to give Scots a 10-0 lead after five minutes.
A successful penalty shot by Scots #15 Will Simpson compounded Joeys’ woes to take Scots to 13-0.
It was all Scots, and when their forward pack executed their pick and drive patiently they were rewarded with a try near the posts. Simpson’s conversion meant they were scoring at more than a point a minute: they were ahead 20-0 after 16 of them.
Joeys game plan was in tatters and they had barely been in the game. They needed to change things up and play catch-up footy immediately.
Twice they elected to take scrums instead of easy penalty goal attempts and their roll-of-the-dice ploy was eventually rewarded with a touch of individual brilliance by #13 Yirribi Jaffer-Williams. He backed himself to break the line to go over near the corner, and finally Joeys were on the board: Scots 20-5.
The Joeys faithful were hoping that this marked the start of the comeback but it was not to be.
With the clock ticking down to half time, Scots received a penalty advantage for the Joeys’ backs being offside at the ruck. They caught them napping napping and #11 Billy Smith crashed over in the corner. Simpson converted to give Scots one of their best first halves of the season.
Half-time score: Scots 27 – Joeys 5.
Scots were playing the conditions better and employed a smarter kicking game. Defensive errors had cost Joeys dearly and Scots’ larger back line had broken their line.repeatedly.
But full credit to Joeys: it took 21 minutes for the scoreboard to change after the break; though it was not in their favour.
Jeavons-Fellows caught Joeys offside with penalty advantage, and after quick hands he completed the wreckage he started with a try out wide for Scots to lead 32-5.
Joeys, starved of possession, seemed to have little answer to the relentless attack by the home team. It needed another piece of individual brilliance get points and when skipper Wilkinson elected to take another scrum option he scored from it and #11 Day converted. Scots 32-Joeys 12.
With three minutes remaining, Joeys had nothing to lose and threw the ball around. Joeys #12 Tristan Reilly nearly went over in the corner but the raid was thwarted. However a minute later Jaffer-Williams showed again why he was selected for higher representative honours and he dotted down to make the score more respectable. Day added the extras but that was it.
Full-time score: Scots 32 – Joeys 17
Scots – my man of the match (as in Round 4) was Jeavons-Fellow. Two tries on the day was a worthy reward for all his efforts, which included being damaging in defence, lethal in attack and a general pest.
#15 Simpson kicked well and #12 Ryan O’Beirne ran hard and straight with top service to his outside backs.
A special mention to Scots Year 10 boy Will Harris for his debut run-on First XV game at #6. Apparently not good enough to earn NSW Under 16s Schools’ selection, he performed well for a Championship-winning team.
Joeys – It was the individual brilliance of Jaffer-Williams and Wilkinson that stood out—not selfish one-off play but a genuine preparedness to give anything a go for the collective good. McTaggart kicked well in general play in a losing side.
Joeys were outplayed and again showed their weakness in playing in heavy conditions this season.
Scots pot of gold lay at the end of the rainbow that appeared as though on cue at Bellevue Hill at the end. Congratulations to them on securing their fourth Championship in a row.
by “Not in straight”
This was a game of two halves
Shore won their first game in two years against one-time front runner, Riverview, last week and were hoping for a repeat at the last home game of the season.
Newington came to Northbridge with strong form, winning four of their last five and since they still had a mathematical chance of a share of the chocolates, they were desperate for the victory also.
Shore looked the goods from the outset and showed that the win last week was no aberration.
In what was a faultless half of rugby Shore played to their potential. The forwards dominated the contact and held onto possession. The backs demonstrated commendable handling skills and looked dangerous.
The weight of territory and possession told and Shore earned an attacking lineout from a penalty. Edwards and Suttor probed the line with a wrap-around and two phases later Edwards burrowed over to open the scoring. 7-0 after 30 minutes.
Shore enjoyed better territory and possession stats, and threatened the line occasionaly. Newington had some breakouts, notably one by 6 Poidevin but they were plagued by errors.
Shore searched for their second try and sent the ball wide though New seemed to stop the raid when 13 Sheehan was cornered. But he ran backwards to give himself room to kick over the heads of defenders and sprinted outside the touchline, back to infield, and grounded the ball for a remarkable individual try.
Half-time score: Shore 14 – Newington 0.
Shore was in control but unfortunately their lead had come at a cost. In the opening minutes of the game they lost Burrows with a crocked knee; then the midfield combination of Sinclair and Sheehan, which was working well, was disrupted by injury. Also lock Salter suffered a head knock,. All three were replaced at half-time, or shortly thereafter.
The Newington coach must have sprayed his boys at half-time because they came out with higher intensity, used their big ball-runners, and showed intent to shift the ball quickly.
Six minutes into the half New got a penalty to earn an an attacking lineout. After some tight play a short pass went to THP Helu and the big fella was over.
Following the restart Helu was back in action when he attracted several defenders, and stood and offloaded to 12 Duval who raced in to dot down. After nine minutes the score was 14-all.
Shore composed themselves for a period and raided into New territory but couldn’t find the line. Then they began to tire and it was Newington’s turn to dominate possession and field position. They found holes in the patched up Shore defence at will.
Following sharp scrum play by New, 13 Turner beat the defence to score and Newington led 19-14 with 15 minutes remaining. Five minutes later the lads from Stanmore attacked again. Although Shore tackled everything that moved, New kept the phases going across the park and recycled quickly to the next runner.
After multiple phases of precise forward rugby, 12 Duval was in for his second. Newington 26-14 after 25 minutes.
Later in the match, Poidevin turned the ball over on the Shore line and scored. Then in the last play of the game 6 Serhon dotted down from a lineout drive that Shore couldn’t contain.
Final Score: Newington 38 -Shore 14.
3 points (12) Duval, 2 points Poidevin, 1 point each to Helu and Lawson
3 points Sheehan, 2 Edwards, 1 each to Bayestock & Haskins.
It was indeed a game of two halves, Shore’s first was a faultless display of school rugby, and dominated New in every aspect of play.
Roles were reversed in the second and New lifted their intensity, Shore were savaged by injury and understrength for the second half.
Newington 38 (Duval (2), Helu, Turner, Poidevin, Serhon tries; Kuenzel 4 cons.) def.Shore 14 (Edwards, Sheehan tries; Sinclair 2 cons)
Photos by “Not in straight”
Their is no formal report for this game “Rugby Spectator” kindly forwarded some stray thoughts:
– Kings had the lead with 15 minutes left but missed a penalty goal having kicked a more difficult one earlier.
– The score was Kings 11 – Riverview 5, with five minutes left when View scored in the corner. Kings 11-10 with the conversion from touch to come.
– Clark missed the conversion of the earlier View try and the supporters from both teams held their breath as he began his approach in front of the Riverview supporters.
Over !!! The young man showed his composure and earned bragging rights for life.
Final score: Riverview 12 – Kings 11
– Full marks to Riverview for scoring two tries to one and, of course, the clutch conversion.
– Commiserations to Kings. They should have converted more chances in this game, but this year they lacked a real play maker in the halves to put players in space. Also their forwards have not dominated, nor controlled phase play well enough.
Riverview 12 (Bird, Smealie tries; Clark con..) def. Kings 11 (Pietsch try; Osborne 2 pens.)
GPS 3rd XV Competition Round 5
GPS 3rd XV – Round 8
Despite the wet, plenty of good rugby was played in Round 8 of the GPS 3rd XV competition.
Scots vs Grammar
Scots gave Grammar an early scare with a simple try within the first five minutes. In the end however, Grammar’s forwards in particular were superior on both ends of the field, responding well to a kicking strategy and holding off several attacks in their own 22.
#9 Charlie Comino was impressive in his debut following a long injury layoff, as was Zac Alexander, who threatened in both attack and defence.
Final Score: Grammar 26 – Scots 5
Joeys vs TAS
TAS were able to secure the 2016 title in a nail-biting contest against Joeys. Despite Joeys putting up a solid two-try lead heading into the second half, TAS were relentless, resulting in a see-sawing affair in the second half.
The result continued to hang in the balance until a last minute penalty goal was slotted by Eddie Pitt, which secured an undefeated championship for the Armidale boys.
Final Score: TAS 22 – Joeys 17
Kings vs Riverview
After a disappointing non-result against Shore the previous week, Riverview fired back with an impressive performance against a solid Kings outfit.
Final Score: Riverview 15 – Kings 7
Shore vs Newington
Shore were able to secure their first win since Round 2 against Newington, who despite this result, appear to be improving week by week.
Final Score: Shore 17 – Newington 12
3rd XV Table
Armidale – 16*, Joeys – 10, Grammar – 10, Scots – 8, Riverview – 7, Kings – 6, Shore – 5, Newington – 2, High – 0