The CAS and GPS had their annual showdown at Shore’s home ground at Northbridge yesterday. At stake were spots in the two NSW teams who will compete in the National Schools Championships starting on Monday, 4th of July.
GPS Ist XV 46– CAS 1st XV 17
GPS put on a dominant 36-0 second half to finish all over the CAS, who had no answer to the class of the GPS’ backs.
Conditions were windy and the referee made allowance for the odd skew lineout throw and pass.
Before half-time there was no indication of the deluge to come later.
After a charge from GPS winger Taukamo, 7 Pietsch provided continuity, and 12 Wilkinson fended off a defender to score wide.
But second-rower Frost fielded his team’s kick-off to help CAS camp near the opposition goal-line. The GPS clearance was blown in-field to allow a sweet cross-kick to CAS winger Carr, who scored wide. After eight minutes the game was tied 5-5.
A promising break from GPS 10 Sheldon came to nothing but there was good work from 8 Fenn and 6 Rorke who threatened the CAS line.
GPS were not taking advantage of their chances: they dropped too much ball with too-long passes in the wind, and otherwise.
Then Sheldon made another break and dished to Fenn and thence to hooker Jeavons-Fellows, who was having a blinder, to score.
GPS led 12-5 after the extras, and 20 minutes, but it didn’t look a big enough lead with a strong nor-westerly behind them.
However when CAS got their chance from a close scrum they used it. The ball went though hands slickly and fullback Longville took an outside break and scored wide in the arms of his direct opponent, Osborne.
They weren’t finished either and when CAS winger Mohi kicked through he got the bounce and dotted down. It was a cracking individual effort.
Half-time score: CAS 17 – GPS 12
Tries came to GPS regularly after the break.
Wilkinson, who had taken over as flyhalf from the injured Sheldon, made a break and Orpen, who came from the bench, ran a long way to score. Then Wilkinson scored his second with a show and go after a scrum. Winger Jaffer-Williams got into the act also and found space down touch to get a long range five-pointer.
Of a sudden GPS were ahead 31-17, 15 minutes after the break and it didn’t matter that they were playing into the wind.
Then Jaffer-Williams slipped a tackle and was in for his second, and two minutes later he was in for his third—CAS couldn’t stop him. The scoreboard registered 38-17 and there were still ten minutes left.
The floodgates were opened and CAS wouldn’t tackle or be where they could do so: they were out on their feet.
Jeavons-Fellows took the ball from the ruck watched too carefully by CAS and he dished to Pietsch to score. Then Wilkinson did his second show and go, and got his third try.
It was dreadful defence from CAS and not great rugby to watch, when the first half was so good.
Final score: GPS 48 – CAS 17.
It would have been a tough job for the NSW selectors to pick players after a one-side game after oranges.
The triple try-scorers, Jaffer-Williams and Wilkinson would have got a few ticks the way they took their chances but they were decent on defence also. They were the pick of the back line though 13 Terry and 11 Taukamo threatened and substitute Orpen took his chances.
The GPS backrow was dominant in the second half until 8 Fenn retired injured. 6 Rorke was one of the best of the day and 7 Pietsch had some good runs – but the jersey numbers they were wearing were not relevant: they were all of a kind.
Lock Brown had some good moments, as did THP Helu who was hard to stop with the first tackle.
There weren’t so many standouts for CAS over the whole game but scrummie Jordan and 8 Basson were two of their best. Margin and Frost probably had the edge of the GPS second row, and centres Morris and Armstrong had strong first halves.
Man of the match
GPS hooker Charlie Jeavons-Fellows was like an energiser bunny: there’s not much of him and he’s not a bruiser, but he is a game breaker, and break the game open, he did.
Before the main trial the GPS and CAS Seconds had a thrilling match.
CAS scored quickly after no.8 Tuitavake, who was called in late, ran against the grain. But 6 Miller evened things up after a break from the ruck with CAS players looking at each other. Score tied at 7-7.
GPS fullback McTaggart was obliged to try an intercept because he was out-flanked—and it worked, because 70 metres later he dotted down near the sticks
Half-time score: GPS 14 – CAS 7.
That didn’t seem much of a lead for GPS with the wind behind them, but as in the main game later, teams playing against it seemed to prosper.
CAS 10 Woodcock ran well to score soon after the break to tie the game 14-14. Some excellent running by Hollingworth-Dessent put CAS into GPS territory and near the line 9 Bosch sniped, was stopped, and LHP Anstey picked and went – over the try-line.
The GPS lads weren’t set well enough after a CAS scrum free kick and fullback Stocks couldn’t find a tackler and scored. Now 20 minutes into the second half CAS lead 28-14 and GPS weren’t firing too many shots.
They had to score next and 7 Green did when he scooted away from a lineout maul. It was 28-21 now to CAS – game on. GPS got back in CAS territory and after a stoppage the CAS reserves ran onto the field thinking the game was over – but they had to retreat: it wasn’t.
When GPS got a holding penalty against CAS the next time they were back up there, winger Smeallie scored near touch but the conversion missed. CAS 28-26. Still a minute to go – and GPS charged again but the ball was kicked forward in the last play of the game, and somebody screamed.
It may have been Brian Smith, the GPS coach.
Final score: CAS 28 – GPS 26.
No 8 Tuitavake made the most of his late call-up with some damaging tackles and runs; scrummie Bosch had a slick all-round game.
Fullback McTaggart took all the right options and centre Orpen was incisive, openside Green deserved his try for his shift.
Man of the match
CAS loose head prop Anstey, not long back from injury, had a ferocious game and could be elevated into the Ones for the next one.
GPS Blue 57 – GPS White 26
In the first match of the day the ( in effect) GPS Third XV beat the Fourth XV 57-26 after leading 31-14 at the break.
It said a lot for the depth of GPS back three players that fullback Luke Rixon played in this game and not the Seconds or Firsts. He had the man-of-the-match award stitched up by half-time and used his considerable speed to take outside breaks at will and wasn’t too bad going inside either.
Photos by Lee Grant