Scots v St Joseph’s
Report written by Crackerjack
In a match that bordered on the metronomic, the ebb and flow being so back and forth between two of the Season’s leading sides, the visiting Joeys managed to have their noses in front the only time it really mattered, edging Scots in a 38-34 thriller, ensuring the fight for the School Challenge Trophywill go down to the wire in next week’s final Round.
In front of chock-a-block balconies and grandstands, Scots’ baggies-led “Flower of Scotland” competed for pre-game atmospherics with Joeys’ heart-felt anthem “Walk On”, giving ample gravitas to the occasion.
An opening Penalty and some barn-storming up the middle by Scots tall-timber, Jeremy Williams(5), delivered for Brett Wellington(6) to crash over. Just 3” in, and Scots led 8-0 in an ominous opening for hosts and visitors alike.
An against-the-run-of-play try in reply to one of Joeys’ best, fullback Nicholas Wilson(15), caught Scots napping and eased rising Joeys’ tensions.
For the next quarter hour, both sides exchanged periods of sustained possession, controlled picking and driving, seeking of field-position advantage, and probing for any weakness.
It must’ve come as a bit of shock then to Scots, that at their 22, from a lineout throw to the back, Joeys’ Thomas Shanks-Anderson(3) secured the ball and burst straight into Scots’ backfield, feeding rake Louis Robinson(2) to go over. A successful Jude Gibbs(10) conversion, and Joeys led 12-8.
With 10” to go in the half, Scots had worked their way into good field position, with crash-ball running from Brett Wellington(6), Hamish Moore (filling in at 4), and Kobe Rugless(12). First, Scots’ rake Nathan Zylstra(2) scored from an attacking lineout, rolling maul combination. Then, a longer-range rolling maul was capped off when the ball was swung wide, half-back Seb Strang(9) stepping inside to go over and set up a gift conversion for Savala.
Half Time: Scots 20 led Joeys 12
From an even-steven first-half set-piece stoush, Scots’ pack asserted themselves and Lock, Hamish Moore(4), crashed through Joeys’ goal-line D to establish the game’s biggest margin at 27-12, with no portent of the drama to unfold.
Perhaps Scots felt they had this one ‘in hand’. Just perhaps.
But little errors crept insidiously into their game. A kick-off failing to go the 10; flailing-hands instead of their Season-long defensive line; offsides at the ruck, penalised.
To both Joeys’ wingers, tries came, and quickly.
Liam Scolari(11), by regulation quick-out ball through the hands.
Then near Scots’ line, a quick scrum penalty tap-and-go by No.8, Hugh Bokenham(8), fed to Aidan Paterson(14) coming inside.
The game was ‘on’, Scots leading 27-24.
The light breeze at game start had filled in, noticeably favouring Joeys, and they were using it to advantage, kicking in behind Scots’ defensive line. Individual brilliance in attack was being nullified by brilliant defending – both in the front line, and desperate, ankle-tap, last lines.
With 15” left, Scots’ version of an Abrams tank, fired on all pistons, bursting through the line, then out-sprinting Joeys’ cover to score. Scots looked borderline comfortable at 34-24.
But “Never give up; Never give in” is more than a mere mantra for the JoeBoys.
A mad-scramble scavenging near the line to Joeys’ Open-side flanker, Rogan Hickey(7), was converted, and had Joeys knocking on the door, down just 34-31. Deafening cheering from both sets of supporters, electrified the cauldron-like atmosphere; the tension absolutely palpable.
The final few minutes and both sides had their chances.
From a final Joeys’ scrum feed near halfway, a floating cut-out was sent wide left to Liam Scolari(11), running like he’d stolen something, then chancing his arm (and boot), to kick deep and across, the odd-shape that is a wickedly bouncing Rugby ball doing the rest and popping into the hands of a beaming captain Vince Creagh(12) to run on and touch down for Joeys’ sealer.
The spontaneous unleashing of unbridled sideline JoeBoy pride, made the lament for the passing of a grand ‘old-fashioned’ pitch invasion! The ending to this one certainly warranted as much.
Full Time: Joeys 38 def. Scots 34
Vince Creagh(12) – indefatigable Captain’s performance; not by any stretch was it single-handed, but the JoeBoys wouldn’t have gotten home without him
Jude Gibbs(10) – had his best game of the Premiership rounds
Thomas Shanks-Anderson(3) – out-manned as Joey’s pack looked to be at scrum time, TSA led his tight-five meiny in the crucial last quarter hour
Brett Wellington(6) – a blockbuster performance, mixed of bruising, lumber-jack defense and eye-catching ball-carrying, capped by a couple of tries
Ben Robson(7) – an inexhaustible display of openside flanking
Hugo Patterson(1) – a credit to the Brotherhood of Front-rowers in the set pieces, he added crash-balls and a back-rower’s dash and flair with the ball in hand
Joeys’ assiduous effort and resoluteness to the task for the full 70”, earned them not just a win in the topsy-turvy of this year’s leading three sides, but after the crushing of their loss to Kings last week, now, a redeemed chance at the 2018 Premiership.
The final-whistle desolation of those in Gold jerseys this week, likewise, is redeemable at Kings next week.
Scots, Kings and Joeys have identical win-loss records, so the GPS 1st XV silverware comes down to the final Round.
Joeys needs to win their’s away in one of the sport’s great rivalries at Riverview, just to get a hand on the trophy.
And barring any dreaded ‘kiss-your-sister’ draw, the other hand (or hands!) will belong to the winner of Kings and Scots out at North Parramatta!
Joeys 38 (Wilson, Robinson, Scolari, Paterson, Hickey, Creagh tries; Gibbs 4 Convs)
Scots 34 (Wellington 2, Zylstra, Strang, Moore tries; Savala 3 Convs, Pen Goal)
Newington v Kings
Report written by Quickhand
In almost perfect conditions for rugby, the undefeated Kings met the winless, Newington at Stanmore. A big crowd was on hand for Back to Newington Day and a stirring win by Newington 2nds and the 16As had the crowd dreaming of a Newington win in 1sts. Newington also had their inspriational captain Angus Bell back on deck.
The game opened with Kings dominating early possession and territory and Newington rock solid in defence. With Kings unable to breach the Newington defence, they went blind side and a loose pass was intercepted by Koula, who sprinted 70 metres to score under the posts. Try converted by Vei – Newington 7-0.
From the kick off, Newington were able to move the ball downfield and Vei slotted a penalty goal – Newington 10-0.
Latu for Newington was then shown a yellow card and with Kings maintaining a long stretch of territory and possession, the 14 man Newington defence held firm, before Newington were able to take the ball into the Kings half, where a further penalty goal was kicked by Vei – Newington 13-0.
From the kick-off, Newington went on to the attack not only using their forwards, but some enterprising backline play. Vei then scored a brilliant individual try from a scrum 10 metres out by chipping ahead, regathering and beating the fullback. Not converted – Newington 18-0.
Kings then went back on to the attack, but were still unable to break the Newington line. Minogue then piloted a penalty goal over – Newington 18-3.
MacSmith for Kings shown a yellow card as Kings went back onto the attack and from a penalty on the stroke of half time, Minogue kicked another penalty.
Half time Newington 18-6
After half time, Newington went on the attack and scored a superb backline try with Weekes scoring untouched in the scoreboard corner. Converted from the sideline by Vei – Newington 25-6.
After the kick off, Kings were able to gain possession and the Kings backs combined for Suaalii to score, unconverted. Newington 25-11.
With Newington in possession, Mitchell from Kings secured a brilliant turnover and beat a host of defenders to advance the ball to within 10 metres of the try line. From the ensuing phases Lefevbre scored which was converted by Minogue. Newington 25-18.
Were the undefeated Kingsmen going to surge in the second half and secure at least a share of the premiership or were Newington going to show what they have got and secure their first win of the GPS season?
The answer came quickly. With play on the half-way line, Newington went left and Weekes bent the line, got his arms free and offloaded the ball to a fullspeed Koula who sprinted down the hill touchline to score. Unconverted Newington 30-18.
Mitchell for Kings then shown a yellow card. After a sequence of forward phases and some nice interchange passing, Gunstone for Kings scored, converted Minogue – Newington 30-23.
With Newington in possession, Weekes and Koula combined again for Koula to dash away for the hat trick. Converted Vei – Newington 37-25.
Koula then found himself in possession just on the Newington side of halfway, and with about 5 metres of space scored a brilliant individual try down the hill touchline. Unconverted – Newington 42-25.
With fulltime looming, Kings went back onto the attack and Penisini scored a nice try after some creative play by the backs. Converted Minogue – Newington 42-32.
The Newington victory was built on the foundation of impenatrable defence, particularly in the first half, solid forward play and some absolute backline brilliance. Kings never stopped trying and their attack was much more effective in the second half.
Best for Newington: Koula was unbelievable, such a joy watching fast and skilful wingers scoring tries. Weekes also brilliant in attack and defence and his combination with Koula was excellent. Ratcliff again worked all day in the forwards. Bell toiled until he went off injured early in the seoncd half, but his mere presence seems to settle the whole team.
Best for Kings: Mitchell a tyro at breakaway and always on the ball – set up a great try which could have turned the tide. Penisini always threatened in attack and solid in defence. Gunstone also very good in attack and defence.
Riverview vs Shore
Report written by UpTheGuts
A balmy winter’s day, enormous crowd, and world class referee set up an enticing fixture between Shore and Riverview in pristine playing conditions at Northbridge. Shore Old Boy’s Day saw Northbridge A enveloped by supporters while the Hawker Stand was overflowing with the boys of Riverview and Shore making for an electric atmosphere come 3:15.
Angus Gardner blew his whistle to start proceedings and despite a good contestable kickoff from Riverview a flying take from Crafter allowed Shore to put the ball into Riverview’s half. Anyone that thought Gardner would provide a helping hand to his alma mater was mistaken as he marched Shore ten for back chat after a high tackle on Matt Dutaillis. as he returned the exit.
For the first fifteen minutes the game ebbed and flowed. Shore had a good attacking opportunity on Riverview’s 22 but resolute defence from View forced Shore to put a kick in behind which rolled over the dead ball line relieving the pressure.
Making another attacking surge inside Riverview’s half an attempted short ball didn’t go to hand for Shore and Riverview came away with it. With Shore struggling to realign their defensive line Easy caught them napping down the short side and brushed off a tackler on his inside to make a line break. With Angus Bell on his left shoulder and Albert on his right Easy nailed a simple draw and pass to put Albert under the sticks.
Riverview’s forward runners looked threatening in the wider channels with McLennan and Schmidt a handful at times and with eight minutes left in the half after some courageous Shore defence held Riverview up over the line. Off the back of good clean ball from the proceeding scrum Dom Easy ran a nice unders line that held the Shore defence in tight while Angus Bell received the ball behind him. With the Shore backs focussed on the rest of the Riverview backs drifting wide, Bell threw a dummy and stepped off his left to crash over for Riverview’s second.
However, it was not long before Shore would strike back with one of their best tries of the season just before half time. Despite a dominant shove from Riverview on a scrum on their own ten metre line, a brilliantly worked move saw Digby Cooke sail through Riverview’s defensive line. Cooke looked as though he may have the gas to do it himself but a wonderful cover tackle saw him pulled down only five out. With the crowd roaring and Riverview’s defenders backpedalling, Shore’s forwards rumbled close and within a few phases and Harding crossed.
At the end of the first half it was 12-5 and all things said and done it was probably Shore’s best half of football this GPS season.
Shore again were attacking well in Riverview’s half but a turnover at the breakdown provided them with an opportunity on the short side. Angus Bell flew around the corner and found Dom Easy out wide who put the hammer down to evade a Shore cover defender. He then was able to offload back to Bell and after an interchange of passing [halfback[ finished a brilliant 65m counter attacking effort.
Only ten minutes later Riverview would find themselves with another scrum 5m out after being held up by Shore just as in the first half. And again, just as in the first half, Riverview only needed to shift it one pass from the scrum to Angus Bell who carried three Shore boys over the line with him en-route to his second. Easy nailed the kick to make it 26-5 and put the game out of Shore’s reach.
Shore would strike back, however, with the same backline move that saw Cooke go through in the first half paying dividends again. Cut down 10m out from the line the ball made its way out to Wunderlich who looked to have gone over out wide only for the touch judge to have his flag up signalling he’d gone out. Riverview, however, struggled to exit and pressure from Shore eventually saw them obtain a lineout 5m out and Harding crashed over off the back of a good maul.
The Riverview restart looked to have gone dead off the back of Shore’s try but the touch judge adjudged it to have crossed the plane of touch 5m out. With the wind now blowing strongly in the face of Shore they struggled to exit from their own half and after sustained pressure from Riverview Dutaillis crossed for the final score of the match.
At the end of the match the score finished at 33-10.
Ben Brownie (8) was an absolute workhorse for the Shore pack trucking it up time after time and making tackle after tackle. Harding (2) and Cant (3) in the front row also made good metres whenever in attack. Digby Cooke (11) scythed through on a few occasions in the backs and notched up another very pleasing performance.
McLennan (2) was hard to handle when he had the ball in hand but also had some deft touches and linked up well with his backs out wide. Easy (12) and Bell (10) were the orchestrators of nearly all Riverview’s attacking raids while Albert (9) directed the team well and was always in the right position in support as all good halfbacks should be.
Riverview were deserved victors in the end but Shore should be very pleased with their efforts in what was their best performance of their season.
Barker vs Knox
Report written by Rod Skellet
A big crowd gathered at Hornsby, for what is traditionally the grudge match of the season, for these two powerhouses of CAS Rugby.
Knox have had a season of rebuilding following on from the Nick Frost – Tom Woodcock era, with a rotation of players from 16A’s and 2nds all getting game time through the season in the 1sts. This has resulted in some inconsistency in their on field performance and they approached this game against Barker with a sense of hope rather than conviction.
Barker by contrast have had their best season in living memory, with one hand already on the Reverend Henry Plume Shield, they were not for a second getting complacent, and approached this game with steely resolve, respecting the fact that no game against Knox is ever easy or “in the bag”.
From the kickoff, Barker went hard. Dring (4), Reimer (8) and Flaherty (5) were all prominent, using their size advantage to work Barker into good field position. With Dring peeling left off the ruck, he found Capt Tejcek (9) who dummied and put Kitchener (15) in the clear who scored untouched. 7 nil after 3 minutes.
Barkers size speed and skill were putting enormous pressure on the Knox forwards. For Knox, Ollie Hughes (5) and James Frear (1), were very prominent in defence, but they needed help and the trying to defend against the likes of Pollard, Wilson and Collison was like trying to hold back the tide.
The points flowed, with the backs making the most of their opportunities the dominant forward platform provided. Tries to Kitchener giving him 2 for the half, and a double to winger Ben Bryden plus a try to Wilson (3) from a strong rolling maul had Barker leading 26 nil after 20 minutes.
Knox never gave in, and a series of penalties and a yellow card against Barker, had Knox deep in Barker territory. An attacking lineout for Knox 5m out was foiled as Barker won the ball, but the pass to Dudley (10) went to ground and Breden (7) scored a deserved 5 pointer to put Knox on the scoreboard. Barker lead 26 – 7
Barker hit back immediately despite being a man down. A final try by Ben Bryden before halftime, his 3rd for the day made the score 31 – 7 at oranges.
With a Barker victory almost assured, the second half was fun to watch.
Sure Barker was able to score points at will, but this Knox team showed courage and determination to never give up. A rolling maul close to Barkers line was well executed by the Knox pack and resulted in Kye Haslam (2) scoring a fine team try.
Further tries to Barkers, Reimer (8), Nercessian (12), Cameron (6) Tejcek (9) and Dudley (10) kept the score keepers busy and the big Barker crowd entertained. Knox scored another excellent forwards try to bring their tall to 19 points on the day, a fine effort, against the best schoolboy team in the country.
With ten minutes to go and the result beyond doubt, both Barker and Knox rang in the changes to give those year 12 players in the 2nd XV a run in the 1sts, in their final year of schoolboy rugby.
The last hurrah for Barker went to Ben Bryden (14) giving him 4 tries on the day and the final score of 69 – 19 ensuring the Plume Shield resides for the next 12 months North of the Harbour bridge.
The sportsmanship and respect, players from both sides showed at fulltime was admirable, both in defeat and victory, providing each other with the customary applause through the tunnel, bringing to it the end of a most memorable CAS rugby season for this Barker team.
Best for Knox: Haslam, Frear, Hughes
Best for Barker: Players 1 through to 15.
Waverley vs Trinity
Report written by WLF
The final round of the CAS competition had arrived which would deliver the winner of the Henry Plume Shield for 2018.
It would also be the very last day that many year 12 rugby boys would ever run out for the beloved schools. A very special time in their lives.
As experienced all season it was another bright sunny day, perfect for footy.
Whilst fatigue after last weeks game may prove to be a factor, being the last game, both sides were sure it give it their all.
As the whilst blew it became evident that both sides were intent on finishing on a high note, there was also the remote possibility that if an upset occurred whereby Knox defeated Barker, then the Waves side could share the Shield with Barker.
The Waves pack charged into their Trinity opponents with a fresh attitude. For 10 minutes neither gave any ground until the Waves went wide found a gap and as usual Hutchinson Walters strode through it, gave it inside and Baldwin stepped vigorously to score in the corner, it was not converted. Waves 5-0.
Whatever Trinity said behind the posts worked, their forward pack worked tirelessly up the field and after several raids Malachi Hawkes used his considerable strength and crashed over mid field. Edmed effortlessly converted. Trinity 7-5.
As if tit for tat, the Waves then retaliated shortly afterwards when 20m out Volkman showed his stepping ability and strode through the defence, a great individual try. It was converted 12-7.
The Waves then received a penalty shortly after the kick off 40 out and wide, they decided to have a shot, Hutchinson Walters put it over the black dot, Waves 15-7, and 8 point lead.
The game then went back and forth with solid positional kicking by Edmed and Hutchinson Walters, until finally the Waves score again through Moretti from brut strength near the line, it was converted.
As half time approached Trinity made it clear they were in the match and we saw a great by winger Luke Hennessy after a solid back line movement, again Edmed converted.
HALF TIME : WAVES 22-14.
The whistle went for the last half of this years season and the Waves were urged on by a sizeable crowd.
What we saw next was maybe an entrée into next years comp when the Waves no 10 young Ronald Volkman scored 2 further individual tries, making it 3 for the game, 1 was converted.
Once again this did not deter Trinity and their man of the match, Malachi Hawkes scored his 2nd try for the day through sheer determination and brut strength, it was converted. Waves 32-21
This boy is one to watch next year.
Finally the Waves wrapped it up with a try to prop Aholelei and it was converted. Final whistle for the season.
WAVES 39 TRINITY 21
News had come through that Barker had comfortably disposed of Knox, so Barker were the 2018 Henry Plume Champions – Congrats to the REDS from Barker.
In todays game both schools had a fair dinkun crack at it, both wore their jerseys with pride, and it was an entertaining game.
Hope all the boys enjoyed their season, until 2019…