- NSW is emerging as the top team after Victoria scared Queensland Red. Queensland White will have to lift to bother them on Day 3.
- Despite losing, Sydney Juniors could still top Pool B if they beat Qld Red because they have earned 2 bonus points.
- Though they have lost both games so far, Victoria will give the Brumbies a tough game.
Day 2 is usually the day of upsets in Division I. One happened and another nearly did.
Sydney Juniors were favoured to beat the Brumbies but the ACT lads had performed well in the first half against Qld Red the day before and the Juniors had a skinny win against Victoria.
Queensland White would have lost on Day 1 had WA slotted a long penalty late in the match. They had a point to prove, whilst NSW Country were keen to atone for a disappointing performance against NSW Schools.
Victoria and WA impressed on Day 1 but could they upset the top seeded teams NSW Schools and Qld Red? Unlikely, but you never know.
Sydney Juniors v Brumbies – by “George Smith”
The Brumbies took the game to Sydney this morning and came away with a well deserved win. The game was tough and close with several game critical moments. The loss to Sydney a few weeks ago meant nothing to the Brumbies with 5 new players who added speed and straightness to their attack.
Apparently the match officials last night had been talking about team discipline and yellow cards on day 1. Maybe it was this discussion, or just what the ref saw in front of him, but either way he hammered the Sydney team for offside around the rucks and mauls which did not allow them to get any consistency or momentum. Brumbies took advantage of this and were able to kept themselves within 8 points of Sydney at oranges.
With the half time score just 20-12 to the Juniors, the Brumbies ran on for the second half with self-confidence and resolve. Sydney’s coach Rivers confused the team’s supporters on the bank by moving captain and tearaway flanker, Connor Menzies to the left wing and bringing on his subs, as though thinking his team would run away with the game.
Were the Brumbies about to score an upset? Cards to the Juniors helped their cause: flanker Burkett got his second yellow card in as many games for not knowing the law at the breakdown and star fullback Nic Clancy got one for, apparently, too many team indiscretions.
The Brumbies’ backs now had the space they were deprived of in the first half. They quickly scored 3 unanswered tries to put the game and the supporters in a lather with the score 29-20. The next turning point came when Brumbies captain and hooker, Suita Tai, left the field in considerable pain and shortly later his flyhalf Jordan Hope was yellow carded for a dangerous tackle.
Sydney were coming back at the nervous Brumbies, who gave careless penalties away as the game was ending. With a few minutes left Jack Clancy (flyhalf) found twin brother Nic (fullback) running straight, to score near the posts. With the Sydney team rushing back for the restart the conversion missed and an anxious last few minutes was played out without score but with much enthusiasm from both teams!
Final whistle and Brumbies won 29-25. Well done.
Players to watch
Brumbies - 29 – [Tries: F. Sione, V. Fangaiuiha, T. Lomax, M. Dough, E. Jones. Conversions: T. Evans, T. Olsson.]
Sydney Juniors – 25 – [Tries: J. Clancy (2), N. Clancy, S. Blair. Conversion: J. Clancy. Penalty: J. Clancy.]
NSW Country v Queensland White – by “Hugh Jarse”
13 Perese opened the White score with a try after less than a minute but then Qld White seemed to go into cruise control. Country took control of the ball for extended periods of the opening stanza, but like yesterday they lacked the knockout punch needed to break the tenacious Qld defence line.
At 17 minutes Perese went over for his 2nd try but to Country’s credit, the scoreline didn’t change before oranges even though their captain had a spell in the bin . Half-time score – Qld White 14 – NSW Country 0.
Country still couldn’t pierce the Red defence and at 11 minutes Qld winger Marsden made things worse for them by scoring an intercept try. At 20 minutes their other winger, Kemp, stepped around several tacklers for another. The leaders had doubled their half-time score and it was 28-0 Qld White.
Then just before the final bell the staunch Qld defence was finally broken when Victorian THP Sedgman went over from close range to score Country’s first points of the tournament. Final score: Qld White 28 Country 7.
Queensland White defended like Trojans and scored when they had to, but were too indisciplined at the ruck and maul. Their best were: 22 Vandenberg, 13, Perese, 14. Marsden, 6. Brown, and 8. Laxon..
NSW Country had enough pill and good positions on the field to win 4 games but lacked the ability to do so. Though they never gave up trying to score more tries they made too many mistakes from relentless Qld White pressure and their intelligent drifting defence to get over the line more than once. Country’s best were: 9. Sawden, 2. Wilkinson, 5. Bonnin and 8. Houi.
Queensland White – 28 – [Tries: I. Perese (2), M. Marsden, T. Kemp. Conversions: ; Marsden (3), N. Russell.]
NSW Country – 7 – [Try: Sedgman. Conversion: Styles.]
Queensland Red v Victoria – by “Newbie”
The Queenslanders had the lion’s share of possession and field position for the first 20 minutes of the game helped by Victorian ill-discipline at the breakdown. They had chances to score early points but kept dropping the ball because of crunching Vic defence. Victoria were willing to move the ball wide and looked dangerous when they got possession, but the Queensland defence held.
At 20 minutes centre Pritchard scored when played was switched wide after winger Hussey had made a 40 metre break – 5-0 Reds
Queensland made silly errors which gave Victoria some decent possession in the Queensland half. Two minutes before half time Vic 9. Euse ran with the ball from a ruck 40 metres out and dashed 25 metres down field. After some controlled forward play hooker Tuigamala dotted down.
Half time score 5-5 – a sniff of an upset was in the air.
Like yesterday against Sydney Juniors the Victorian coaching staff must have revved up their team at the break because the third quarter of the game was a reversal of what happened in the first half. Qld Red began conceding all the penalties- but Victoria were unsuccessful kicking for goal.
At 25 minutes after repeated raids by Victoria, winger Blake eventually slotted one to make the score- 8-5 Victoria. The Victorian supporters became very vocal as the sniff of victory was starting to become a reality.
To their credit, Queensland switched on with 5 minutes to go and their forward pack went into into overdrive. Near the halfway line they provided good ball for winger Hussey to make another scintillating 40m break down the left flank. He chipped ahead when the cover closed in and Vic fullback Lemalu was forced to ground the ball in-goal. 5 metre scrum Queensland.
Several rucks later Red flyhalf Mason scooted to the blindside and scored Queensland’s second try of the game. The difficult conversion hit the post; so the score remained 10-8 Reds with 3 minutes to go.
After the restart Queensland, now in fifth gear, easily crossed into the Victorian half and got to the Victorian 5m line. Victoria infringed at the ruck and Queensland 9. Tuttle slotted an easy penalty goal, Queensland wound the game down after they fielded the restart again and the game ended at Qld Red 13 – Victoria 8.
Congratulations to the Victorian team for almost creating the biggest upset of the tournament. They were a credit to themselves and their state. But for the individual brilliance of certain Queensland players they would have gotten the lollies!
Queensland Red – 13 – [Tries: C. Pritchard, M. Mason. Penalty: J. Tuttle.]
Victoria – 8 – [Try: F. Tuigamala. Penalty: T. Blake.]
NSW Schools v Western Australia – by “Hugh Jarse”
It was obvious that the NSW Schools management watched WA yesterday, because what appeared to be their top lineup ran on behind Captain 8. Crichton to take on their Western Australian Opponents in the final match of the day on Oval 1.
First half3 minutes #14 Fittock try, unconverted (5-0)7 minutes #14 Fittock try, unconverted (10-0)15 Minutes WA forward pack ? held up over the line.17 Minutes #23 Cohen Try (15-0)22 Minutes #13 Hutchinson Try, #22 McGregor Conversion (22-0)26 Minutes #23 WA Ingram Penalty (22-3)30 minutes #12 Calugay Try, #22 Mcgregor Conversion (27 -3)
Second half5 minutes #11 WA Billington Try, unconverted (27-8)12 minutes #17 Davidson Try, #22 McGregor Conversion (35-8)18 minutes #7 Moore or #6 Walker held up across the line 20 minutes #13 Hutchinson Try, # 22 McGregor Conversion (43-8)Injury Time #13 Hutchinson Try unconverted (48-8)
To sum up this game, NSW Schools showed that the day 1 scoreline was no fluke. In doing so they have installed themselves as the Title favourites and have all but guaranteed that #13 Hutchinson will be the top try scored in the tournament with 6 meat pies already.
They were too fast, too precise and too fit, scoring at will with tries coming from all over the park: From the displays of individually brilliance from 14. Fittock’s chip and regather from deep in defence to close in efforts, from deep on defence, to a cheeky re-steal of a WA steal under the posts. No matter what WA threw at the Schools, they were able to absorb the pressure and invariable counter attack with precision and speed.
The foundation of this victory was the loose forward wolf pack of #8. Crichton, #6. Walker, and #7 Moore, ably supported by #4 Summerhays and #5 Lough, when he was on. While none of the Wolf Pack troubled the scorer, at least one or other, or all of them had a major part in the lead up to nearly all the tries. The loose forward domination laid a platform for the backs to exploit opportunities at will.
The scoreline did not do justice to the efforts of the WA boys, particularly as their forward pack won the scrum battle with #3 Schneider troubling his opponent all day. It was a little surprising that the attacking rolling maul that was used so effectively on day 1 was nowhere to be seen. This could have been useful.
The WA piggies made good yardage at times and even crossed the line once but were held up. Unfortunately execution errors were severely penalised either with a long range try or significant loss of ground. The last thing that a tired forward wants to see as they pick themselves up off the ground it that the ball is 50 – 60 metres down field and for the WA Boys this happened far too often, sapping morale.
The match was very physical and draining under the afternoon sun. Both teams will know that they played a tough game, the physios may be busy tonight and the lads will be looking forward to tomorrows rest day.
NSW Schools – 48 – [Tries: H. Hutchison (3), J. Fittock (2), F. Calugay, M. Cohen, C. Davidson. Conversions: J. McGregor (4).]
Western Australia – 8 – [Try: J. Billington. Penalty: T. Ingram.]
South Australia v Tasmania
SA looked like they could put on a big score but Tasmania steadied and looked dangerous to come back to 8-10. The Tassies were beaten but were not disgraced and showed improvement from previous years.
There were some promising players from both teams. If some of them had the training available from big rugby schools they would fitted into right into Division I teams.
South Australia – 28 – [W. Marschallek, R. Gurd, J. Astle, K. Ladhams, J. Santucci. Penalty: J. Hawgood.]
Tasmania – 13 – [Tries - C. Lyall, D. du Plessis. Penalty: C. Wilson]
National Indigenous – 45 – [M. Doplan (3), C. Watson (2), D. Carriage, F. Muhammed. Conversions: Doplan (5).]
Northern Territory – 3 – [Penalty: J. Lim.]