- Brumbies won their second game when they went 14-0 ahead of Victoria in the first 7 minutes
- NSW Country snatched their first win at the end of the game to break WA hearts.
- Sydney Juniors had to beat Qld Whites to get to the final but faded after a 16-0 lead.
- NSW Schools were behind at oranges but class told in the end.
Day 3 was supposed to be Moving Day for the Division I teams. Victoria wanted to move into the winners circle after a skinny loss to the Juniors on Day 1 and almost toppling the Reds, one of the tournament favourites, on Day 2.
It was the same for other teams on zero wins: NSW Country had to step up, and WA who had had a heart-breaker against the Whites on Day 1, had to move on. One of them would: they were playing each other.
The Sydney Juniors wanted to move into the final on Friday and, having bonus points and one win, had only to beat Qld Red to do so. Likewise, undefeated Qld White could progress to get the bikkies if they beat NSW Schools.
Who would make the move on a stinking hot day at Riverview.?
Victoria v Brumbies – by “Lee Grant”
The Brumbies shocked Victoria by running in two tries in 7 minutes. Even without their injured hooker and skipper, Suita Tai, the ACT lads were irrepressible at the start of the game. The Day 2 Eureka Stockade defence of the Victorians against Qld Red had holes.
What happened? Flanker Paragali had made a long break after 5 minutes and soon scrummie Dough had got the ball through hands for the opening try. Not long after the Vics populated a ruck with too many defenders and the raiding ACT backs had too much grass in front of them and not enough tacklers. Try to fullback Hickson.
Centre Evans chipped the conversion over – really chipped it. Whilst the Victorians were huddled under the posts telling each other how crap their defence was, Evans placed the tee 7 metres out in front. It might have been 6.
14-0 Brumbies at 7 minutes. This would be a walkover, but not so fast: after a good Vic scrum 6 minutes later Vic THP Fiu scored – and then a penalty made it 14-8 . Game on !!
Later Vic winger Blake made a break and dished the ball out. Try Victoria !! Not it wasn’t: forward pass. Damn close that. Half time 14-8 Brumbies.
The Brumbies settled with a penalty and a try to no. 8 Leber after a pick and go to make the score 21-8.The Vics had more possession and good real estate after oranges but could not take their chances. Poor ball work did not help. Near the end lock O’Meagher got a try on the blindside after a lot of Vic pressure but it was too late.
Players to watch: Brumbies 9 Douch was electric from a standing start and 14 Laoifi of the Vics, playing fullback, showed again what a good complete footie player he is.
Brumbies – 21 – [Tries: M. Douch, J. Hickson, B. Leber. Conversions: T. Evans (3).]
Victoria – 13 – [ Tries: L. Fiu, D. O'Meagher. Penalty: T. Blake.]
The rest of Day 3 – by “George Smith”
On a much anticipated day with temperatures nudging 30deg and the climax of the preliminary rounds on offer the players put on performances many will not forget for sometime.
In the morning NSW Country took on Western Australia on the main oval while Indigenous played Tasmania on the back oval.
Then followed the main match; Sydney v Queensland Red in what proved to be a blockbuster followed by NSW Schools accounting for Queensland White.
NSW Country v Western Australia
Both sets of Piggies showed the Princesses how to play in the scorching heat. They kept it tight, rarely dropped a ball and rammed each other and still kept running till the end. Conversely, the Princesses in both teams were loathe to pass to each other and when they did invariably dropped the ball with their eyes on the opposition
The game sea-sawed with scoring at both ends of the paddock. Firstly, WA’s No2 Terry Berryman picked the ball from the ruck and dived across the line to score. Country immediately responded with the tearaway locks flowing of the No9, Tommy Sawden who scampered over the line only to be denied by the officials. Drinks were called at ¼ time with no relief from the heat in sight.
Country’s No20, Marcus Hundt scored soon after resumption following what looked painstakingly slow hands to the sideline but an overlap was there. Score 5-5. Soon afterwards Country’s Callum Styles (No10) kicked behind the fast advancing WA backs only for the Marcus Hundt to misjudge the tackle and bounce off the shoulders of a WA defender 3m from the goal line. The clearing kick took play back to halfway for another break. Half time 5-5.
In the second half the Piggies toiled hard without giving any quarter to their opposition. The Princesses continued to drop the ball when any attacking move was happening and the score remained locked for a while until Ingram of WA kicked a penalty for them to lead 8-5.
Near the end Country missed a penalty to tie up the match but from the WA 22 metre drop out Country attacked through hands, but were forced out near the corner. Game over? No; WA knocked on at the lineout and Lapana Vitale (#7) for Country to take the lead for the first time in the match, 10-8. From the sideline Styles kicked a magnificent conversion to make the final score 12-8. It was Country’s first win of the tournament and the lads were happy..
NSW Country – 12 – [Tries: L. Vitale, Marcus Hundt. Conversion: C. Styles.]
Western Australia – 8 – [Try 2: Perryman. Penalty: T. Ingram.]
Sydney Juniors v Queensland Reds
In a game that resembled an old fashioned grand final with both teams trying to bash, crash and blast their opposites off the paddock the ref decided to calm things down. After going to his pocket 3 times for high tackles (Qld 2) and not releasing the player (NSW 1) both teams didn’t ease off.
Sydney were determined to play in the finals the next day but to do so had to account for the top team from Queensland. Their determination and execution was ‘on song’. Lineouts were copy book, passes were clean and running was straight resulting in 2 unanswered tries. The teams gratefully jogged to their drink stations with the half time score 16-0 Sydney.
In the second half Queensland were running with the breeze and the sun behind them. After 10 minutes had elapsed and still no further score Coach Rivers brought on his reserves that coincided with a turning point in the game. A lineout was lost for a crooked throw and some luck to Queensland in another lineout saw the momentum switch markedly. Queensland scored 2 tries in 10minutes and the score was now 16-16.
Rivers brought back his starting 15 and Sydney worked their way back up-field to score out wide. The conversion hit the upright from Dave Smerdon and Queensland responded magnificently with a pie. With 3 minutes to go the teams were locked at 21 apiece. Sydney were attacking and refused to take the points in front but rather a quick tap by Nic Clancy that resulted in nothing and the crowd was yelling.
Another penalty to Sydney further out and this time elected to get the points but the kick was pulled left. Scores were still 21-21 with a minute left. Play was getting to a standstill with neither team allowing a break. With seconds remaining Queensland now had a penalty 40m out and in front with the wind behind them. Joe Simpkins (No10) guided the ball high and straight and Queensland emerged victors 24-21 with both teams at a standstill.
Queensland Red – 24 – [Tries: R. Green, M. Jones, H. Devine. Conversions: M. Mason (3). Penalty: Mason.]
Sydney Juniors – 21 – [Tries: G. Lehmann, L. Burland. Conversion: D. Smerdon. Penalties: Burland (3).]
NSW Schools v Queensland White
The last game of the day was an anti-climax after the previous blockbuster. Schools played to their high standard and used the wind and sun to advantage in the first half. James Kane (No15) used his huge left boot to continually turn Queensland Whites behind. But the Whites never gave up.
Running into the sun and the wind really had an affect today. The sun was piercing and only very good footy or enterprising endeavor allowed you to get to your goal line. Which is what the Whites did. They kept coming back at Schools and never allowed them to settle into a dominant pattern.
Qld Whites went into the break 10-5 ahead and the crowd was wondering if another upset was on the cards. But Schools found their composure after the break. The piggies gained dominance at the breakdown which allowed the fancy Princesses time and space to work their magic. Hutchinson (no13) again showed he had the uncanny ability to be in the right place and scored another pie to his huge tally this tournament. Billy Freeman (No11) also scored a well deserved pie and Schools amassed a final score line without any real effort to secure a finals berth tomorrow with a winning 32-17 score line.
NSW Schools – 32 – [Tries: H. Summerhayes, J. Walker, W. Freeman, H. Hutchinson, A. Crichton. Conversions:J. Kane (2). Penalty: Kane.]
Queensland White – 17 – [Tries: I. Perese, G. Luka. Conversions: M. Marsden (2). Penalty: E. Pilz.]
National Indigenous -107 – [Tries: S. Pierce (4), M. Doolan (3), C. Watson (2), D. Carriage (2), L. Snowball, F. Muhamed, J. Widders-Leece, J. Long, B. Milgate, I. Huet. Conversions: Doolan (8), Pierce, Long, T. Clarke.]
Tasmania – 3 – [Penalty: N. Singh.]
South Australia – 22 – [Tries: J. Hangood, B. Edmonds, E. Robbins. Conversions: M. Marshall (2).]
Northern Territory – 10 – [R. Butterworth, J. Lim.]
Division I – Final Day
9am – 7th/8th – Western Australia v Victoria – Oval 1
10am – 3rd/4thh – Queensland White v Brumbies – Oval 2
11.20am – 5th/6th – NSW Country v Sydney Juniors – Oval 2
11.40am – 1st/2nd- NSW Schools – Queensland Red – Oval 1
8.45am – Northern Territory v Tasmania – Oval 2
10.20 – South Australia v National Indigenous – Oval 1
[Don't miss this game – you will see some attacking rugby.]