Random observations from Knox and Trinity. I'm told Trinity did print a program, but they must have hidden them all as I only saw one all day, from a distance, and the guy who had it wasn't letting it go. So I don't know all the players - not that it would have helped much, as there weren't all that many starters on the field at the end. The whole Knox pack was great - tough, hardworking, fast. They dominated the set piece, turned over lots of ball at the breakdown, and were ruthlessly efficient when they got into Trinity's 22. Cheal went into the game with a knee brace and didn't last long. The backs produced some good play, especially two long distance tries, one of which went the length of the field. Rechner did absolutely nothing wrong but had a quiet game, I thought. Trinity scrapped hard but lost Vuki in the first half. Hawkes got through a mountain of work but bends the line rather than breaking it. Trinity produced some very good phases but make too many mistakes under pressure, and especially in the first half Knox harried them whenever they had the ball - there were lots of mistakes in possession. Whoever replaced Vuki and went to full back is a livewire, and often beat the first defender. I think it ended 46-19 (hard to be sure because the scoreboard went haywire), which was a fair result.
So I make it:
everyone else 2
which means that if Barker wins one more, they're at least joint premiers. If they lose to both Waverley and Knox, Knox could still win outright.
First thing of interest was in the Waverley Program they had a Prep School 1st XV pic, farewelling this year's Year 12 ... and 2 kids O'Reilly and Kourembanas were in fact at Waverley in the junior school .. not that that was a surprise
What was a surprise is I heard than Waverley's 12 (Lathan) had left the school ... so his departure was at least part of the reason, why Waverley had a new look team
Look not my place to comment on kids leaving, staying whatever ... but certainly my understanding was that he was a billeted Roosters kid ... so whether that puts a future question mark, on such enrolments ... who is to know ... not even sure how a school would know such a thing ... assuming it is even correct
anyways whatever the reason ... Lathan's departure proved (today) a blessing .. Di Bartolo stepped into the 10 jersey ... and in my estimation he is a more natural 10 ... so Volkman moved to 12, where certainly the CAS selectors thought him better suited
anyway the game started with Waverley's 10 throwing a long cut out pass ... and it was gobbled up by Cranners 13 (Taylor)
who ran more a less the length of the field ... for Cranbrook's first try.
So you might have thought yikes ... wheels about to fall off ... and maybe Di Bartolo was not the solution to getting the backs going. However that would not be the conclusion at the end of the match.... one mistake doesn't seal your fate.
Waverley bounced back and the young guns ultimately did the job ...in what was a pretty good arm wrestle ... albeit punctuated by a few schoolboy errors
In any event my prediction was proved right .. with a clean sweep in Opens, and pretty dominant results across the age groups.
So obviously Waverley ended up winning 27-19 ... even if Cranbrook certainly never gave up the fight... and showed good character. [I think they lost one of their second rowers relatively early, and they didn't have too much luck... you would have to say.]
My points Cranbrook
Jacob Taylor ...Don't think that is very contentious. Quite apart from his solo intercept try, he always looked dangerous, and would have to be Brook's best player in attack and defence
Alex O'Reilly ... nothing to do with his being ex Waverley ... but he has sure filled out, and was Brook's best forward. Followed closely by the whole front row ... who have a quality hooker and 2 big props.
Tas Smith ... he probably looked like he was outplayed by his opposing number, however he didn't get the same amount of possession, and he is a great player. Good pass, good in attack and defence.
Also impressed that Darcy White Cranbrook's diminutive 14 proved me wrong , re his defence. He was marking Jordan Swann, who is massive ... and Darcy's defence was excellent. I think any previously imagined defensive issues were probably more about Knox's Ollie Evans illusiveness.
The 9/10 combo ... Thorn and Di Bartolo. You'd have to stick with this duo.
Someone joked than Lathan H-Waters hadn't passed in 2 years .. and it felt true. These 2 worked great and with Volkman (12), they had the backline humming.
Patrick Kite (14) .. awesome try in the corner ... and always dangerous in attack.
Alex Rice ... great captains knock ... and not sure why he left Scots, but Waverley has proved a good fit ... at least in my estimation.
Also impressed but no point was Fagan (13) .. always nice to see someone back from a tough run with knee injuries ... but he looked good ... and is an unselfish player.
got there too see a bit of the 2s. just think brook were outclassed by a better opposition. not much to say about it, waves certainly are the strongest in that comp.
SDW said it best about the 1s. really happy for the waves lads that they were able to grab a victory. some great go-forward from their tight 5, and set piece (which has been a weakness for them this year) was solid.