My observations from QP1
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.]
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.