Saturday afternoon saw the stage set for an epic school boy rivalry in a winner take all final round of the AGPS Rugby between top of the table schools St Joseph’s College and Scots College.
Thousands packed the hill and there was no room to spare as these rivals went head to head, with home side Joey’s walking away with the title after 25-5 win.
While the stand was filled with a sea of blue, the whole Joey’s school turning out in support, the opposing field equally saw plenty of yellow and bagpipes to cheer on the boys from the east.
After nine rounds of GPS rugby, it all came down to this one match, both sides in solid form and eager to send their graduating students off in style.
Joey’s Director of Rugby, Andrew Blades, said today’s win in front of their current students, family, friends and Old Boys, capped off a stellar season for the first XV.
“I’m really happy with all the boys. The guys were very sore at the end of the season and we took a few guys in with injuries but they really gutsed it out,” he said.
“That was a very tough second half, Scots really came at us so very proud of the boys and their efforts.
This is such a prestigious tournament. To be decided against Scots, with such good players, it will be something the guys will remember for a long time.
“We have had a really good season and the guys have trained extremely hard. They are incredibly close bunch of guys, they’ll remember this for years to come and when they catch up in the future they’ll talk about this game.
“Scots have been the benchmark in the first XV for the last ten years so to have this as a grand final you couldn’t have asked for a better way to finish the year off,” said Blades.
Joeys took control of the game from the outset and dominating the first forty minutes to set up a handy lead at half time.
But Scots cheer squad were not about to let their side go down without a fight, the Scotsmen coming out firing in second half to take it to Joeys.
A cohesive Joeys side though proved too strong in their defence, keeping Scots to just one try and steaming home three trys to one and jagging two penalty goals to claim the win and the 2019 title.
ST JOSEPHS 25 SCOTS 5
Joeys: Tries Moretti Chan Kanaan Goals Gibbs 2 Pen Goals Gibbs 2
Scots: Try Wong
Watch the whole match from the top of the table clash between St Gregory's College and St Augustine's College.
ST GREGORY'S COLLEGE
1. Khan Jarrett
2. Sam Cantwell
3. Sam Waqabaca
4. Angus Rochester
5. Daniel Brennan
6. Archie Allen
7. Harry Lane
8. Nicholas Alcorn
9. Joe Ward
10. Lachlan McGrady
11. Sam Cramp
12. Charlie Lennon
13. Paul Grove
14. Jack Hartnett
15. Sam Sheahan
ST AUGUSTINE'S COLLEGE
1. Josh Blank
2. Benji Dines
3. Harry Herbert
4. Mitch Painter
5. Tom Douglas
6. Ed Sproule
7. Zac Barnabas (c)
8. Langi Gleeson
9. Lachlan Cruickshank
10. Daniel O'Donnell
11. Angus O'Donnell
12. Connor Lind
13. Benji Gallacher
14. James Lewis
15. Nathan Gartner
16. Liam Hazell
17. Sam Eden
18. Jack Reddy
19. Finn van Lathum
20. Zach Telfer
21. Tom Morrison
22. Josh Menzies
KINROSS WOLAROI SCHOOL 1ST XV VS OAKHILL COLLEGE 1ST XV
By Oscar Nowak Allcorn, Oakhill Y8 Student & NSW Rugby Junior Reporter
“That game will not be forgotten,” said the Oakhill men in the changing rooms. The snow just kept coming and the temperature in Orange was 0°C but felt like -5°C. All games were called off except the important one, the 1st XV fixture between the host Kinross Wolaroi School and Oakhill College. This game was also very important to both teams especially to Kinross as they were raising awareness for the Nick Tooth Foundation. The Nick Tooth Foundation is focused on raising awareness of sports-related brain injury and supporting the well-being of the rugby community.
At 1:00 pm Kinross kicked to Oakhill to start the game. The wet and cold conditions were hard to handle with Oakhill knocking on the ball from the kick-off. Kinross had the first scrum feed. Both teams knew that this game would be filled with scrums due to the conditions. Kinross’s backs got the ball and grubber kicked it towards the try line. The ball skidded on the slippery snow across the try line making it easy to be grounded by Kinross.
Only a few minutes later Oakhill had the ball in their hands but not for long as Kinross’s number 4 Hugh Mclntyre read Oakhill’s play and intercepted the ball. McIntyre sprinted 50 metres to score an easy try.
Oakhill pushed Kinross deep into their half. Oakhill knocked on 5 meters from the try line. The ball was fed into the scrum. As he picked up the ball at the back of the scrum, Kinross’s number 9 Nick Hey-McKenzie slipped on the snow and lost the ball. The loose ball bounced across the try line. Oakhill’s quick action flanker Sam Pickard broke off the scrum and dived for the ball. The referee awarded the try to Oakhill. A few minutes later Sam Pickard scored another try for Oakhill.
Half time score was 22-19 Kinross way.
Oakhill kicked to Kinross to start the second half. Oakhill was awarded a penalty for Kinross being offside near the 22. Oakhill elected to shoot for a penalty goal. Oakhill’s captain Flynn Angles-Corke’s kick was successful and levelled the score at 22 all.
Driven by strong winds the snow kept falling onto the field, making the ball difficult for both teams to control and resulting in a very high error count. Oakhill’s hooker Brandon Moore said after the game that the ball had ice on it, which made it extremely hard to throw straight in the line outs.
Twenty minutes into the second half Kinross scored from their scrum feed 10 metres from the try line. Their no 8 Ben Bellamy picked up the ball and broke through Oakhill’s defensive line. He was tackled but it was too close to the try line for Oakhill to stop him grounding the ball. The converted try took the score to a 29-22.
Oakhill gave away a crucial penalty 20 metres out from the posts with only 4 minutes left in the game. The successful penalty goal taking the score to 32-22.
The referee called full time giving Kinross a win. Both teams played very well given the extreme weather conditions. After shaking hands both teams sprinted to the sheds to warm up under hot showers.
At the post-match function, Oakhill nominated Kinross’s no 8 Ben Bellamy best forward and no 15 Alex Brien best back.
Kinross gave the best player to no 4 Jack Axam.
Oakhill voted Sam Pickard as their Players’ Player.