Oakhill College 1st XV v Shore 1st XV
21 - 19
By Oscar Nowak Allcorn, Oakhill Y10 Student & Waratah’s Junior Reporter
Photos courtesy of Michael Remaili
24 April 2021
It was a spectacular day for playing schoolboy rugby down at Oakhill College’s Damien Oval. Oakhill College’s 1st XV and Shore’s 1st XV teams walked together onto the field in a tunnel made by both Oakhill and Shore for a 1 minute silence along with the last post to commemorate ANZAC Day.
In what will be remembered as one of the most entertaining games of schoolboy rugby, the stars for both sides produced champagne football in a very entertaining game that produced nail-biting moments as Oakhill prevailed 21-19 over Shore.
Shore started the game strong, showing a lot of intensity towards Oakhill’s defence. But Oakhill also displaying a far bit of intensity, maybe a bit too much as Oakhill’s number 8 Cooper Griffin was yellow carded within the first 2 minutes of the game for tackling a player and lifting him above the horizontal. A few minutes later Shore’s hooker Hamish Mackenzie joined Cooper Griffin in the sin bin as he was also yellow carded - punished for foul play.
Oakhill’s discipline played a big factor in the way the game unfolded: conceding 16 penalties whilst Shore only conceded 5 throughout the game. Although the scrums were a bit more balanced as Shore won 6 out of the 11 scrums throughout the game. But, having said that, Oakhill’s defence was exceptional. For the first 15 minutes of the game Shore was trying everything to score and while they got very close to the tryline many times, Oakhill managed to somehow stopped them.
Michael Abdow contributed greatly to Oakhill’s win. He made 5 line breaks and 3 of them gained 40 metres for Oakhill. He also made some fantastic tackles. One of these tackles made one of Shore's players go off the field with an injury.
After the first 15 minutes of the game, Shore lost some of the intensity they started with and it cost them points. Shore conceded penalty on their 22. Oakhill chose to tap and go instead of kicking for goal. Oakhill’s forwards ran with the ball for 3 phases and then spread the ball out wide to the outside centre Cooper Angles-Corke. By the time the ball got to him he was only 5 metres from the try line and his momentum drove him over the try line to give Oakhill the first points of the match. Winger Brae Harris converted the try.
After their try, Oakhill’s discipline was quite poor, conceding 3 penalties in the space of 4 minutes. One of them was for talking back to the referee resulting in Shore gaining extra 10 metres. Phases after phases, penalty after penalty, Shore was getting very close to the try line. Shore had a scrum 10 meters from the tryline. Their number 8 Charlie Moses picked the ball off the back of the scrum and ran towards the tryline but got tackled meters from it. Three phases later Shore finally got their first points when prop Nathan Le Maitre scored. Lachie Thorpe converted the try and the score sat at 7-7 going into half time.
The second half was truly entertaining and nerve racking. Both teams came into the second half with a lot of determination. Shore took the early lead in the second half scoring in the first 5 minutes. Phase after phase, pushing through Oakhill’s defence and trying to get meters with every run, Shore’s forwards finally got the ball over the line and the referee awarded the try. Number 7 Lachie Thorpe converted the try and the scoreboard read 7-14.
The forth yellow card was given out to Oakhill 10 minutes into the second half to back rower Lachlan Wood. Oakhill was now 1 man short and Shore was once again very close to the try line. Oakhill conceded a penalty 5 meters out from the tryline but it was next to the sideline. Shore’s winger Will Klem got the ball from the scrum and just scored in the corner of the field before being tackled out by Oakhill. The conversion was unsuccessful. With 16 minutes gone in the second half, Shore was gaining a lead on Oakhill with the score sitting at 7-19.
After Shore’s try, Oakhill’s momentum picked up. Center Michael Abdow made a linebreak breaking through 3 tackles but the ball was lost to Shore in the ruck. Shore spread the ball to their winger Banjo Cole. He ran along the sideline for 40 metres before getting tackled by Cooper Angles-Corke. Cole lost the ball in the tackle and Oakhill’s full back picked it up, broke through 2 tackles and sprinted all the way under the post scoring for Oakhill. Brae Harriss converted the try and Oakhill was just trailing Shore 14-19.
Following the try, Oakhill continued to build their momentum and focus, keeping a close eye on the time on the scoreboard, trying to find and execute every opportunity they saw. With only 7 minutes left in the game and the ball in Oakhill’s half on their 40 meter line, Number 9 Hunter Hosking passed the ball to full back Finn Watkins who ran for 10 meters dragging in Shores' winger. Watkins then passed the ball to winger Shayan Dolatshahi who had no one in front of him as he sprinted 50 meters before scoring for Oakhill. The score sat at 19-19 before the conversion. Brae Harriss had to kick the conversion from the sideline and many people were on the edge of their seats. Harriss’ kick had the hight, the distance and the accuracy making the conversion successful and putting Oakhill in the lead with only 5 minutes of the game left.
The score was sitting on 21-19 and Oakhill had possession of the ball. They were eyeing down the scoreboard waiting for it to pass 35 minutes. Once it did, Oakhill kicked the ball into touch. Everyone thought they won the game, until the referee called out the lineout because he wasn’t going by the scoreboard clock but by his clock. Oakhill was extremely disappointed particularly considering that they have just given Shore a line out 40 meters from the tryline and any penalty conceded by Oakhill could end up with Shore kicking for goal and winning the game. As the lineout happened, everyone in the crowd was on the edge of their seats. But Oakhill’s back rower Angus Griffin won the lineout for Oakhill. Oakhill just wanted to hold onto the ball and get it into the Shore half of the field but the referee gave a penalty against Oakhill. Shore elected to kick for goal. Shore’s Lachie Thorpe set up the ball on the tee 40 meters front-on with the goal posts. He kicked and the ball drifted off to the left and came up short. Oakhill coughed the ball and the referee played on.
At this point Oakhill had possession of the ball 5 meters from their own tryline. But after 4 phases the referee gave another penalty away and yellow carded Oakhill’s Angus Griffin for talking back to the referee. It was well over full time now and whether they made the goal or not it would be the last play. Shore’s Lachie Thorpe set the ball and the tee up for the 5th time, but this time he was 20 meters far and 15 meters wide from the goal posts. He kicked it and the ball went too far left and Oakhill won the game. The final score was 21-19.
The nail-biting finish was spectacular to watch. After the match, both teams exchanged best players. For Oakhill, best back was Cooper Angles-Corke and best forward was Jayden Moujalli. For Shore, best back was Tom Klem and best forward was Nathan Le Maitre.