8 MAY - NSW Schools Report Card

NSW Rugby Union
by NSW Rugby


Knox Grammar34 v 35 Oashill College
Shore 12 v 48 Waverley College
St Joseph's College 21 v 24 Barker College
The Scots College 3rds 10 v 19 St Aloysius' College
St Pius X College 17 v 60 Trinity Grammar


Knox Grammar 1st XV v Oakhill College 1st XV
34 - 35

By Oscar Nowak Allcorn, Oakhill Y10 Student & Waratah’s Junior Reporter
Photos courtesy of Andrew Bateup

8 May 2021

The faces of the Oakhill men said it all when the full-time whistle was blown, sealing the win against Knox Grammar School with a final score of 34-35 on a day filled with schoolboy rugby between these two great sides.

Knox started the game strong, particularly in the rucks. This caused Oakhill to make a few silly mistakes. Knox was good enough to take advantage of Oakhill’s mistakes, scoring a try in the first 4 minutes of the game. Knox’s center Archie Saunders got the ball from a back play and found a gap in Oakhill’s defence. Saunders ran straight through the hole and scored. The conversion was unsuccessful by fullback Luke Tucker.

The game had a lot of broken play as both teams combined conceded 19 penalties, 12 of them were conceded by Knox. This meant that both teams' backs had a lot of time to perform back plays. Knox loved to pass the ball out to their wingers, which saw the fastest players run through holes. This is how Knox scored most of their 34 points of the game. 

There were some great tackles by individual players on both teams: especially Oakhill’s Patrick Spence, Michael Abdow, Domenico De Stradis, Jett Peters and Knox’s Miles Ball, Tom Goddard and Jack Black. We also saw some great catching from Oakhill’s Angus Griffin and Shayan Dolatshahi from the kick-offs.

Lineouts were a big part of this game, one of which Knox scored from. Knox had a lineout 5 metres from the tryline. They won the lineout and formed a maul. Oakhill had a strong counter maul which forced Knox to use the ball. Knox took the ball from the back of the maul and tried to get the ball over the line. Oakhill’s defence was too good until Jack Black, Knox’s number 3, plowed through his opposition and scored. The conversion made the score 12 - 0. 

Oakhill was extremely good when they kicked off. Oakhill kicked short to restart the game and winger Shayan Dolatshahi successfully contested the ball in the air.  He then ran with the ball all the way to the tryline, he unfortunately got tackled just before the tryline but two phases later Sam Pickard got the ball and scored untouched under the posts. Oakhill’s Brae Harriss converted the try making the score 12 - 7.

Not long after, Oakhill scored an excellent try. A penalty conceded by Knox gave Oakhill the opportunity to kick for touch. The lineout was won by Oakhill and scrum-half Finn Watkins saw a gap in between the lineout and Knox's backline. He sprinited through the gap and 20 meters later he scored. Brae Harriss converted the try again and put Oakhill
in the lead for the first time of the game with a score of 12 - 14.

Oakhill kept their momentum up and it made them very dangerous. Oakhill’s winger Shayan Dolatshahi got the ball and outran Knox’s winger. Dolatshahi then saw a player running straight towards him and Oakhill’s fullback Patrick Spence was calling for the ball. Spence got the ball off Dolatshahi and dragged Knox’s fullback in. Spence then passed the ball to scrum-half Finn Watkins who scored his double of the game. Brae Harris converted the try and made the score 12 - 21.

It was 25 minutes into the first half now and Knox were looking desperate to score before halftime.  

Knox had a lineout 22 meters from the tryline and they had many forwards running the ball once the lineout was won. Phase after phase, Knox’s forwards were smashing into Oakhills defence. After 8 phases, Knox passed the ball out to the backs and center Archie Saunders scored in the corner of the field pushing the score to 17 - 21. 

Knox were desperate to put more points against Oakhill. They were awarded a penalty 40 meters in front of the goal posts and elected to kick for goal, but Luke Tucker missed the kick and the score remained 17 - 21. Minutes later Knox got the ball back. The forwards ran into Oakhill’s defence for 9 phases before they passed the ball out wide to the backs. Winger James Kirk scored in the corner of the field and put Knox back in the lead but by only 1 point. 
Half time score sat on 22-21. 

The second half started out very strong, both teams had a fair bit of intensity and knew that they had to work their heart off all the way to the full time whistle to win the game.

In the first 5 minutes 4 penalties were conceded which allowed Knox early on to use their backline. One of those 4 penalties was conceded by Oakhill. Knox chose a scrum. 2 phases after the scrum, Knox passed the ball out wide to their winger James Kirk who scored in the corner for the second time. The conversion was missed by Archie Saunders. 

At one point of the game the score was 27 - 21 and Oakhill knew that if Knox scored again it would have been very hard to get back into the lead before the final whistle.  Oakhill’s number 9 Finn Watkins found a hole next to a ruck. He ran through the hole and ran 25 meters towards the tryline to score. The successful conversion put Oakhill back in the lead, 27 - 28.

Knox’s dominant game plan, to use their forwards for 5-6 phases and then using their backs, was devastating to Oakhill when executed well, and once again put more points on the board. Knox had the ball in their possession and their forwards were just running straight into Oakhill’s defence.  After 6 phases, number 10 Tom Morrison called for the ball and passed it to their fullback Luke Tucker.  Tucker converted his own try getting the score to 34 - 28 with only 15 minutes left on the clock. 

Minutes later Knox looked like they were going to score again with their forwards smashing Oakhill’s forwards.  This time however, Oakhill won the ball in the ruck centimeters from the tryline preventing Knox from scoring again.

Late in the second half, both teams were kicking the ball to each other trying to gain the territory, Oakhill’s scrum half caught the ball from a kick and faked kicking it back confusing Knox’s players.  He sprinted through the defence and ran for 60 meters but unfortunately got tackled. 

With only 3 more minutes left, Oakhill was running out of time to score. Knox had a lineout 5 meters from their own tryline and Oakhill won the crucial lineout. After 2 phases, Oakhill’s number 10 Doug Sullivan grubber kicked the ball towards the try line, Center Domenico De Stadis caught the ball from a bounce and scored just left to the posts. Brae Harris converted the try and put Oakhill back in the lead 34 - 35 with less than 2 minutes left.

Knox was extremely desperate to get the ball from the kick-off.  They managed to do that and they looked dangerous. Looking for every opportunity to score, they knocked the ball on and Oakhill’s Finn Watkins picked it up and booted it into the grandstands. The referee blew the full time whistle and the faces on the Oakhill boys and supporters said it all. 

The final score was 34 - 35, Oakhill’s Finn Watkins was awarded man of the match by Knox. Knox’s Miles Ball was awarded best forward and Archie Saunders was named best back by Oakhill.