From the Convenor of Rugby, John McCoy
1st XV Match Report – Waverley College Vs Knox Grammar School
The stage was set for one of the biggest rounds of schoolboy rugby in Australia. Crowds flocked to Queens Park in their hundreds to witness the finale of the CAS season. The season had provided it all, entertainment, heartache, and with the CAS title still up for grabs, the audience was hoping for fairytale finish.
Waverley kicked off into the breeze, and as the ball was collected by Knox Grammar, Brooklyn Hardaker put his mark on the match by making a strong tackle and forcing an early turnover. Waverley were in an attacking position early on with the crowds well and truly behind the Double V.
A penalty was awarded and Ben Donaldson elected to take the points, only to miss near the uprights. Waverley held and used the ball so well early, starving Knox of possession and not allowing Knox to win any ball at the lineouts. The early nerves were quickly alleviated as Lachlan Wallace backed up nicely to go in for the first try.
Seven points soon became 14, as Donaldson shaped to give an inside ball to big Finn Wright, who drew two defenders and allowed his skipper to go in under the posts. Knox were not able to secure any ball, and were making a number of tackles at the same time.
Knox finally secured some possession near the Waverley line when Donaldson took a magic intercept, only to be called back for a penalty. A potential three try lead was reduced to one, as Knox went over from a well-constructed driving maul.
Waverley continued to use the ball well, after repeatedly stealing Knox possession at the lineout through great work by Ellis and Whiteman. The Waves really looked to attack close to the ruck, as the Wahroonga visitors were not committing many bodies to the breakdown. This was an effective set up as it made easy metres and attracted defenders towards the ruck.
A nice darting run by Hardaker, followed by a pop to Liam Cornish put Waverley back in a point-scoring position. Joel Ellis, as he had all season, was able to find another gap just to the side of the ruck to plant the ball down. Waverley were running away with it, as the scoreboard hit 21-5.
When Finn Wright made another charge off the kickoff – a move the Waverley crowds had got to know very well over his three years of service to the 1st XV – Waverley again had Knox on the ropes. A couple of flashy pick and drives by McCormack and Johnston drew defenders in, and left room out wide for Cornish to go in on the left edge. At halftime, Waverley College had scored 26 points to Knox Grammar’s five.
After the break, Knox came out with clear intentions to go for the win. The boys in blue & black significantly improved their use of the ball in the second half. At the same time Waverley started making simple errors and a lapse in discipline had them down to 14 men.
It was Daniel Andrews who made a massive one-on-one tackle on the very talented Knox fullback, but this was not enough to keep the visiting side out. Another try was added to the Knox total soon after this and the scoreboard was now reading 26-17, with 20 minutes remaining on the clock.
From the kickoff, the Double V picked up again and would not let the Knox side out of the half. Eventually a turnover was forced and Andrews slipped through to put Waverley right on the Knox line again. The turn of speed from Hardaker was just too hard for Knox to manage, with Brookie slamming the ball down near the right upright.
That man Donaldson glided through the Knox defensive line once more, looking very similar to former Wallaby great Steve Larkham. An offload to his left found Daniel Andrews who was well rewarded with a try for his tremendous contribution in front of the large crowds. This just about sealed the win for the Waves, but there was still plenty of fun to be had.
A perfect offload from Liam Cornish put Joel Ellis into space. Joel took off like Usain Bolt in the 100m, ran straight around the fullback and raised his arm to the adoring Queens Park fans. This would be the final try for the 2017 CAS season.
When the final whistle blew, hundreds flooded the fields to embrace their heroes. The tears flowed on the turf of QP1 – some of joy, some of fulfillment and some who were upset that this incredible adventure was all over. As the ‘Custard Pie’ roared across Death Valley, the 2017 CAS title had been decided – the Henry Plume Shield would remain at Birrell St for the next 12 months. And with that, the next generation of Waverlians inspired.
Around the Grounds
The 2nd XV capped off a successful year with a 22-10 victory, to go through undefeated as CAS Champions. This was the first 2nd XV title which Waverley College had won since 2003. Captain Rayner controlled the game so well at fly half and Jacob Tomasiello was electric on the wing. Billy Cam, Daniel Szabo and Josh Weinstein were everywhere on the field. Congratulations to a great team on a well-deserved premiership, this group was a big reason the 1st XV were so successful.
The 3rd XV shared the title for the third consecutive year, as they were able to secure a big win. Mark Brown gave an inspirational speech to his troops before leading his team onto the field. Every player in the side made tremendous contributions in a very entertaining match and Mr Frost was able to add another CAS premiership to his long list of 3rd XV CAS titles.
The 4th XV made it a clean sweep for our Opens, which was the first time this has happened in a number of years against Knox Grammar. Harrison Keir reached out to score a classic try in the 17-14 win. An excellent send off for a great bunch of Year 12 students.
The 16A team were unable to match a very strong Knox Grammar side, defeated 36-0. The 16A team can hold their heads high, as they improved from a season where they had not won a CAS match, to a season where they had two victories and a draw. A fantastic effort. Unfortunately, an unnecessary tackle on Patrick Kite forced him off the field with an elbow injury. We wish Pat all the best with the recovery.
The 16B team managed to easily put away Knox, 28-0, to take out the 16B CAS premiership. This side played an exciting brand of rugby as the ball went through the hands magically. Harry Karakatsanis was a standout, making some excellent runs and scoring a nice try down the left sideline.
The 16C team just scraped home 14-12, to make them the most dominant 16Cs side in the CAS.
The 16D team started off the day on QP1 and fell just one try short, with Carl Torrisi having his best performance of the season.
The 15A team came up against another strong side, who needed plenty of luck to get over the Waverley side. A nice try by Hunter Keyes-Ahern was not enough to get his side home, as they lost by 2 points. Congratulations to Coach Lachlan Drew-Morris who was able to give this side plenty of belief throughout the season.
After leading by 12 points the Knox 15B team ran down the Waverley side to get up 21-17. While this was heartbreaking, a big congratulation must go to the 15B side who never gave up throughout the season.
The 15C team managed to win their CAS premiership by defeating Knox, 26-22, as did the 15D team who had a 41-17 victory. Thanks to all those players in the 15C and 15D teams who always backed up for each other each week.
The 14A team enjoyed a courageous 26-12 win on Knox 1, to take out the CAS Premiership. This team has not had a loss in two seasons of CAS rugby, which is a credit to all players involved. For the record, the 14As scored 241 points in the season and only had 17 points scored against them. Congratulations to Coach Bryant, who did a wonderful job leading his men in his first year at Waverley College.
The mighty 14Bs were able to turn around an early season loss against Knox, to enjoy a three tries to two win.
The 14C team tried hard but came second on the day and the 14D ran away with a 43-26 victory at Gillespie Field.
The Knox Grammar School director of Rugby, Mr Matthew Williams, commented that the Waverley College 13A were the best 13 team he had ever seen in his many years of coaching. In five CAS games, this side managed to score 306 points with only 12 points scored against it. A wonderful achievement and a team we look forward to following in the years ahead.
The 13B team got up 29-0, and the 13C did a little bit better, winning 34-0, to give Miss Downey a nice final gift in her first season as a rugby coach.
The Knox 13D had one strong player who seemed to steal the show, as the visitors got up 33-5.
The 13E team, who were well supported by the 13F players (who unfortunately had a bye), enjoyed a victory 17-7, to cap off a great season.
The Waverley College Presentation Night will take place on Friday 11 August in the Br J P Lacey Gymnasium. Doors open at 6:30pm and meals will be served from 7:00pm, with the presentations scheduled to finish at around 9:15pm. A big thanks to the members of the Rugby Supporter Group including Darren Ellis, Rino Tomasiello, Maureen & John Andrews, Tracey & Terry Murphy and Tania Nand, who have put a great deal of time and effort into organising what should be an enjoyable night.
Track & Field Season
This week track and field season commenced. I encourage all Waverley College rugby players to be involved – it is not too late to join. It is a fantastic way to keep up some conditioning during the off season, with sprint training as well as middle distance training on offer. For any further questions on joining the Track & Field Team, please contact Convenor of Track & Field, Miss Kaitlyn Downey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Waverley to Win!