From the Convenor of Rugby, John McCoy
1st XV Match Report – Waverley College Vs Knox Grammar School
The CAS season had finally arrived! Waverley’s first away assignment was to be against Knox Grammar. Knox and Waverley had been involved in many competitive encounters in recent years, with both schools producing Australian Schoolboys in 2017. As both schools had met different opponents during the GPS/CAS/ISA trial period, it seemed difficult to predict exactly how the match would play out.
Knox kicked off to Waverley and forced an early error, which put the visiting side under pressure early. Knox showed intentions to test the Waverley defensive line with power up front and speed out wide. Knox held the ball well but struggled to convert possession into points.
Ronald Volkman and Daniel Andrews kicked the Waves out of trouble, and Tadgh Murphy was able to run his side into a point scoring position. Murphy showed plenty of speed as he collected a loose ball off the back of a wayward Knox lineout throw. With metres to run, Murphy was pulled down short but a terrific offload to Captain Conor Molloy ensured the Waverley side would be the first to post points in the match.
For a majority of the first half, the scoreboard remained the same. Waverley held the lead with an unconverted try. The match did not to seem to flow, as the ball seemed to find the turf more often than was desired. Both sides fought hard to secure territory through strategic kicking, but keeping the ball in hand proved to be the more effective way of progressing forward.
Molloy was the next to score, to make it two tries in the match after 30 minutes of rugby. This was on the back of a penalty which had been awarded after Waverley was able to put a series of phases together. It showed the value of being patient and building pressure, rather than looking to score off the first play. At halftime, the scoreboard displayed 12 to 0 in favour of the Double V.
Waverley kicked off in the second half, running into the breeze. While the Waves were in front on the scoreboard, the feeling was that the match could still go either way. It would be the side who capitalised on the key chances that would move ahead and possibly take control of the match. Knox definitely had pace out wide to threaten, as well as some strong forwards to control the middle.
Waverley were awarded a penalty in front of the posts and decided to play the safe option by taking the three points on offer to put the score beyond two tries. This move seemed to remove the nervousness from the Waverley attack, and paid dividends quickly as Volkman charged away for a try just two minutes after the penalty was taken. This was on the back of some excellent work by Aisea Aholelei, Luca Moretti and Harley “Magic Hands” McGuiggan who threw a Sonny Bill Williams like pass to get Volkman in space.
Soon after, Waverley were reduced to 14 men following an infringement at the tackle. This gave the home side a big chance to get some points on the scoreboard. Waverley were determined in defence and would not let Knox through. It was ugly rugby, but it seemed to be effective and at the same time was chewing up the clock.
Following a significant chuck of time inside their own half, Waverley finally got into good field position through a nice break by fly half, Daniel Andrew. Luca Moretti also helped with a good charge, but it was Harley McGuiggan who found the tryline after outpacing the Knox winger.
To put the icing on the cake, a quick tap taken by Reece Thorn found its way to Jacob Tomasiello who raced away down the right wing. A nice offload back to Ronald Volkman, put the inside centre in for the final points of the match. The final score, Waverley 32 to Knox Grammar 0.
It was a very pleasing start to the CAS season. While it was not the most exciting match to watch, Waverley will take a great deal out of the defensive effort and the fact that they kept the opposition to nil. Waverley now meet St Aloysius College at Willoughby. Schoolboy commentators have ranked Aloys as big chances in the 2018 season, especially coming off a nice win against Trinity in Round 1. Waverley will need to be ready and focused going into the final week of rugby for Term 2.
Above is Tadgh Murphy with parents Tracey and Terry Murphy. Tracey and Terry Murphy made their final trip up to Knox after 21 years of support for their sons in Waverley Rugby. A nice way to end with a win – and Tadgh having a terrific game.
Around the Grounds
What a fantastic day to be a Waverlian! Waverley managed to win a total of 17 matches with just the 5 losses. This is possibly the best start to a CAS season in some years. Congratulations to every player who ran out on the weekend as well as all the coaching staff who had the boys ready to go and the parents who cheered hard on the sidelines! A real team effort!
The 2nd XV managed to come back to post a nervous win against Knox. This was the first time a Waverley 2nd XV side had defeated Knox at Knox since 2003. Ben Daley was outstanding and scored a marvellous try, as was Chase Hardaker who threw a cheeky ‘dummy’ to sneak past the Knox defenders close to the ruck to secure the win. Marco Moretti made his return from injury in the 3rd XV, and made a big impact as he contributed to most of the tries scored. The 4th XV enjoyed an excellent 26-7 win, and the 5th XV just managed to hold on – holding up the opposition over the line in the final seconds to make it a clean sweep for the Opens age group.
Emmanuel Di Bartolo was incredible in the 16As victory. Manny’s kicking game and work at fly half resembled Waverley Old Boy Ben Donaldson who went on to play Australian Schoolboys in 2017. It was a pleasing team effort for Coaches Horrocks and Foley, as this 16As team is proving to be an exciting group to watch. Jack Gillard scored a nice time in the 16Bs win. The 16Cs had a narrow loss, with the Fadel boys trying their hearts out as always. The 16Ds were down 21 to 0 at halftime, but managed to come back to win 33-28. Thomas McMahon had his best game for the season.
The 15As had their best win of the season according to Coaches Stuart Donaldson and Deon Smith. This side has had players ruled out each week due to injury and illness, but the age group continues to support each other and play entertaining rugby. Well done boys! The 15Bs went down 3 tries to nil and the 15Cs also went down narrowly 34-17 in a tight match.
The 14As started off the CAS season in winning form, defeating Knox 37-7. The 14Bs and 14Cs were also able to record CAS Round 1 wins. The 14Ds met a determined Knox team and just fell short of tasting victory in a good effort, and the 14Es played a very entertaining match winning by a conversion 32 to 30.
The win for the 13As meant it was a clean sweep for all A teams against Knox. Max Brooks was superb in the centres scoring some outstanding tries and proving very hard to stop. The 13Bs were too strong running out as 48 to 14 winners. The 13Cs won a thriller 20-19 with Luca Latinovic making some strong contributions at the lineout. The 13Ds also recorded a nice first up win against Knox. The 13Es played against Newington at Queens Park and although they defeated Newington during the trial season, they finished the match in second place on the day.
CAS Round 2 Vs St Aloysius College
This weekend Waverley College faces up against St Aloysius College. As St Aloysius do not match up with Waverley in all grades, a number of teams will be playing against a variety of opponents (other CAS and GPS schools) this Saturday. St Aloysius will be strong and determined to do well after they had some pleasing results against Trinity Grammar last weekend. All Waverley teams will need to be ready for this encounter, particular those team playing away.
Please note that with wet weather dominating most of the week, all players are to ensure they check the Waverley Rugby Team App to make sure they know what team they are playing in as well as any other key announcements. Please also note that the recent wet weather may result in some ground closures, however, all players should be prepared to play. To check if your game is still on please call the Wet Weather line on Saturday morning (Ph: 02 8250 3780).
Upcoming Schedule – End of Term 2, Start of Term 3
This Saturday is the final Saturday of rugby for Term 2. Students will still be expected to attend training in the final week of term, but should continue to check announcements and student emails with wet weather again predicted next week.
Training will resume on the first day back in Term 3. 16s and Opens teams will resume training on Tuesday 24th July and 13s, 14s and 15s will resume training on Wednesday 25th July. The first game back for Term 3 will be CAS Round 3 against local rivals Cranbrook. Our 13s, 16s and Opens will be playing at Cranbrook, while our 14s and 15s will again play at home.
A reminder that the NSW Waratahs are offering free tickets (family passes for 4 people) to members of the Waverley College Rugby Community for the following matches:
Saturday 7th July – Waratahs Vs Sunwolves
Saturday 14th July – Waratahs Vs Brumbies
Please feel free to contact Mr McCoy (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in taking up the offer, prior to the school holiday commencing.
Good luck to all teams this weekend! Let’s put in one more big effort ahead of the school holiday break!
WAVERLEY TO WIN!