From Convenor of Rugby, John McCoy
Thank you to Angus McPherson for this week’s photographs.
1st XV Match Report – Waverley College Vs Newington College
Newington College kicked off on a slightly damp QP1, which had held up well after a good soaking overnight. Waverley quickly put their stamp on the game with some nice usage of the football. Finn O’Sullivan found space down the right edge and had Hardaker into a gap. While this did not lead to a try, the early signs were positive.
Newington’s sizeable pack was a big talking point prior to the match, but it became apparent, early on, that the Waverley forwards were able to match up physically. The Waves competed strongly at the scrum, with Luca Moretti shifting into the second row and Finn O’Sullivan to blindside flanker. The Double V were both intelligent and clinical at the lineout.
The match remained scoreless for the first 15 minutes, as both teams had their chances to score. This was until Ben Donaldson was able to put Brooklyn Hardaker into a hole. At speed, Hardaker was always going to be hard to stop, as he skipped away past the fullback to score under the black dot.
Newington picked out Finn Wright at the kick-off, who was able to immediately put Waverley on the front foot. Some nice passing had Lachlan Wallace into space down the left side line. The forwards were able to gradually work the ball close to the try line where Hardaker managed to go over for his second.
Soon after, following some courageous efforts by Phoenix Baldwin in the air, Donaldson was able to accelerate through another gap in the Black & White defensive line to put Waverley up 21-0. This was, again, a real team effort with all members of the 1st XV able to contribute in some way to the early supremacy.
Newington hit back just before the break, with some very strong phase play. Liam Cornish, Joel Ellis, Will Johnston and Harley McGuiggan all worked extremely hard to shut down the Newington roll on. With seconds before the break, they were unable to hold on. The score was 21-7 at halftime.
Newington took this momentum into the second half, scoring early on through more strong phase play. It was Finn Wright who was able to take the wind out of the Newington sails as he barged through the line and provided a lovely offload to Ben Donaldson to score his second for the match.
From a lineout on halfway, two beautiful passes from Marco Bell and Ben Donaldson found space on the left sideline as Wallace bolted away for a nice try. A minute later, Harry Whiteman was charging up field to put the Double V into another attacking position. This time it was Finn O’Sullivan who collected the dividends from another terrific team effort. 40-14.
Injuries to Johnston and Wright, forced some changes in the Waverley pack. Newington took advantage of this, scoring two very similar tries in quick time. As with many good schoolboy rugby matches, there was a continuous shift in momentum and Waverley were starting to have a look over their shoulders. Two converted tries were the difference with 15 minutes to play.
An infringement at the ruck, had Waverley taking the points on offer to put them 15 points clear. The speed of Lachlan “Usain Bolt” Wallace had the Waves back inside the Newington 22. It was the skipper, Donaldson, who sealed the victory for Waverley as he scored his second for the match. His successful conversion took the score to 50 -28.
The final whistle blew and Waverley had again defeated another GPS powerhouse. Full credit to all players, including those who worked hard from the bench at a crucial stage of the match. Credit must go to the coaching staff of Paul Cornish and Scott Coleman, who have clearly instilled discipline within the ranks and have the team flying!
Around the Grounds
Due to the significant wet weather on Friday night, only one other match took place against Newington which was the 2nd XV fixture. This was a very different game to the high scoring affair in the 1st XV match.
The 2nd XV also came up against a big Newington pack but were able to maintain possession and build phases early. This led to a sneaky try to Hugo Carr, who was able to dart through a small hole on the side of the ruck following some strong work by the Waverley forwards.
The work by the ‘piggies’ continued to be very impressive, managing to work their way up field. A nice charge by Bryce Jones almost had the Waves in for another, just to be pulled up short.
The boys from Stanmore came back hard and had a fair period of time in a point scoring position. Waverley defended so well, holding up the ball and forcing turnovers, and at halftime the 2nd XV were able to keep the Newington side scoreless.
Newington stepped it up at the start of the second half and went within metres of scoring, but the Waverley defensive line managed to again hold. Tom Andrianakos, Connor Molloy, Daniel Szabo and Edenn Rogers-Smith were outstanding.
Josh Weinstein, Jake Thomas and Felix Valentine were extremely effective in getting the boys from Birrell St rolling forward. But it was the efforts of the exciting Luca Martin who, from fullback, took the ball from his own half to dodge multiple defenders and put Josh Weinstein into space. The ball again was transferred through the hands to Jacob Tomasiello, returning from injury, and back to that man Martin, who regained possession to score under the sticks. A most entertaining try with some individual brilliance. This had the local supporters cheering!
In front by 12 points and with 15 minutes remaining on the clock, Newington were camped on the Waverley line and continued to throw everything at the Waves. To the credit of the boys in Blue & Gold, they stayed strong and were determined to hold Newington scoreless for the full length of the game.
Down to 8 minutes to play and the Waves were unable to contain the big replacement prop who stormed over the line to put Newington within a try. A real grandstand finish. Newington charged back up field off the kickoff and were in range of a try once again. All the momentum was with the visitors, despite being behind on the scoreboard.
A turnover was forced and the reliable boot of captain Liam Rayner was able to steer Waverley out of trouble to hold on and win the match 12-7. A very gutsy and entertaining fixture, despite the minimal scoreline.
GPS Trial Vs Riverview
This weekend Waverley College plays its final GPS trial against St Ignatius’ College, Riverview. Earlier in the season, Waverley did play against Riverview in any season trial fixture. This will be a good opportunity for all teams to monitor how they have progressed from the start of the season.
Further to this, it will be the final match before the CAS competition commences. Waverley will play against St Aloysius’ College in round 1, followed by the long weekend break. Waverley will then play against Cranbrook before the Term 2 break. In Term 3, Waverley have challenging matches on the road against Barker and Trinity. The final round, which is sure to be a thriller, is against Knox Grammar School back at home.
Please note the following upcoming schedule:
Week 6, Term 2
Important training preparations for CAS Round 1 – all players are to ensure they attend training ready and on time.
Saturday 3rd June – CAS Round 1 Vs St Aloysius College
Week 7, Term 2
Thursday 8th June – No Training (Long Weekend). Note: Some students will be involved in playing representative rugby on this date (16s and Opens).
Friday 9th June – No School – Founder’s Day Holiday.
Saturday 10th June – No Sport (Queens Birthday Long Weekend).
Week 8, Term 2
Monday 12th June – Queens Birthday Holiday – No School/Training.
Tuesday 13th June – House Athletics Carnival (ES Marks) – Training for selected teams – coaching staff to confirm with teams.
Saturday 17th June – CAS Round 2 Vs Cranbrook (final Saturday of sport for Term 2)
Good luck to all co-curricular activities this weekend!
Waverley to Win!