From the Convenor of Rugby, John McCoy
1st XV Match Report – Waverley College Vs St Joseph’s College
On the back of an outstanding victory against Shore, Waverley College headed to Hunters Hill full of confidence. At the same time, the team had a great deal of respect for a school possessing such a strong rugby history. Waverley knew that a disciplined and clinical performance would be required if they were to be any chance. If successful, it would be the first win against St Joseph’s since 1999, when Morgan Turinui led the Double V to victory.
From the kick off, Waverley were focused on maintaining shape and getting into the arm wrestle by building phases. Ben Donaldson’s kicking game and Finn Wright’s charges up field were a feature of the match early, as the visitors found some good field position.
Unfortunately, St Joseph’s No 6 and No 12 were forced from the field following a nasty head clash. Waverley held good field position after this incident and really managed to string phases together nicely. The team did not panic, remained calm and waited for the opportunity.
Finally, an opening presented. Finn O’Sullivan found space down the left edge to put the Waves up 5-0. The Waverley set piece was impressive, as was the pressure at the breakdown through the efforts of Joel Ellis and Will McCormick. The hard running of Will Johnston, Luca Moretti and Lachlan Wallace continued to put Waverley over the advantage line. As a reward for this early hard work, O’Sullivan was in for his second try.
Minutes after, Joeys were on the attack and in good field position. An excellent read and intercept by Brooklyn Hardaker had him galloping away score under the black dot. Only moments after this, it was Harry Whiteman’s turn to have a dash. A penalty and an incredible touch finder from Donaldson had Waverley on the attack once more, just 5 metres from the Joeys line. A nice little pirouette from Finn Wright had him slamming the ball down over the line. 26-0.
The confidence and the unrelenting attack of the Double V was amazing. When under the pump on their own goal line, the boys from Birrell St were not afraid to run the ball out of trouble. The discipline, the trust and the execution, made it great rugby to watch. Marco Bell scored a clever try just before the break to put Waverley in front 33-0.
To the credit of the St Joseph’s College side, they did not give up and were able to score just before the halftime whistle blew to make it 33-7. This try ensured that the second half would be interesting. Would Waverley be able to hold onto the lead? Or would it be the Joeys team that would run over the top of the CAS side in second half?
St Joseph’s came out of the boxes hard in the second stanza. At the same time, Waverley continued to play the brand of rugby which had landed them well in front. A nice kick to the wing, had Phoenix Baldwin in space. This led to another great charge up field by Finn Wright who went over for his second try. 40-7.
Joeys continued to keep coming back, and as the clock wound down, the visiting supporters grew more and more nervous. The famous Cerise & Blue jersey would not go away. While the attack was impressive from Waverley, the defensive efforts in the later stages of the match were particularly crucial. Brooklyn Hardaker, Ben Howard and Daniel Andrews were exceptional with their cover defence at the back.
St Joseph’s did manage to cross the line with 5 minutes to play, through the handy work of their halfback. However, when Liam Cornish penetrated the Joeys defensive line for a try, the result was beyond doubt. Waverley scoring its first victory against St Joseph’s College since 1999. This was a moment that will live in the minds of each team member, coach and every Blue & Gold supporter who witnessed the match for many years to come.
Around the Grounds
The 2nd XV side came up against a very impressive Joeys 3rd XV. Despite a nice individual try to Tadgh Murphy, Waverley were unable to hold on to possession. Joeys proved to be too strong winning 6 tries to 1. The 3rd XV also played a strong 4th XV side, noting that Joeys have significant depth in the Opens age group, going down to a 12th XV. Unfortunately, the 3rd XV had a few players go down with injury including Byron Howe who was backing up from the 16s. We wish those players the best for a quick recovery. The 4th XV had trouble containing the Joeys outside backs and the 5th XV displayed plenty of spirit in their 45-point loss. Special mention to the always reliable Eden Hodge and Jack Holben who turn up each week and are always committed to supporting each Opens team.
Aiden Arabi and Patrick Kite had good matches for the 16As, as did Henry Bartlett who scored a nice try in their 32-12 loss. The 16Bs match was a high scoring affair, as they drew 0-0 (No, it was not a soccer match!) Coach Davis helped guide his mighty 16Cs to a 22-12 victory. Stephen Davies and Moby Westwood played really well in the 16Ds match.
Will Baker was the pick of the players in the 15As tough loss. The 15Bs tried hard against a strong opposition, as did the 15Cs where Charlie Silva was the standout. The 15Ds came agonisingly close to a win, falling just short 21-19. Reece Cohen was voted by Coach Guerra as the man of the match.
Aaron Dimovitch led the way for the injury-ravaged 14As team, who kept in the contest for the majority of their match. The 14Bs are getting closer to a win, with Harjot Mand really impressing. The 14Cs played a very well drilled Joeys side and the 14Ds just missed out on tasting victory in a nail biter, with Sam Markert and Jasper Anderson the best on ground for Waverley.
The 13As were heartbroken at Hunters Hill, going down by just a conversion. The 13Bs got a good win on the board with Max Barber having a blinder. Ayden Diffin once again helped the 13Cs across the line for another win. The 13Ds won 40-0 with Brynn Siltala the man of the match. Jake McKell scored a nice try in the 13Es three-point win and the 13Fs lost on the buzzer with James Jones having a great game.
GPS Trial Round Vs Newington
This weekend Waverley College Rugby will play against our western neighbours in Newington College, Stanmore. Newington are another GPS school with a strong rugby history, producing a total of four Wallaby captains in David Cowper, Alan Cameron, Nick Farr-Jones and Phil Kearns.
The 1st XV match will be an interesting contest on QP1, as Newington come off an impressive victory against Knox Grammar School last weekend. The Double V will be looking to continue the good run of form. With some rain predicted, it is sure to make Saturday an interesting game to watch.
I would like to give a big thank you to all those parents who have provided wonderful assistance to the Supporter Group by assisting on the canteen and BBQ each Saturday.
With a number of our current committee members in their final years at Waverley College, we are looking for parents (especially of players in our 13s, 14s and 15s) who would be interested in carrying on the traditions of the Supporter Group and taking over the key roles on the committee in the years to come.
By joining the Rugby Supporter Group, you can have a say in the direction of rugby at Waverley. As well as this you get to work alongside an unbelievably friendly group of community people, while assisting in fundraising initiatives to support rugby at Waverley.
If you are interested, please feel free to contact the President of the Rugby Supporter Group, Mr Darren Ellis (firstname.lastname@example.org). Any help would be wonderful!
Referees & Officials – Thank You!
Each week we are blessed with wonderful referees and officials who give up their Saturdays to ensure that players, coaches and supporters can all enjoy the beautiful game of rugby.
All players of all sports at Waverley College should consider who the referees are and what they mean to the games we play. Simply put, without referees we would not have a game. We would not be able to celebrate that last minute victory or feel the heartache from that unlucky loss.
Many of the referees, especially at a schoolboy level, are other schoolboys and volunteers from the community – people who might not be able to play rugby, but want to have an involvement in the game and give something to the community.
On behalf of the Waverley Rugby Community, I would like to recognise and thank the efforts of Mr Richard Chen and the group of referees he leads each week. Mr Chen not only contributes by refereeing matches himself, but also provides wonderful feedback to the junior (and sometimes senior) referees to help them gain confidence in their decision making and improve. Mr Chen has helped generate some of the current 1st Grade Referees, including Old Boy Charlie Hartson who is now a consistent appointment in the 2017 Shute Shield Rugby competition.
Good luck to all co-curricular teams this weekend!
Waverley to Win!