ACT WON THE 43RD AUSTRALIAN SCHOOLS RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIPS
–DEFEATING QUEENSLAND TWO BY 30 to 11
ACT have been in 12 finals and now have won four of them since the Championships commenced in 1975
Their last win was in 1988
See the game story below
NSW II vs CS
The first half saw NSW II controlling the game with the majority of the possessions. However, due to Combined States great line speed, NSW II were not ready for the pressure and made too many mistakes to stay ahead in this game. There were many occasions when NSW II seemed destined to score, but Combined States managed to turn the ball over and send NSW II back downfield. This gave Combined States the front foot as NSW II gave them piggybacks up the field off the back of their mistakes. The last 10 minutes of the first half was fully controlled by Combined States, and it showed in the score line, which at half time was a 17-0 lead to CS.
The second half saw much of the same, with Combined States in control through good execution off NSW II’s continuing mistakes. NSW II managed to stage a comeback late in the second half, running in 2 tries, but it was never enough to overcome Combined States’ early lead.
Combined States with a well deserved win take 5th place in the AUSBIL Australian Schools Rugby Championships.
Players to watch:
Michael Pavlakis: The key to the CS backline, Michael Pavlakis is a hard running fullback with a great boot and an awesome ability to break the line. Not the biggest player on the field by any stretch, but in today’s game and many others over this tournament, he has shown himself to be one of the most skilful.
Charles Baker: The right winger for Combined States, Charles Baker, is a great young talent, with great acceleration and an awesome game awareness. Managed to get himself 2 tries in today’s game, including one intercept from a good choice to attack a loose pass.
Dominic Easy: A good hard running inside back, Dom Easy had a solid game today with great defence and good ball control. Made some very vital tackles, and often put lots of pressure on the CS inside backs with great line speed and hard hitting tackles.
Liam Cornish: A hard running forward, this blindside flanker always got his team on the front foot with great runs well past the advantage line. He would often meet contact with a defender early, but used his strong leg drive to make good metres up the field.
Half-time Score: 17-0 to CS
Full-time Score: 22-12 to CS
NSW I vs QLD I
This match was set up to be a thriller from the first whistle! Both these teams were disappointed by not finishing top of their respective pools, and were fired up and ready to take that 3rd place spot.
The game started strongly for both teams, but QLD I seemed slightly ahead. In reply to an early try for NSW I, QLD I managed to run in 3 tries in quick succession to take a strong lead into half time, up 19 to 12.
Despite QLD I’s best efforts, the start of the second half saw NSW I dominating and then managing to score early and get themselves within 2 points. The rest of the half was fairly even, with both teams taking turns controlling the game. The teams then exchanged converted tries within 5 minutes of each other keeping the scores within 2 points, with NSW I still trailing. When QLD I captain Harry Wilson pointed to the posts for a penalty Campbell Parata the Queensland flyhallf, continued his great kicking to put his side 5 points ahead with 9 minutes to play.
Despite a great final effort from NSW I, QLD I have, with a hard earned win taken 3rd place in the AUSBIL Australian Schools Rugby Championships.
Players to watch:
Ben Donaldson: The key to the NSW I backline, Ben Donaldson is a smart flyhallf, he knows when to run it, and run it hard, as well as when to pass and when to kick. His running game on top of being well timed was a mix of solid hit up and some open play running, which saw him tear apart the QLD I backline with a great step off both feet.
Charlie Rorke: An absolute work horse in defence, Charlie Rorke is one of the toughest players in this whole tournament. It often looked like in attack he ran straight at their biggest forwards on purpose, and most of the time made good metres after that hard contact.
Cullen Ngamanu: A good hard running forward, Cullen Ngamanu almost always made metres past contact, and the advantage line. His defence was punishing. Many times throughout the game he lined up NSW I players and knocked them well off their feet.
Phoenix Hunt: One of the best scrum halves in the tournament, Phoenix Hunt has continued to perform superbly throughout this entire tournament, proving that apart from an awesome pass off the ground, he has great acceleration and a lethal step. The way he plays also gives him the opportunity to show off these skills, and helped his team gain front foot ball.
Half-time Score: 19-12 to QLD I
Full-time Score: 24-29 to QLD I.
ACT vs QLD II
Finals time! Both teams were not expected to have made it as far as they have managed to, and both teams have no intension of making it all this way and coming 2nd. The first half reflected that perfectly, with both teams engaging in hard running and harder hitting rugby. With the only try going to Queensland in the far corner, the game was within 2 points at half time thanks to the golden boot of ACT flyhallf Will Goddard’s awesome kicking ability.
The second half was a ACT dominated half. They opened the scoring in the first half with a penalty goal to take the lead, and never looked back. Running in 3 converted tries in the remainder of the game, and holding QLD II to just 1 penalty
ACT with a well deserved win taking out the 1st place spot in the AUSBIL Australian Schools Rugby Championships. Congratulations to all players and officials involved.
Players to watch:
Brendan Jimenez: A hard running fullback with a very good sidestep, sums up ACT fullback Brendan Jimenez perfectly. He was put under lots of pressure throughout the game at fullback from QLD II’s kicking onslaught, and he handled himself perfectly, either returning with a good kick, or running and stepping his way back to support and out of his teams 40 metre zone. On top of this, he managed to get himself a vital try half way through the second half to help secure his team lock away their strong win.
William Goddard: Despite a great ability to ball play and put players through holes in the opposition defensive line, Will ˝Goddard’s true talent is in his kicking ability. Kicking 5/5 kicks today, and 17/18 over the last 3 days of the tournament.
Joshua Vuta: Much like the QLD I scrum half, Josh Vuta made a huge impact on the game again through his superb acceleration, good ability to break the line and great game awareness to know the perfect time to run and the perfect time to shift the pass through the backline to find gaps in the line. This ability helped him cross for Queensland II’s only try of the match in the dying minutes of the first half.
Half-time Score: 6-8 to QLD II
Full-time Score: 30-11 to ACT