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Rugby: SPC draws with St Kevin's

author: Mike Silcock

20 May

Rugby: SPC draws with St Kevin's

St Patrick’s College 1st XV vs St Kevin’s College (H) (20/05)
Full time: 14 – 14(HT 9-14) 
Try scorers: Ethan Jessop
Conversions: Pou Siola’a (0/1)
Penalties: Pou Siola’a (3/3)

5 – Inoke Siola’a 4 – Josh Cooper 3 – Charlie Pollard 2 – Will Harrison 1 – Ethan Jessop
In the history of our two fine College’s St Patrick’s have as yet not recorded a win, in fact we have lost every encounter against our fellow Edmund Rice school. Let the record books show that on this day these two outstanding rugby sides could not be split. History has been made as St Patrick’s held St Kevin’s in a pulsating affair.

Playing at home for the second time this season. Three wins from three outings, however ‘belief’ was the key message throughout training this week and prior to the game. Ultimately the twenty-four young men in our squad, to the man, excelled. Their College, their families, their coaches are incredibly proud of this record-breaking performance. Playing against St Kevin’s it is imperative that you convert possession into points – and for the first exchanges that is exactly what happened. Strong ball running from our 10, Chris Tuitea and young inside centre Ethan Jessop, saw territory found and penalty points forthcoming with the boot of fullback Pou Siola’a accurate with two attempts. St Patrick’s were disciplined and retained the ball well. Our backline was a little too flat and, as a team, we went wide before occupying defenders, however the performance was encouraging. As the half neared a conclusion St Kevin’s finished strongly. You know that with this side they will always create chances and a run of consecutive penalties led to two tries to our opponents that were well converted. A valuable lesson needed to be reinforced at the interval, that lapses in individual completion and discipline would be punished. A half that we had been in the ascendency, ultimately saw us behind 9-14 at the break. It would be critical to start the second half well and limit our opponents to any opportunities.
The second half unfolded exactly as we, as coaches, could have hoped for. With the lion’s share of both possession and territory St Kevin’s had limited chances to extend their lead. Poor execution in dangerous areas stemmed our opportunities to score points, however it made for an exciting spectacle. With moments to play and with an extra man after our opponents were reduced to 14men Ethan Jessop, strong with the ball in hand throughout the game, bulldozed his way over to level the game at 14 all. The conversion was pushed wide and the game was locked up. It would end that way and there were undoubtedly mixed emotions at the final whistle. I am always reticent to speak of ‘what ifs’ or make broad assessments that ultimately count for little, however there is no question that we were the stronger side and were unfortunate not to take maximum points. That said and what was stressed to our playing group is the importance of taking valuable momentum from this historic result and ensuring that the same levels are met when we play our next opponents – and our next opponents after that. 
It was another wonderful day of rugby for our supporters. Whilst our junior sides were not able to collect wins, all showed incredible determination, resilience and great improvement in their performances. It is always a pleasure to welcome St Kevin’s College to Ballarat, for they are and have been the benchmark of schoolboy rugby in this state and demonstrate for our boys the levels we need to aspire to. I have no doubt that we are headed in the right direction and know I can speak for all in our rugby community to say that the journey is a thoroughly enjoyable one.
Thank you again to all those who were so supportive this past weekend for all our sides. Our players, our coaches, our College, greatly appreciates and values all that you bring to making our Saturday’s the spectacle they are.
It is our GALA day next Saturday, when all four sides will be on Main Oval as we welcome Brighton Grammar. See you next weekend.