1st Rugby – SPC d MGS – July 27, 2019

July 28, 2019

St Patrick’s College 1st XV vs Melbourne Grammar (A) (27/07)

Full time: 63 -“ 0 (HT 17-3)

Try scorers: Ethan Councillor (2), Ata Seu (2), Kenny O’Connor, Hayce Alama, Tarquin Schreenan, Riley Williams, Tyrese Thompson, Adam Hollingworth, Koni Wolfgramm

Conversions: Hayce Alama, Koni Wolfgramm, Tarquin Schreenan, Tyrese Thompson

Minor Premiers!! A history making accomplishment. We are so proud of the whole playing group. To go through the regular season undefeated is no mean feat, especially given the strength of opposition, which includes St Kevin’s who have contested the last twenty-seven Grand Finals. Training since last October, and often four times a week, the players have combined natural talent with hard work and are to be applauded for this. This has already been one of my own highlight seasons coaching schoolboy rugby and not just because of the results, but because of the players themselves. Throughout the season there has been a real enjoyment, felt by all, and never was this more evident than on Saturday against our opponents, Melbourne Grammar. It was not that long ago that Melbourne Grammar were contesting Grand Finals, however the last couple of seasons have been a little more difficult for them and we certainly went into the encounter confident of the win that would secure the regular season success and a home semi-final. Last week’s performance had been carefully analysed through the week, our structure was refined and the players were ready to show why we sit on top of the ladder, which some may have doubted after our previous performance.

From the first whistle it was clear that the players were -‘on’. It has been so pleasing to see those players, previously perhaps thought of as -‘squad players’ take advantage of more game time. New combinations were used, players rotated, however it never disrupted the flow. Our season has been built on fierce physicality, both in attack and defence, and Melbourne Grammar felt the full force. There are no -‘easy’ games in the 1stXV, Melbourne Grammar showed spirit and tenacity -“ and never shied away from the challenge. They were missing players, had requested uncontested scrums, so it was a different sort of match, however the new structure that we had implemented was used to good effect and we were able to maintain regular scoreboard pressure. As a nice final act of the regular season our Yr12s were afforded the opportunity to take any conversions, some will be well remembered, others need to be consigned to history very quickly.

It would be hard to highlight specific players or specific moments. There were moments of individual brilliance and others of great teamwork. It would be remiss of me though to not make mention of a special moment for Riley Williams. Riley has played through the year levels at the College and shows incredible resilience and commitment. Not always a regular starter in our 1sts he has enjoyed consecutive starts in these two previous games and has taken his opportunity with both hands. He scored arguably the try of the game with a beautiful chip and chase that saw him elude teammates and opponents alike to score a magnificent try. He missed the conversion, but little did it matter for nothing was going to dampen the excitement that the whole group felt for his moment of magic.

A new week must now mark the commencement of a fresh focus. Only a -‘perfect’ (undefeated) season from here will see us crowned champions and this will be our toughest test. First, in our home semi-final, is Marcellin. In a repeat of last year’s semi-final and against opponents who we have a healthy rivalry with we will need to be at our very best to secure a place in the following week’s Grand Final, which the players are desperate to do given that we are hosting the Grand Final day.

Again, to everyone who has been apart of the team’s success to this date, thank you for your continued commitment, support and dedication to our boys. Two hurdles to go, stay with us, we appreciate, value and need your support.

See you -‘under the Shed’ next Saturday.