1st XV report – June 13 – SPC d Trinity Grammar

June 14, 2015

St Patrick’s College 1stXV d Trinity Grammar School

Fulltime -“ 69-19 (HT 43-7)

Tries -“ Nicholas Donghi 4, Joshua Coward 3, Dyvontae Tippett 2, Leslie Maroney 1, Charlie Pollard 1

Conversions -“ Joshua Coward 6/10, Nicholas Donghi 1/1

There are no easy games in Division I. The scoreline is a fair reflection of the game but the enormity of the result should not be lost on anyone. In the previous round we had been found severely wanting against St Kevin’s. They are the benchmark and, even after today’s performance, there is still much improvement needed if we are to close the gap on the ladder leaders. However our focus must be on each different opponent as they present before us and this afternoon’s game highlighted the positive direction this side is travelling in.

Despite a week of interruptions caused by College examinations, injury and illness -“ two worthwhile training sessions had delivered a new attitude amongst the playing group. I am indebted to Howard Clark for his work with the group on Tuesday afternoon where the focus was on building a culture, on building a legacy, where the key lies with the collective and not the individual. This was evident on Thursday when a core group of the players trained under fitness expert, Matt Morrison, for a high intensity conditioning session. When the easy option would have been to -‘stay at home’ these boys worked well, reflecting the changing attitude.

It has been said, and will be said again, that we need to be fitter and stronger than our opponents -“ play for a full game and then, and only then, will we achieve our full potential. Today the 1stXV took a significant step towards realising that goal. With the game -‘won’ at halftime the challenge was to maintain the intensity and the players’ focus. Although Trinity were able to run in two of their three tries in the second half there were long periods of disciplined defence by SPC as the game wore on and when opportunities presented themselves to counter they were taken with ruthless efficiency.

After a team performance of this nature it is difficult to identify those who -‘stood out’. That said captain Joshua Coward continued his excellent form with a hat trick of tries and multiple assists as he led the side with distinction. Today Josh controlled the game from the first to the last whistle, which gave the rest of the side great confidence. Josh was ably supported by the returning Nick Donghi. Nick has been out of the side through injury since Round I and offers such elusive running from fullback. He once again lit up the field with dazzling foot work and such strength that belies his smallish frame -“ scoring four tries, two in each half. It would also be remiss of me not to mention Tom Gavin who received his first nomination this round. As a large front row forward Tom has been found guilty in earlier rounds at not being able to offer repeat efforts but today Tom’s impact was noticeable for the whole time he was on the park.

It is now a particularly short turnaround before we host Xavier College on Thursday afternoon. Locked now on equal points in second place on the ladder this game’s magnitude is evident for all as it shapes to decide who will finish in the top two and avoid a potential semi-final clash with St Kevin’s. This is Division (I) rugby and the group are -‘together’ in their desire to continue to make an impact -“ I hope to see many at the game.

Best: Joshua Coward, Nicholas Donghi, Leslie Maroney, Marcus Kaponga, Tom Gavin