1st XV report – SPC d Scotch College

May 15, 2015

St Patrick’s College 47 d Scotch College 22 – May 16, 2015

Try Scorer/s: M Kaponga (2), J Coward (2), Leslie Maroney (1), Kobe Travers (1), Billy Sullivan (1)

Conversion/s: J Coward (5), M Kaponga (1)

There are moments in life that put all things in perspective -“ rugby included.

Last weekend one of our rugby players tragically lost a family member -“ today’s performance was for a life cut short and to show our solidarity at a time of sadness. On this note I send my heartfelt thanks to Scotch College for showing such respect by honouring our pre-match moment of silence. Scotch are one of the rugby powerhouses in Victoria and not just for their performances on the field. Today they showed how to be -‘greats’ both on and off the field.

That said there was a game of rugby to be played and arguably this was our toughest test to date against quality opposition. It was also our first home game of the season and Ballarat welcomed it with brilliant sunshine.- We are a team built on attacking intent -“ Mother Nature had smiled on us. There was a first start for young utility back Harry Bogers after impressing off the bench against Marcellin and returns from injury for our pre-season starting -‘loosies’ – Brenden Bell and Billy Sullivan.

A strong message through the week had been the importance of starting well, playing for the full 70 minutes, maintaining our discipline and trusting our structures.-

In the opening exchanges it appeared the hard work and commitment through the week to this goal had been worthwhile as St Pat’s scored two tries in the first 10 minutes. Fullback Leslie Maroney finished off a beautifully constructed backline play and then No.8 Kobe Travers bullocked over from close range after a series of Scotch indiscretions. Both tries were converted by captain and fly half Joshua Coward. The score read 14-0. – –

Disappointingly we were unable to sustain this start and through carelessness, ill-discipline and uncharacteristic mistakes Scotch were allowed to build momentum leading into the halftime break. Two tries and a penalty to Scotch gave them the lead 14-17. The most frustrating aspect of this late capitulation was that it was caused by elements that we had identified from previous games and worked hard through training to rectify. In hindsight this was a good test for a young side and one that ultimately they were able to get the measure of.

When this St Patrick’s College side play with the discipline and structure that is required -“ coupled with their individual brilliance -“ there will be few sides able to match us over 70 minutes. This was most evident in the second half.

Structured phase play led to Josh Coward weaving his way through the opposition backline, before cutting inside the fullback and scoring under the posts to return the lead to St Pat’s.

An opportunistic halfback snipe gave Billy Sullivan his first score of the season and with two successful conversions the score had moved out to a positive 28-17 in the home side’s favour. Playing in his third different position for the season Marcus Kaponga dotted down, before a strong break by inside centre Dyvontae Tippett resulted in captain Josh Coward scoring his second of the game. Scotch pulled a score back late before Marcus Kaponga grabbed his double and the final score was a resounding 47-22.

Choosing our -‘best on ground’ was particularly difficult this week for the coaches for collectively we were poor for significant periods in the first half and then, as a team, we were markedly improved in the second. Ultimately the decision went in the favour of Joshua Coward whose all-round, -‘talismanic’ contribution was well-noted. A captain’s performance was needed in the second half -“ and it as delivered.-

So upon the conclusion of Round 3 St Patrick’s College reside at the top of the VSRU Division I ladder. A bye round follows next before a clash with St Kevin’s. A fortnight of preparation -“ a clash with the reigning premiers -“ it’s what this side thrives for.

Best: Joshua Coward Marcus Kaponga, Dyvontae Tippett, Charlie Pollard, Leslie Maroney