1st XV Rugby – SPC 74 d BG 5

May 26, 2019

St Patrick’s College 1st XV vs Brighton Grammar (H) (25/05)

Full time: 74 -“ 5 (HT 38-5)

Try scorers: Tyrese Thompson (3), Ata Seu (2), Ethan Councillor (2), Jonny DeBono (2), Kenny O’Connor, Owen Pearse, Penalty Try

Conversions: Hayce Alama (2/4), Kenny O’Connor (4/7)

Overnight Saracens won a one-sided Gallagher Premiership semi-final against Gloucester, 44-19. After the game the Saracen’s Director of Rugby, Mark McCall, was quoted: -It’s almost perfect because we’ve won comfortably and scored some good tries, but still have a frustrated changing room.-

If I was to surmise our game against Brighton on Saturday, I would echo Mark McCall’s words.

Brighton have been a consistent top four Division I side for the past few seasons, so were not to be underestimated.

All week we spoke of the importance of not allowing history to repeat itself, for two years ago, when we had just drawn at home with St Kevin’s, we then played Brighton and were completely outclassed.

To be fair, Brighton’s team of today does not compare to that of 2017, who would go on to play in that year’s Grand Final, nevertheless they have the pedigree for producing good football teams.

The weather was once again kind to us, with the expected rain holding off for the duration of the game. This left ideal conditions for an entertaining game of rugby and for those that braved the chilly Ballarat weather, they did not leave disappointed.

Our aim through the preseason was to produce a side capable of attacking in a myriad of ways, of not being a one-dimensional side, which I feel we may have been guilty of in previous years.

I do not want to say that we have completed this aim, like it is something that can be achieved and then forgotten, however in these early rounds we have demonstrated our commitment to this total game and it was perhaps best evidenced on Saturday by the spread of try scorers.

To see our prop forward, Jonny DeBono, score a double, the versatile, Ethan Councillor, also score a double and then our reserve winger, Tyrese Thompson, score a 15min hattrick, speaks loudly to the breadth of threats across our side.

I am a perfectionist, every group that I have coached is acutely aware of this, so it was a balancing-act upon the fulltime whistle between acknowledgement of the strong result, maintaining my commitment to enjoying this final season coaching and to wanting to -‘tidy’ the many mistakes we were guilty of throughout the game.

Our ill-discipline was an issue, as was the inability of us to respond to the run of penalties conceded.

There was also too much -‘me’ and not enough -‘team’ to our parts of our game, however, as I started, the greatest response to the game was the acceptance of this by the playing group and a desire to correct this ahead of our GALA Day this coming Saturday and a game against Trinity Grammar, well established members of the VSRU’s -‘top table’.

I would offer my congratulations to debutants, Charlie Delaney and Rory Cadigan, to Yr10 players highlighting the depth of talent coming through the College, and to those who scored their first 1stXV tries -“ special moments in any young man’s career.

See you all next Saturday when as a whole rugby community we come together to celebrate our great rugby program.