1st XV Rugby – SPC d GGS – June 19, 2019

June 20, 2019

St Patrick’s College 1st XV vs Geelong Grammar-

Full time: 12 -“ 5 (HT 5-0)

Try scorers: Ethan Jessop, Kenny O’Connor

Conversions: Hayce Alama (0/1), Kenny O’Connor (1/1)

We have reached a -‘mid-point’ to the season. Six rounds into this year’s competition and with just two regular season games to follow after the holiday break. The season to date has provided both one-sided results and some absolute nail biters.

Yesterday afternoon’s game in Geelong certainly falls into the second category. I must congratulate our hosts on creating one of the fiercest (impressive) arenas for a schoolboy rugby game that was the perfect setting for this contest. Geelong had won a cracking game of rugby against Marcellin with the final play on Saturday afternoon and were clearly well prepared for the contest with us. Two hundred (plus) spectators were in attendance and no-one left disappointed.

Ultimately, when I gathered the playing group on the final whistle, I highlighted that in this first part of the season we have shown the ability to win a close game, when facing defeat, and to avoid losing a game, when our opposition had all the momentum. The later was the case against Geelong. There was an element of this game being one of attrition, there were plenty of both unforced and forced errors, and it was apparent early that this was not going to be a high scoring game.

We were rewarded for controlling the ball more efficiently in the first half and resolute defence. Kenny O’Connor, our usual fullback, was playing out of position at 13, and scored a well worked try, which would prove to be the only points of the first half.

The second half was beset with regular injury interruptions as both teams suffered from the physical nature of the encounter.

Captain, Ethan Jessop, showed tenacity and skill to increase our lead to 10-0, with a try under the posts, that Kenny converted, however this only also marked a clear turning point in the game as Geelong would dominate the final exchanges. Their endeavour led to a try to their halfback, however it was to be the final points of a tough game. Both teams would look back on missed opportunities, but the result was a fair reflection on the balance of the game.

The holidays come at a timely moment, to allow weary bodies to recuperate and prepare for the final part of the season. I am grateful to the support that travelled to Geelong yesterday, a small percentage of the total crowd, however a critical part of the support to get us over the line.

I would also like to thank the playing group, coach support, management and medical support for all that they have done to this point -“ top of the ladder with an unbeaten record is not to be easily dismissed. It is reflective of a collective effort, which we hope to propel us to success.