1st XV Rugby – SPC v Brighton

May 8, 2016

St Patrick’s College 1st XV vs. Brighton Grammar (07/05/16)

Full time: 51 -“ 0

Try scorers: Nick Donghi (4), Marcus Kaponga (2), Billy Sullivan (1), Lachie Waldron (1), Liam O’Carroll (1)

Conversions: Dyvontae Tippett (3)

5 -“ Inoke Siola’a 4 -“ Josh Cooper 3 -“ Nick Donghi 2 -“ Brenden Bell 1 -“ Ben DeBono

I always write these match reports immediately after the game -“ I find that it allows me to honestly reflect on our performance in the game. Today I do question whether I should perhaps draw breath before putting pen to paper!! In the past I have apologised for -‘coaching clichés’ but I again find myself using one as it is so pertinent. Today’s game was a tale of two halves -“ the first half was simply awful. The boys did not follow our game plan and it appeared that all our work through training this week had been forgotten or was being ignored. You could have thrown a blanket over both sets of players in what was a poor spectacle of rugby. SPC went into the break a score to the good after fly half Marcus Kaponga exploited a small opening down the blindside after multiple forward possessions. As per last week we were fortunate to be in front at the half -“ Brighton were gifted the ball on numerous occasions with a heavily biased penalty count in their favour. Our discipline was almost embarrassing and left Brighton in a contest that should have been over. I have spoken about learning lessons but from these first two round fixtures more is needed.

The words that I had with our players at halftime will remain between the playing group -“ but one message was clear -“ immediate and significant improvement was needed. You can only ask your players to respond -“ and respond they did. St Pat’s won the second half 46 points to zero, scoring eight tries to none. The second half performance was clinical, dynamic and played with real purpose. Our players were strong in the contact area, -‘ruck-smart’ and were ruthless ball in hand. Highlights must be Nick Donghi’s four tries, coming off the bench in the second half, the stand-out performances of both loose flankers, Inoke Siola’a and Josh Cooper, and the all-round performances of front row forwards, Brenden Bell and Ben DeBono. I would also like to congratulate winger Lachie Waldron who made his debut this week and marked it with a fine solo finish and also acknowledge fly half Marcus Kaponga whose performance at first receiver was encouraging.

The BYE round awaits the side this coming weekend before our first trip on the round against reigning premiers St Kevin’s College.

Today was another spectacular triumph for the College’s rugby program and credit must go to our Coordinator Michael Murphy and to all who have assisted today. In particular, I would personally like to thank our 1stXV manager John Sullivan. His support is invaluable.