Rugby reports – April 28, 2018

April 30, 2018

St Patrick’s College 1st XV 74 d Xavier College 0

April 24, 2018

Try scorers: Eddie Sauvao 4, Inoke Siola’a 3, Josh Cooper 1, Josh W-S 1, Chris Tuitea 1, Ryan Yeomans 1

Conversions: Pou Siola’a (8/11)

Penalties: Pou Siola’a (1/1)

5 -“ Pou Siola’a 4 -“ Inoke Siola’a 3 -“ Eddie Sauvao 2 -“ Josh Wilson-Stanton 1 -“ Simon Porter

October 9, 2017. That is the day that this season began and we must congratulate the outstanding efforts of our Senior playing group who have tirelessly prepared for this season, a season that got underway in Melbourne yesterday afternoon. Xavier College were our hosts and there are few finer places to travel to. We are, as always, indebted to our hosts who looked after us spectacularly. Our preseason has taken us far and wide, pitching us against first class opposition. Win or lose we have learnt a lot of ourselves and our capabilities from this preseason, however, perhaps most importantly, we have worked diligently as a whole group to ensure we have built upon each experience. We have won as a whole playing group and lost as one. The competition that is created by fielding two senior sides has been invaluable and the depth we have so often wished for is finally evident.

Our opponents for this opening round of fixtures may ultimately not be the hardest opponents, however there are no easy games in Victorian schoolboy rugby and we spoke before the game about -playing this game-, meaning that we do not cast our eyes forward to future games, potential finals or reflect on the closeness of games against stronger opponents -“ play what is presented in front of us. We also spoke about changing a culture of -‘we will win by simply scoring more points than you-. This would seem to be the basis of any win, however what we are talking about is stopping the mentality of our focus being solely on attack, of out-scoring our opponents. We wanted to see a pride in our defence efforts -“ and this had certainly been a goal throughout the week, particularly after reviewing the footage of the EREA, exhibition game against St Kevin’s.

Ultimately, this report would become more like an essay if I were to reflect on each of the -‘moments’ from the game -“ there were many. Clinical in attack, dogged and determined in defence, Xavier were starved of ball -“ and we had too many -‘weapons’ to hurt our opponents. At halftime we led 31-0, with, for me, the highlight of the first half being the pride in keeping Xavier from scoring in the final play of the half. This accomplishment was greeted by the playing group with more joy than any of the four first half tries. The second half followed a similar pattern to that of the first and as our opponents tired, the tries flowed freely. Some of the support work and determined running was a thrill to see, to the credit of all our playing group.-

The final score was one sided, 74-0, but the focus, post-game, was the achievement of not allowing our opponents to score. There will be much sterner tests in the weeks ahead, however this is a positive platform to commence the season proper. Particular mention must go to fly half, Pou Siola’a, whose game management was at a different level to our competition, to our captain, Inoke Siola’a, whose contributions in both attack and defence were unequalled and to scrum half, Eddie Sauvao, whose support work and control of our side’s transition was excellent.

St. Patrick’s College 2nd XV 20 lt Xavier College 22

Aprtil 28, 2018.

Full time: 22 -“ 20 (HT 12-20)-

Try scorers: Tyrese Thompson 2, Bryce Stevens 1, Riley Madigan 1

Conversions: 0/4

5 -“ Bryce Stevens 4 -“ Tyrese Thompson 3 -“ Sam Muller 2 -“ Luke Griffiths 1 -“ Bayley Cocking

Success was achieved when our 2nds senior side took to the field yesterday against our opponents, Xavier College. There have been years when St Patrick’s College have been unable to field a complete 15 at 1stXV level, so to have such depth in our senior stock is a testament to what our players have already accomplished. It has been a tough preseason for the majority of our senior players who have played in our 2nds side. Their opponents have been much stronger than the opposition that they will face now that the season proper has started. To the credit of all our senior players, no-one spoke of this, the determination and effort was never in question -“ so we went into yesterday’s game quietly optimistic. Preparations had been hampered by some absences, some late withdrawals, but take nothing away from the 12 players that started yesterday’s game -“ they were ready, they were eager.

The message to our 2nds group had a similar theme to the one that would be delivered to our 1sts a little later. The jersey they wear says -‘Senior Squad’, not 2nds. We have been -“ and always will be one squad and this game presented our 2nds group a chance to further enhance their opportunity of breaking into the 1s group. After a sluggish start, in which our opponents scored, our 2s started to assert themselves. There are many talented young men in this group, some though still learning the intricacies of the game. Defensively we were naïve at times, however the same can’t be said of our attacking rugby, which was a perfect blend of power and pace. Debutant winger, Tyrese Thompson, grabbed a first half double, demonstrating a real talent for finding the try line and there were impressive scores to captain, Bryce Stevens (who was outstanding throughout) and to Riley Madigan. These scores, all to our backs, came from tenacious defence from our forward pack and strong running, in particular from No.8, Sam Muller. At halftime SPC led 20-12.

With no substitutes and cruel injuries to both Archie Pollard and Jovesa Ravisa, we were left playing 10 against our opponents 12. The numbers proved critical as Xavier kept us scoreless in the second half and scored a winning try with just moments to go. Our players were out on the feet, their will and determination to keep going a credit to them and to the work our Strength and Conditioning Coach, Darren Cocking, has done with our senior squad. This was a superb -‘start’ for our 2s group and many were rewarded with a run in our 1s game that followed. We will build on this performance as we moved forward to next week’s games.

The College’s thanks to everyone that has (and is) assisting with our rugby program. It has already been a long season for many of us -“ and it is only just beginning. We hope many of you will make it to Brighton for Round (2).