SPC notches first Division 1 Rugby win

May 3, 2015

St Patrick’s College 1st XV 55 d Brighton Grammar School 14

Try Scorer/s: D Tippett (4), J Coward (1), M Kaponga (1), C Pollard (1), K Travers (1), L Maroney (1)

May 2, 2015 will live long in the memories of many for it marked St Patrick’s College’s first foray into Division 1 rugby.-

This was never a given and so we must acknowledge the many players and coaches whose hard work fashioned the opportunity we were presented on Saturday afternoon.-

To all of those who have contributed to the wonderful rugby program -“ thank you, this win was for all of you.

There will be no easy game in Division 1 -“ our opposition will have good numbers to select from, be well drilled as a result of playing from an earlier age, and have solid structures to all they do.-

This was certainly the case with Brighton who put us under significant pressure from the start.

Using the advantageous weather conditions and home ground knowledge Brighton converted their early territorial dominance and efficient breakdown work to secure a 7-0 lead.-

Losing talented fullback Nick Donghi disrupted the St Patrick’s College side in these early exchanges but Dyvontae Tippett weaved some individual magic to draw the sides level and then gain a score advantage midway through the first half.-

Brighton responded in kind with more tactical nous leading to a further converted score before two late first half tries to SPC 1st XV captain Josh Coward and a second to fly half Tippett saw the College with a 24-14 halftime advantage.

The message at halftime was simple -“ the backline needed to execute more accurately and the forward pack needed to assert itself.-

Pre-season observations have focussed on the rich array of talent in the backline but without the ball they will be nothing but observers.-

Thankfully the message was not lost on our forward pack which was brilliantly led by Vice Captain Ben DeBono, whose support work and battering forays into the opposition gave the side plenty of go-forward ball.

Off the back of that, and again marshalled superbly by the duo of Coward and Tippett, tries came at a steady pace.-

Versatile back Marcus Kaponga scored his first try for the College with a wonderful solo effort. Outside back Leslie Maroney scored his first from a well-executed set play and Dyvontae ran in a further two to take his individual tally to four for the game.-

Five conversions from nine saw a final score of 55-14, with the side successfully keeping Brighton scoreless in the second half.

Expectations are being kept realistic -“ the aim this year is to establish ourselves in Division 1, make Ballarat a home -‘fortress’ and be competitive on the road.-

It is a difficult task for the squad to regularly travel to Melbourne to play. Also, as the only school side in the division where sport is not compulsory, it only highlights the dedication and hard work of our players.-

With that said we must be very proud to win on the road first up and in such a style that sees the College at the top of the table after Round 1.

Lastly special mention must go to Brady Butler who only took up the sport at the start of the year and who was outstanding on Saturday working tirelessly from open side, and to Egan Lillyst who made his debut for the College.-

Also to our stand in skipper Dyvontae who was exceptional and produced a performance that will make many in the State sit up and notice.-

Next round is against Marcellin -“ motivation enough -“ absolutely!! – –

Best players: Ben DeBono, Dyvontae Tippett, Brady Butler, Josh Coward, Kobe Travers

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