SAINT GREGORY’S CLAIM FIRST WIN IN 2014 GIO SCHOOLBOY CUP
Saint Gregory’s College edged out a 22-18 victory over Illawarra SHS in round 1 of the GIO Schoolboys Cup.
Saint Gregory’s forwards were instrumental early, marching up the middle of the field on the back of strong carries and quick play the balls.
They had opportunities early but failed to capitalise due to poor handling in good field territory and ill-discipline, having lost the penalty count 4-0 in the opening quarter.
Illawarra SHS opened the scoring through Jordan Asanoska who pounced on a bouncing ball in the in goal.
The conversion was unsuccessful, however, Illawarra managed to cross the line only moments later through a similar kick, this time Jordan Forsyth the beneficiary, taking the score to 8-0.
Just when Illawarra were beginning to build momentum, a costly penalty due to an incorrect play the ball on the last tackle, invited Saint Gregory’s back into the game.
Saint Gregory’s halfback, James Perlowski, spotted an opening and backed his pace scoring a long range try five minutes before the half, which was quickly followed by a burrowing try close to the line by hooker, Jaydon Sienkiewicz.
With centre Lalotoa Mata’afa converting one out of the two goals, Saint Gregory’s gained the lead at half-time with the score at 10-8.
Saint Gregory’s captain, Ashleigh Nisbet, said the mood was positive at halftime with Coach Pat Newell telling his team to “keep to our game plan and keep working hard as the points will come.”
Illawarra SHS started the second half strong however, having scored three minutes into the second half through Kyle Hardie on the left wing.
Despite another unconverted try, Illawarra had regained the lead at 12-10.
Saint Gregory’s were unlucky at times having turned the ball over on the back of kicks that were difficult to handle.
At this stage, the game had to be grinded out with both teams doing an excellent job in completing their sets.
Illawarra SHS broke the silence however, having scored through halfback, Harry Freebairn, who proved he wasn’t the only number seven who could spot a gap and take the line on.
The most important kick of the match was converted by Luke Penny, bumping their lead up to more than a converted try.
With less than 15 minutes left in the match, Saint Gregory’s fullback, Christopher Debrincat, who had now moved to the left wing, dived on a well-weighted grubber kick and was awarded a try.
This special play was immediately followed after by another, as centre, Lalotoa Mata’afa, converted the try from the sideline, bringing his side to within two points.
The students of Saint Gregory’s were extremely vocal, cheering their side on, hoping to regain the lead before the final whistle.
It was only fitting that Captain, Ashleigh Nisbet, answered their calls, scoring under the sticks through great support play around the ruck with only a few minutes left in the game.
The try was yet again converted by the number 4 for Saint Gregory’s Lalotoa Mata’afa, capping off a thrilling first game in the 2014 GIO Schoolboys Cup.
The score ended at 22-18 with Saint Gregory’s College the victors.
The GIO ‘Most Trusted’ man of the match went to St Gregory’s, Mark McCormack, who had his hands in everything.
Whether in attack or defence, the busy lock made it his business to be involved.
“All the other forwards get a great roll on and get quick play the balls for me so I can take it up the middle in the later part of the sets,” said McCormack.
“It makes my job a lot easier going up through the middle.”
St Gregory’s College 22 (Jaydon Sienkiewicz, James Perlowski, Christopher Debrincat & Ashleigh Nisbet tries Lalotoa Mata’afa 3 goals)
Illawarra Sports High 18 (Jordan Asanoska, Jordan Forsyth, Kyle Hardie & Harry Freebairn tries Luke Penny 1 goal)
Lars Roy – 0433 281 626
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