Schools Rugby: Inter-Association Competition (ISA, GPS, CAS) Round Five


By NSW Waratahs Media unit

Photo credit: Karen Watson

The final round of the inter-association competition has come to a dramatic end with round five presenting some incredible score lines from around the grounds.

The re-formatted competition features teams from 22 schools that compete in weekly fixtures over five rounds, the final round played out on Saturday 2 June.

The inter-school associations competition was started to ensure that teams of commensurate ability play each other in a safe environment.

The competition also matches like-sized schools either against each other or together to play another school to ensure a full complement of matches for all teams at an appropriate level of ability.

For instance, Sydney Grammar (GPS), who can field 13 teams, will be paired against a team like St Aloysius’ College (CAS), who can field 11 teams. An example of two smaller schools combining to play a larger one is Waverley College and Sydney Boys High forming 30 teams to play St Ignatius’ College’s 33.

The competition provides a standardised set of rules, which is a change to the rules that govern each individual schools association. Such rules include squad size, number of substitutions and mercy rules to name a few.

NSW Rugby and NSW Waratahs CEO, Andrew Hore, says this format of schools rugby is the way forward.

“NSW Rugby supports this initiative and we see this competition as the future of schools rugby. We are working together with each of the school sports associations for the collective good of the game and to ensure that all participants gain a positive experience from the competitions they compete in,” he said.

While some ISA sides have already competed in their first round, GPS, CAS and the remaining ISA sides will resume their regular competitions as of next weekend.

Provide an experience your junior team will never forget by registering your club for the Junior Clubs March Past that's taking place at our next home game on July 7 against the Sunwolves at Allianz Stadium!

For more information about the event and to get involved, follow this link!

Knox vs St Joseph’s College (match report by Matt Taylor)

What better way to conclude Knox’s entertaining, annual Gala Day than a quality game of rugby between pronounced competitors Knox Grammar and St Josephs’ College. Despite the freezing cold and light rain, the turn up from both schools’ respective fans was as big as ever. Facing defeats a week earlier, both teams were hungry for success to get their seasons back on track.

The game had begun. Some heavy, robust runs from both teams’ forwards set the speed for the early stages of the match. However, it only took a few minutes for someone to score some points and a big scrum push from Knox on Joey’s line saw halfback, Tom Constable jump over the line and grab the first points of the match.

But Joeys responded right from the kick-off, scoring out wide to bring the score to 5-5 with both teams’ converters missing their kicks from out wide.

Both teams were starting to look threatening when passing the ball out wide. In particular, Knox’s backs Sam Rechner, Dylan Glassie and Tom Leigh extremely difficult to stop. But the Joeys forwards kept on moving forward, only to then find the try line and score under the posts giving them the lead for the first time in the match with the score being 12-5.

Knox reacted immediately with the forwards helping themselves to some territory, eventually making their way down to Joeys try line. An astute pick and go saw the Knox forward make his way over the line in near the corner post. A beautifully struck kick from Sam Piper levelled the scores.

With halftime approaching, it was looking certain that the score would remain 12-12. That was until Knox inside centre, Sam Rechner broke the defensive line to sprint 30 metres and plant the ball down finishing off a remarkable, clutch play. The whistle blew for half-time with Knox leading 17-12.

Things were looking even a few minutes into the second half. However, the deadlock was soon to be broken with Joeys’ halfback burrowing over in front of the posts only a metre out from the try line making the score 19-17, conversion successful. Soon after the kickoff, Joeys looked to be ravenous for more points. A great run from the Joeys flyhalf brought them 10 metres away from the try line. Too hard to contain, the Joey’s forward leapt over the line bringing the score to 24-17 with the conversion being unsuccessful. Things were beginning to look ominous for the black & blue.

Just when a Knox comeback was looking imminent, an incredible full field play from the Joeys backs brought them close to the try line. The Joeys forward capitalized on the backs fascinating display, getting the try to further damage Knox’s hopes of making a comeback. But it didn’t finish there, Joeys scoring yet another try set up by their outside backs bringing the score to 36-17.

Joeys player Jude Gibbs joined in the try-scoring fest, breaking the Knox defensive line, capping off a remarkable match for the flyhalf. The referee blew the final whistle with the score finished at 43-17. After an even first half, Joeys were just too dominant in the second.

This match finished the inter-association competition, with both schools eager to commence their respective competitions in two weeks time.

Sydney Grammar School 1st XV vs St Joseph’s College 3rd XV (match report by David Zhang)

The first game of the GPS competition, Grammar and Joey’s played at Weigall in what proved to be a nail-biting game in testing conditions with a great environment as students and parents from both schools turned up to support their boys.

With a tough preseason of 5 games and no wins for Grammar, unlike Joey’s who successfully won against many of the same first XV opponents, it was certainly deemed to be a difficult task for Grammar as Joey’s looked to dominate with a fine display of rugby.

Everyone was fired up in cold and drizzly conditions with kick-off igniting cheers and roars from the crowd. From the beginning, the game proved to be an even one as the strong Joey’s team clashed heads with the bumblebees as play went back and forth between the two halves.

This meant that following instructions on a definite game plan and then executing that plan was to be the overriding factor to who would win the game. Errors in the first 10 of the game saw both concede penalties allowing Grammar to attempt an early 3 from a penalty, unsuccessful.

This was not to get in the way of the bumblebees as they maintained a clear perspective and chased down the barnstorming Joey’s boys, some fine defence from Benji Schwartz and Nixon Du. St Joseph’s responded with a deep wide set line that saw some amazing plays which allowed them to gain metres and move the game to the opposition’s 22m zone, a level of skill that any level of team would be pleased with.

Just as the Joeys boys crept up on the Grammar try line, Leon Ortega intercepted a pass stealing the ball from Joey’s and sprinted the whole field to begin the scoring for the game, converted successfully by Henry Munns.

This saw Grammar take control over the game as they went out into the second half looking to make their mark on the Joeys boys who were also ready to retaliate, charging onto the field. Once again, both teams made errors in the early minutes of the half, a lapse in concentration as they both scrambled to gain territory. However, Steven Parras played some champagne rugby as ever and set up some tasteful plays which saw Grammar regain focus.

A mainly forward’s second half, there was even possession as Joeys came back to put pressure on the Grammar side. Their might, however, was too much as Joeys broke the black and gold defensive line scoring a try, conversion unsuccessful. Grammar managed to hold on as the Joeys side began to control the dying minutes of the game.

A close and entertaining game, Grammar’s enjoyment and enthusiasm in the brutal and confronting contests saw the testing of Joey's will, ultimately resulting in a great start to the competition, 7-5 to Grammar full time.

Rest of the round:

Waverley College 41 defeated Shore 10

Trinity Grammar School 7 defeated by Newington College 58

Barker College 35 defeated by St Ignatius’ College 40

St Pius X College 5 defeated by Oakhill 41

Scots College 19 defeated Kings 10

Sydney Grammar School 7 defeated St Joseph's College 3rd XV 5

St Aloysius’ College vs Cranbrook

St Augustine’s College vs Kinross Wolaroi

St Gregory’s College vs St Stanislaus’ College






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