GPS Regatta 2014 NSW

The two teams that were unbeaten at the start of Round 2 won today but there was a bit of a surprise in the third game.

Kings v Newington

by “Anonymous George”

JS White Oval, TKS, North Parramatta
Saturday, 19 July 2014

This was an exciting and close fought game of schoolboy rugby played by two (mostly) willing sides, won by the more enthusiastic of the two.

First half

Newington was captained by NSW rep and hooker Matt Serhon, in the absence of the injured Australian Schools prop Vunipola Fifita. They took the field as favourites.

Newington kicked off into a cold southerly but they had the better of the first five to ten minutes nevertheless. They applied consistent pressure and all of the early play was in the Kings’ half.

There were a couple of good early runs by Newington’s 8 (Teu Atiola) and 4 (Lemiki Taumoepeau). Eventually there was a good clearing kick by the Kings 10 (Chris Orpen), and two relieving penalties.

Then, when presented with their first opportunity, the Kings’ 13 (Hugh Yates) jinked inside the covering defence from fairly close range to run through for the first try of the match. The try was converted by 15 (James Kane). Kings 7 – Newington 0.

After 15 minutes and a scrum ten metres out, there were two worked moves by Kings and a try out wide to Kane. The conversion missed – Kings 12 Newington 0.

Newington looked in shock and were taken by surprise by a more ‘switched-on’ Kings team.

Halfway through the first half there was some more pressure on the Newington line. Newington looked to relieve the pressure via an intercept, but were forced back in-goal. Scrum to Kings five metres out, but Newington scrambled out of trouble through some good defence.

There followed a Kings’ penalty goal to Kane at about the 20 minute mark. Kings 15 – Newington 0.

The next stanza consisted of some missed opportunities by Newington, and some good runs and good defence by the Kings’ 12 (Nick Stubbs).

Newington was yet to get going. The back line looked disjointed and the outside backs were yet to hit their straps. More was expected of them and they were yet to find their rhythm.

Newington started to warm up, despite the cold conditions, and they were unlucky to be held up twice over King’s line. Shortly after, some sharp hands and a jinking run by the Newington no. 13 (Simon Kennewell) led to the first try for the visitors. It was converted from in front by 10 (Pat Kuenzle). Kings 15 – Newington 7.

Then, just before oranges, Newington were in again. A couple of missed tackles and no. 14 Latu Latunipulu stepped through for their second try in quick succession. When Kuenzle converted it was game on at Kings 15 – Newington 14.

The gutsy Kings’ 9, Daniel Macqueen, seemed to receive a head knock and came off right on half-time.

Second half

Kings went straight on to the attack from the kick off and a rolling maul lead to another Kings’ try, this time looked to be scored by the captain, no. 8 David Ballantyne. The conversion from wide out was successful. Kings 22 – Newington 14.

Then Newington’s half time rev-up must have sunk in and they had the run of play for the next ten minutes or so with a good passage of support play and some strong runs. Newington was looking good – like the crowd had expected. The game had really come alive!

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