The 1st XV suffered a heartbreaking loss at the hands of a committed and determined All Saints Anglican School team. Despite inclement conditions the crowd turned up in numbers as Bond University hosted the APS Final between the two schools.
It would almost certainly be the first match this season played in rainy conditions for both schools and it certainly showed early on for Somerset as a few scoring opportunities were squandered. All Saints defended their line well and managed to repel a number of desperate attempts from the Somerset pack. A few careless penalties from the 1st XV enable All Saints to get some much needed territory and when a penalty was awarded 30 metres out they intelligently chose to shoot for goal. The 3-0 lead after absorbing so much early pressure must have surely given the All Saints boys confidence playing into the stiff breeze. From the kick-off Somerset went straight back into the All Saints 22 metre line and after a number of phases, Scrumhalf, Josh Vuta swung the ball to the left with a huge pass to find an unmarked Oliver Thew, who dived over on the left hand side, merely inches from the touchline. The difficult conversion attempt went astray. Somerset had the lead 5-3. Somerset mounted another attacking raid but yet again the All Saints defence was resolute and the normal fluency of the Somerset backline was nullified. Late in the half, again on the back of some careless errors and penalties, the All Saints Fullback slipped on the outside of the Somerset defence and was dragged down a few metres short of the try line. From the ensuing ruck, their tireless Openside Flanker scooped up the ball and darted over to score an all too easy try. The conversion just went wide and All Saints led at the half 8-5.
Playing into the breeze in the second half was always going to be difficult with All Saints playing to the conditions by keeping the 1st XV pinned inside their half. Failing to exit well and conceding consistent penalties kept the pressure on the 1st XV and All Saints capitalised slipping over just to the right of the uprights. They converted and the score was out to 15-5. With 15 minutes remaining the 1st XV were forced to up the ante and a few boys were injected into the match to add some potency to the Somerset attack, which all game had struggled to mount pressure in the conditions. Mitchell Olarenshaw tried to lead the team with some strong and determined runs but the failure to string together several phases was costly and the pressure on All Saints was often released at crucial stages. Josh Vuta continued to apply pressure with good line speed in defence and was rewarded with a try from a kick charge down. Kai George nailed the conversion and a glimmer of hope remained for the 1st XV with 6 minutes to play.
Somerset went immediately back on attack and were awarded a penalty out wide, The 1st XV elected to put the ball in the corner and go for a game winning play. The lineout was executed perfectly and the maul was formed 5 metres out from the try line. Just as it looked like the 1st XV would drive it over for the match winning try, the ball was spilled forward at the base of the maul and, once again, the pressure on All Saints was released. With 2 minutes remaining another penalty was awarded 35 metres out and on an angle. This time, instead of going for the corner, the 1st XV elected to try and tie the match up. Unfortunately the kick sailed just to the left of the uprights and the All Saints boys held on to a memorable victory. Josh Vuta was awarded the Sean Hardman Medal for setting up the 1st XV’s first try and scoring the second.
Tries: Oliver Thew, Josh Vuta
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Conversion: Kai George