The delayed 4.00pm kick-of allowed spectators from both schools to attend the annual Hickey-Fradgley trophy game between Somerset College and All Saints Anglican School. Last year’s APS Champions always field a good side and this year was no different.
From the outset All Saints looked up for the challenge and their Inside Centre scored the easiest of tries after a simple backline move within the first two minutes of play. They converted and the Somerset College 1st XV were down by 7 points.
The 1st XV rallied and hit back straight away through their own Inside Centre, Lewis Ioannou. He beat his opposite for pace and then swerved around the All Saints Fullback to dive over in the right hand corner. Kai George struck the conversion well but it just missed and the early indications was that this game was going to be an epic encounter.
Five Eight, Taylor Davies created some space for Outside Centre, Craig Hales to sprint 50 metres to score Somerset’s second of the afternoon. Once again, Kai George’s conversion just shaved the uprights and Somerset had hit back again to take the lead, 10-7. A careless midfield error allowed All Saints Outside Centre to raced 30 metres and dive over the try line, only to be denied by some tenacious defence by Taylor Davies who managed to hold the ball up. From the scrum, All Saints mounted wave after wave of attack to eventually score out wide. The conversion went astray and All Saints were up, 12-10. Some territory pressure from Somerset eventually told with Kai George diving over in the left hand corner, the conversion missed and the score was 15-12 in Somerset’s favour. A poor kick-off reception and penalty left the 1st XV in disarray and All Saints capitalised by scoring in the corner again to recapture the lead, 17-15. The last act of the first half saw the 1st XV awarded a penalty out in front and 40 metres from goal. Captain, Duncan Hossy wisely enquired as to how much time was left on the clock. Last play was the answer. Duncan opted for the shot at goal and this time Kai George slotted it to put the 1st XV into the lead for the third time in the match.
The second half was a little less exciting, as both teams became less adventurous as the full time whistle approached. All Saints tried to run the ball out from their own goal line only to turn the ball over. Scrumhalf, Josh Vuta slung the ball wide to find eventual Man of the Match, Craig Hales, who out-paced the cover defence to score in the left hand corner. Josh Vuta struck the conversion low and hard right from the touchline. Miraculously it went over and the biggest lead of the game was established at 25-17. All Saints were not done yet and thanks to a careless exiting error the ball was charged down and the All Saints Hooker pounced to score an easy try under the post. The conversion was successful and the game was to come down to a very tense final 15 minutes. Both teams squandered opportunities and the Somerset 1st XV held their nerve to eventually win a titanic battle, 25-24, and regain the Hickey-Fradgley trophy for the first time since 2013.
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