An overcast Friday afternoon at Bond University Rugby Club was the home to what was to be an exhilarating match of rugby against two long-time rivalling schools; Somerset College and All Saints Anglican School; for the APS Rugby Grand Final of 2019. Somerset College was looking to scratch their names into the perpetual trophy for a third year in a row and All Saints looked to disrupt the streak.
Two weeks prior, Somerset College fell agonisingly short of victory against this undefeated All Saints side after a tightly contested match with the score finishing at 14 to 17 so this final proved to be somewhat of a redemption.
As the clocked ticked four o’clock in the afternoon, the seats surrounding the Rugby field began to fill with the familiar green and white colours of Somerset college and the blue of All Saints supporters. As the sun began to set and lights focussed on the field, the whistle blew for the kick off.
Nerves for the Somerset boys kicked in as All Saints spread the ball wide and scored two tries very early in the first half with one of them converted. After 12 minutes, the scoreboard saw the All Saints side up 12 nil. With tough carries from Brock Priestly and Michael Taulepa to contest the tight All Saints Defence, the Somerset side saw themselves inching closer to the All Saints try-line nearing the end of the first half. After being halted a couple metres out from the try-line, Alex Miles used some fancy footwork to find a hole in the All Saints Defence and managed to cross the line for a try converted by Sam Dalton. Strong Somerset defence saw the end of the first half and the score was 12 to 7.
After some words at half-time, the All Saints boys came out raring and eager to put some more points on the did. And score they did in the first three-minutes of the second half leaving the score at 17 to 7 with the Somerset boys with plenty of work to do. Seeking revenge, the Somerset side responded immediately with Michael Taulepa receiving a pass from Josh Radcliffe and remained untouched down the sideline as he scored a try, bringing the score to a more respectable 17 to 12. A sense of momentum filled the Somerset team in the final 15 minutes and a successful lineout execution meant that the Somerset backs found an opening which landed the ball in Sam Dalton’s hands who dived over the line to bring the score to a level 17 to 17.
The final 10 minutes were played with a feeling of desperation from both sides with neither team being able to quite get over their opposition’s line. A series of scrums and lineouts stretched into overtime where play continued and the final whistle was blown with the score swill level. A winner could not be decided and so for the first time in history, Somerset and All Saints held the trophy together for a shared premiership.
A special congratulation must go to rugby captain, Sam Dalton who was awarded the Sean Hardman medal for MVP of the Somerset side. After an incredible season, it seems only fitting to reflect on the memories we created and the people who made this journey as successful as it was. This result would not have been possible if it weren’t for the tireless work of Mr Spencer Attoe, Mr Grant Anderson, Mr Rico Gear as well as rugby coordinator Mr Scott Walsh and everyone who assisted with this year’s 1st XV rugby season.
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