1st Grade – Kentwell Cup
In the first home game of the season, following a Round 1 draw with Colleagues, the squad was filled with confidence and ready to play. It was a beautiful, warm afternoon for some running rugby.
And in the first 10 minutes of play, Knox showed their class, marching down the field and earning a penalty in front of the sticks. 3-0, Knox. However, from there, some confusion at line-out time, and a strong Petersham scrum put Knox on the back foot. And over the next 20 minutes, Petersham showed what they could do with some front-foot ball and in broken play. They went on and scored two unconverted tries. 3-10, Petersham. Knox had to recalibrate. And what is becoming a trademark for this team, they hung tough and found a way back into the game, scoring a converted try just before the break.
Half Time, 10-10.
The opening 15 minutes of the second half was all Knox. They solved their line-out problems, applied pressure, and came away with points. 20-10, Knox.
And then we saw a final swing of momentum back towards Petersham. Knox were out of gas too soon. 20 minutes to go and Petersham weren’t going away. Try to Petersham, in the corner. Sideline conversion successful. 20-17, Petersham. With a well executed kick-off, Knox regained possession and were awarded a penalty within range. David Stenning, who was perfect off the tee, made it 23-17 with 10 minutes to go. Knox made several attempts to clear the ball from their own half to relieve pressure, but their kick-chase had disappeared. Petersham relentlessly attacked Knox’s line in the dying minutes. Finally, they broke through the desperate goal-line defense and scored with 2 minutes to go. With another successful conversion, Petersham completed their comeback and secured a last-minute victory.
It was a spirited performance from both sides, and the Knox players were devastated not to have held on in front of their home crowd.
3 points – Oliver Nutbeen
2 points – Liam Creeley
1 point – Fraser McCormack
2nd Grade – Burke Cup
Just like that with a week’s turn around the boys attitudes shifted and we started to get an idea of what we are trying to achieve.
A tough week of training with the grounds being closed because of the weather didn’t help our preparation, but with the addition of outstanding debutant Leo Bosch help steer the ship and make some good decisions under pressure really helped the boys keep their heads up. Skipper Matt Gratton and the boys felt like they were the better team but found themselves down 6-3 at half time after a dominant half. A few strong words from a couple of the leaders and we managed to get home with a good win in the second half.
A special mention also to Fraser Engelen and Ian Thompson both celebrating huge milestones with the club and played a big part in helping lead a young team around the field.
3 – Leo Bosch
2 – Matt Horsley
1 – Locky Herbron
Colts – Barbour Cup
After coming off a close loss with reigning premiers Colleagues, the colts were after blood! From the kickoff, slick hands through the likes of Jono Stenning and Ben Parsonage found the team in the opponent’s 22 resulting in a quick try from the Colties. With the opponents on the back foot, the colts found themselves in more scoring opportunities through Zac’s battering runs through the middle of the ground. Although the momentum was on our side, the Shamy’s fought back at the end of the first half with the forwards showing a master class on goal-line defence holding them out scoreless in the first half.
Half time: 14-0
The second half showed off the skills of Tommy Nicholl making a blistering run down the sideline to go in for his first try of the season. The captain, Robbie Batch didn’t hold back either, with spine crunching tackles and battering runs of 9, it was only a matter of time until he got over for a try. The Reinforcements of the colts bench this year are scary with all 8 making a significant impact late in the game. Sam Nathan playing his first game of the season due to injury in trials came in late and dominated with excellent support play he also found the white line for a try in the last minute. The colts defence is looking strong holding the Shamy’s scoreless in a 33-0 win.
3- Zac Feaunati
2 – Ben Parsonage
1 – Robbert Batchelor
3rd Grade – Whiddon Cup
In 3rds, we were always playing catch up against a side that had more urgency and hunger for the ball. Whilst we had a strong team on paper, we failed to click as a team. Compounding this was a referee very keen to impress his assessor with his control of the game, with 3 yellow cards and a penalty try. The scrum with Bryn Robertson, Tim Parker and Willie Kuki was strong, and with lineout, showed we had a platform to win, but loose and dropped passes, wayward kicking and a lack of competitiveness for the ball, at rucks and mauls, frustrated our attempts to get back in the game.
So good to see legends Dan Morelli and Myles Taylor back on the field, even though both fell afoul of our overzealous ref’s handing out of yellow cards. Matt Hill, ex 1st grade scrum half, made a strong return to Knox after 10(?) years absence, and was busy round the set piece and open play. Kael Hudson was strong in the backs and made a great break in the first half narrowly missing out on a try.
This week let’s all make the effort to get to training this week and step up our intensity for next Saturday’s game v Waverley.
2 – Kael Hudson
1 – Tim Parker
1 – Myles Taylor