A bitterly cold morning greeted the boys on arrival at the fields after the morning bus ride. This made enthusiasm a battle in between games all day as we sought shelter in the bus at every chance.
The format for the day involved 20 minute games, with the boys and girls rounds alternating throughout the day. We played round games against Concord High School (winning 3-2), St Dominic’s College, Penrith (winning 8-1), Tomaree High School (winning 4-1) and Tweed River High School (winning 8-1). Our game improved as the rounds went on. Defence became the focus and we constantly built pressure on opposition teams through this, which in turn lead to some great individual and team tries. These results saw us top our pool and progress to the knockout rounds.
In the Quarter Final we played Hunter Sports High. Defensive pressure and our quick tempo saw us comfortably win 5-1. This brought us to a Semi Final against Kildare Catholic College. Again, the team was able to control their opposition through some fantastic defensive reads from the links and wings and we continued our way winning 5-1 as well.
Into the Final against Narrabeen Sports High who had been playing and winning comfortably all day. We started well scoring early and seemed to be controlling the game without issue. A few mistakes at the attacking end saw Narrabeen gifted the majority of possession, which saw them score to equal and then go ahead with 1 minute 30 left in the game. Cool heads prevailed and on our next attacking effort, Daniel Peters scored in the corner to take the game into extra time.
Extra time in touch football involves a drop-off situation, with teams starting extra time with 5 players (instead of the usual 6) and dropping a player every minute (minimum of 3 players) of play until one team scores. After our fourth minute of extra time and down to 3 players, Josh Wouterez made a diving touch to deny Narrabeen the win. The resulting attacking set saw the boys slow down the tempo and move the ball down into a good position for Sandon Smith to weave his magic and put Josh over for the winning try. A fantastic result for a very talented team crowned NSW All Schools Champions 2018. Sandon Smith was named Player of the Final.
The teams consisted of: Sandon Smith, Josh Wouterez, Wiremu Tibbutt, Toby Patterson, Daniel Peters, Harry Barnes, Ben Dufficy, Owen Flaherty, Zac Healey, Fletcher Powell, Joel Evans and Tyler Moriarty. Special thanks to Lachlan Rousell (Yr 10) who came down as our referee representative.
The team now progresses to the National Schools Cup on the Sunshine Coast QLD, September 12-14.