NSW Schoolboy Champs Day 2 Under 18’s Thriller
Author : Jocelyn Airth
News Corp Australia Sports Newsroom
It was a classic game in the NRL Schoolboy Champs and the two teams couldn’t be seperated.
Watch the full replay of Combined Independent Schools v Combined High Schools here.
They played their hearts out, but nothing could separate the Combined Independent Schools and Combined High Schools 18s sides at the NSW Schools Championship
After finishing deadlocked 20-20 on Wednesday at St Mary’s Leagues Stadium, CIS halfback Joseph Nohra said he was proud of his team for holding off a late CHS surge.
“I’m very proud of our boys, every single player, one to 20, all dug deep. all the boys impressed me. We were down by 10 points at one stage, but we stuck together.” CIS halfback Nohra said.
CIS middle Jake Abbey added: “We showed real heart, having lots of defensive efforts on the line. As much as individual talents can shine through, the whole team came together really well.”
Trey Barlow during the NSW U18 Combined Independent Schools v Combined High Schools, State Rugby League Tri-Series held at St Mary’s Leagues Stadium. Picture: Jonathan Ng
Kiama High School’s Ryan Hodgson – the only CHS player without any NSWRL junior representative experience – had an impressive day on the paddock.
The young gun, who also made this year’s CHS rugby union side, said he relished the opportunity to test himself against the best schoolboys in NSW.
“The draw was definitely frustrating, you train for a while. Coming off the loss to Combined Catholic Colleges on Tuesday, we hoped to get the win over CIS. Solid game but unlucky,” Hodgson said.
“It’s been a big year given the rep opportunities I’ve had. I still prefer my league, I’ve played since I was six-years-old.”
CIS snatched an early lead, with centre Patrick Spence crossing in the opening minutes. Rangy winger Luke Tucker made a brilliant bustling break on the right edge and put his teammate Spence over next to the post.
Markis Atoa during the NSW U18 Combined Independent Schools v Combined High Schools, State Rugby League Tri-Series held at St Mary’s Leagues Stadium. Picture: Jonathan Ng
Tucker backed up to claim a four-pointer of his own, pouncing on a perfectly weighted kick by halfback Nohra.
CIS fullback Siteni Taukamo – signed with the Cronulla Sharks – was electric in both attack and defence. He had the crowd on their feet after pulling off a phenomenal try-saver on CHS winger Tyrone Munro.
“He’s a freak the things he does at training, things I’ve never seen before, he’s a very good player” Nohra said.
With an early lead, CIS dominated field position – but the CHS boys were up to the challenge.
Prop Markis Atoa was formidable through the middle and Hodgson was a constant threat.
CHS were eventually rewarded for their efforts when big Lajaun Vito crashed over on the right.
Lachlan Broederlow during the NSW U18 Combined Independent Schools v Combined High Schools, State Rugby League Tri-Series held at St Mary’s Leagues Stadium. Picture: Jonathan Ng
Winger Munro then scored a beauty off his own kick to level the score 10-10 at half time.
“We were a bit knocked down after the first game, everyone just played their hearts out today… we knew we had to be resilient and bounce back” prop Atoa said.
CHS got straight to work in the second half, with centre Brandon Morkos and big Atoa crashing over to push their team ahead 20-10.
But CIS responded instantly via Dane Towns, who sprinted 90-metres down the field to touch down on the left.
Nohra almost followed suit with a 50-metre bolt of his own, but the Rabbitohs SG Ball star was stopped by CHS’ Trey Barlow.
Newington College’s Lipiana Ata then broke through, crossing to lock up the scoreboard 20-20 with just eight minutes to go.
Play travelled from end to end, with both Nohra and CHS halfback Iverson Matai missed field goal attempts in the dying minutes.
In the end, nothing could separate the sides who finished up on 20-20.
NSWCHS 20 – 20 NSWCIS
TRIES : Lajaun Vito, Tyrone Munro, BrandMorkos, Markis Atoa
GOALS : Blake Metcalfe 2
TRIES : Patrick Spence, Luke Tucker, Dane Towns, Lipina Ata
GOALS : Seteni Taukano 2
DAY 3 ACTION PHOTO GALLERIES
DAY 2 ACTION PHOTO GALLERIES
DAY 1 ACTION PHOTO GALLERIES
¦ WATCH THE HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE U15 CHAMPS HERE
Combined Independent Schools Under 18’s
1 Siteni Taukamo, Newington College
2 Jesse McLean, Newington College
3 Patrick Spence, Oakhill College
4 Nosa Obaseki, Cranbrook School
5 Lehi Hopoate, St Augustine’s College
6 Isaiya Katoa, Barker College (withdrawn)
7 Joseph Nohra, St Patrick’s College
8 Jake Abbey, William Clarke College
9 Bayley Meredith, Rouse Hill Anglican College
10 Bill Statham, St Stanislaus’ College
11 Lachlan Broederlow Regents Park Christian School
12 Michael Abdow, Oakhill College
13 Domenico De Stradis, Oakhill College
14 Jordan Roumanous, St Patrick’s College
15 Lawrence Kini, Bethel Christian School
16 Raffaele De Stradis, Oakhill College
17 Lipina Ata, Newington College
18 Max Riolo, Newington College
19 Dane Towns, Waverley College
20 Luke Tucker, Knox Grammar School
Combined High Schools Under 18’s
1 Blake Metcalfe The Hills Sports High School
2 Tyrone Munro, Alexandra Park Community School
3 Kyron Fekitoa, Endeavour Sports High School
4 Brandon Morkos, Figtree Sports High School
5 Te Umuaiki Heremai Tukere, Illawarra Sports High School
6 Jack Cole, Orange High School
7 Iverson Matai, Endeavour Sports High School
8 Amir Yatim, Homebush Boys High School
9 Ethan Gilchrist, Tumut High School
10 Markis Atoa, The Hills Sports High School
11 Ryan Couchman, Bulli High School
12 Junior Tapau, Endeavour Sports High School
13 Nicholas Lenaz, Castle Hill High School
14 Trey Barlow, Warilla High School
15 Soloman Saukuru, Westfields Sports High School
16 Lajuan Vito, Endeavour Sports High School
17 Raymond Lole, Westfields Sports High School
18 Luran Patea, The Hills Sports High School
19 Luke Raymond, Endeavour Sports High School
20 Ryan Hodgson, Kiama High School
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