ACT crowned National Schoolboy champions

by Sam Phillips and Beth Newman

The Australian Schoolboys Championship is done and dusted for another year and ACT have been crowned national champions.

They were the form team all tournament and fittingly, they came out on top in the final, a 30-11 win over QLD II.

It's the first national title for ACT since 1988 and there looks to be potential stars aplenty in that side.

Here's how all the action panned out on finals day.

12:50pm - ACT 30 QLD II 11

ACT outworked QLD II at the furnace. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Karen WatsonACT controlled both possession and territory in the first 10 minutes and they turned to the reliable boot of Will Goddard to open up a 3-0 lead.

QLD II, through strong set piece play and willing defence, worked back into the game and Carter Gordon levelled the scores with 19 minutes gone.

Gordon’s penalty was followed by a try sparked by a strong rolling maul, standout openside flanker Kohan Herbert spinning off the back of it and offloading to Rhys van Nek, who found Josh Vuta for the first try of the match, late in the first half.

ACT narrowed the margin as the half time siren sounded, Goddard slotting another penalty after his forward pack powered through a terrific scrum.QLD II were no match for an ACT outfit that was up for the fight. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Karen WatsonGoddard then put ACT in front with a pure strike of a penalty from 45 metres out before Seamus Smith was rewarded for another great game with his team’s first try - the halfback darting over from close range after his forwards went close to scoring in a multi phase movement.

QLD II added another penalty soon after but ACT extended their lead again, a brilliant pass from Goddard off the back of a strong lineout putting Brendan Jimenez over.

That was followed by the sealer from hooker Lachlan Lonergan and in truth, ACT never looked to be in any danger as soon as they emerged from the half time sheds.

ACT took full control in the second half. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Karen WatsonThey were the best team all tournament and looked every bit of that today.

Eye catchers - ACT

Will Goddard

It's been written after every match he has played in this tournament but Goddard looks to be a future star. His game is very similar to Reds young gun Hamish Stewart in that he can control proceedings purely through the strength of his right boot. His goal kicking is immaculate and his kicking in general play always seems to find open space or the sideline. Threw a perfect pass to put Jimenez over and gets stuck in defensively as well.

Wyll Holland

Has lead by example all tournament and did so again today. Puts his hand up for carry after carry and is capable of the occasional game breaking burst.

Brendan Jimenez

Another stellar outing from the livewire fullback. Doesn't have the biggest frame but defenders seem to have a tough time laying a hand on him, such is the strength of his speed and agility.

Eye catchers - QLD II

Kohan Herbert

Brilliant spin move off the back of a maul to set up QLD II's only try and loved his work rate around the park. An archetypal openside flanker.

RESULT

ACT 30

Tries: Smith, Jimenez, Lonergan

Cons: Goddard 3

Pens: Goddard 3

QLD II 11

Tries: Vuta

Cons:

Pens: Gordon, Whiteside


11:30am - Queensland I 29 - NSW I 24

This was the game many expected to be played as the final, but instead the two traditional state sides found themselves lining up in the third-place playoff.

It lived up to the hype ,with Queensland just holding NSW off in a thrilling 29-24 contest, that went well beyond the full-time.QLD I were too strong for a desperate NSW I outfit. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Karen WatsonNSW winger Will Llyod was the star for his side with a hat-trick, but it wasn't enough to overcome the early deficit.

While NSW's Luke Reimer had first blood in just the third minute, Queensland had the better of the first half, making the most of their opportunities with three tries for the term.

Lloyd got a vital score just before the half-time siren to narrow  the margin to seven points before the break.

Queensland managed to hold NSW out in a marathon final phases, and the emotion showed after full-time.

RESULT

Queensland I 29

Tries: Lolesio, Bennet, Dowd, Hunt

Cons: Parata 3

Pens: Parata

NSW I 24

Tries: Lloyd 3, Reimer 

Cons: Donaldson 2


10am - Combined States 22 - NSW II 12

Combined States continued their strong form with a fifth place playoff win against NSW II. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Karen WatsonCombined States have pulled off another Schools upset, beating NSW II to take fifth place at Riverview on Saturday morning. 

Winger Charles Barker had a double before half-time, against the run of play, a spark that put Combined States on the front foot in that opening term.

His fellow outside back, Michael Pavlakis had yet another superb game in the tournament, influential in attack and defence, also booting three goals off the boot.

NSW were their own worst enemy at times, unable to convert their opportunities, but it was the Combined States defence that proved the greatest barrier for the hosts.

A try for Jack Walsh just after the break put the Combined States out to a 22-point lead, that was ultimately unassailable despite two late tries for NSW.

Eye catchers

Combined States

Michael Pavlakis

The Combined States fullback has been doing it all week and he was once again the star for the Combined side, with some super attack and crunching hits in defence. A certianty to be included in the national side or Barbarians team after this

Charles Baker

The winger had a double in the first half - one an intercept and another a super finish in the corner - to show his potential.

Emosi Tuqiri

The reserve prop played a crucial role in the Combined States' late scrum dominance and provided some important size to a relatively smalle side. Nephew of Lote Tuqiri doens't look like he'll be following in those outside back steps, but looks a force in the front row

NSW II

Angus Bell

The prop has been influential all tournament and was again a pivotal figure in a losing side on Saturday morning. Had a late try after pressure from NSW.

Matt Minogue

NSW II's flyhalf was a spark in attack, combining well with the rest of the backline, up against it for much of the game.

Dominic Easy

Easy has shown his versatility this week and again slotted into a slightly different role at the centres. Handed over the kicking duties but still managed to have a say as NSW mounted a comeback attempt.

RESULT

Combined States 22

Tries: Baker 2, Walsh

Cons: Pavlakis 2

Pens: Pavlakis

NSW II 12

Tries: Bell, Wellington

Cons: Minogue 


10am WA Schools 48 - Victorian Schools 17

WA has finished its tournament on a high with a big win over Victoria in the seventh-place playoff.

Carlo Tizzano was a star for WA, scoring a try and making an impact across the park, along with winger Walker Smith.

A yellow card for John-Martin Stewart put WA a man down and Victoria pounced with a try to Jonathan Lightfoot but they couldn't claw their way back into a lead against WA.

RESULT

WA 48

Victoria 17

SCHEDULE

Match day 4 – Saturday 8 July

8:45am - WA vs VIC (not live) - seventh place playoff

8:45am - Combined States vs NSW II - fifth place playoff

10am - QLD I vs NSW I - third place playoff

11:30am - ACT vs QLD II - final

TEAMS

All schoolboys teams 1-23

Combined States 

Charlie Baker, Stuart Brown, Harrison Cannon,Cooper Chambers, Isaac Crone, Brady Dawson, Joel Ellis, Dougal Hicks, Ben Joseph, Emit Keepa, Jeremy Kempston, William Kirk, Willie Manu, Will McCormick, Michael Pavlakis, Tristan Reilly, James Sidery, David Stowers, Bruce Tevaga, Emosi Tuqiri, Harry Turner, Jack Walsh, Jack Winchester, David Idstein

Australian Capital Territory Schools 

Fred Kaija, Lachlan Lonergan, Zane Hogan, Thomas Iles, Jack Kearns, Lachlan Osborne, Stuart Sellar, Well Holland, Seamus Smith, William Goddard, Petal Lefau, Harry Quinlan, Jack Gilmour, Thomas Haddad, Brendan Jimenez, Nicholas Katsogiannis, Tauati Chan-Tung, Jean-Vincent de Masson, Zane Marolt, Connor Smith, Joel Atkins, Isaac Crowe, Lincoln Smith

New South Wales I 

Bo Abra, Ciaran Loh, Darcy Breen, Max Douglas, Nick Frost, Luca Moretti, Donny Freeman, Charlie Rorke, Henry Robertson, Ben Donaldson, Will Lloyd, Brooklyn Hardaker, Billy Smith, Albert Hopoate, Thomas Woodcock, Will Johnston, Apenisa Driti, Max Cutrone, Jeremy Williams, Luke Reimer, Dylan Dowling, Joey Walton, Lachlan Ilias

New South Wales II

Angus Bell, Will Bremner, Finn Wright, Mac Williams, Ek Lambert-Leplastrier, Liam Cornish, Matthew Stead, Hunter Ward, Marco Bell, Dominic Easy, Jayden Burgess, Ed Poolman, Angus Bell, Tom Yasmin, Harry Hayward, Simon Rahme, Luke Edwards, Joel Thomas, Will Harris, Henry Whelan, David Tejcek, Charlie Savala, Harry Wilson 

Queensland I 

Egan Siggs, Eugene Koorts, Moses Alo-Emile, Harry Wilson, Trevor Hosea, Tom Kibble, Joseph Small, Cullen Ngamanu, Phoenix Hunt, Campbell Parata, Clyde Rapilla, Noah Lolesio, Jordan Petaia, Jangala Bennet, Maxwell Dowd, Theo Fourie, Clinton Malolua, John Paul Tominiko, Fred Fewtrell, Joseph Faulalo, Jaz Day, Harry McMahon, Ben Bucknell

Queensland II 

Prynce Taugaele, Rhys van Nek, Emile Tuimavave, Ryan Gassman, Kurt Kruwinnus, Bailey Tautau, Kohan Herbert, Lachlan Connors, Josh Vuta, Cooper Whiteside, Viliami Lea, Hoani Ford-Stevens, Xavier Soli, Mila Lalotoa, Byron Ralston, Nesta Mahina, Tyrell Kopua, Sinilau Wolske, Will Chaffey, Braydon Law, Rhian Stowers, Carter Gordon, Tausaga Foai

Victorian Schools 

Oliver Barden, Chris Mounga, Alex Sa'aga, Jack O'Shaughnessy, Toeleiu Junior Vaeila, Jonathan Lightfoot, Kenneth Leota, Isaac Aedo Kailea, Aukusitino Lalotoa, Angus Edwards, Harry Kolio Ma'o, Paul Faoagali, Navarre Haisila-Lokotui, Haloti Fonua Jnr, Sione Tui, Charlie Carter, Emmaunual Maliko, Wallace Purcell, Liae Tuilagi, Benjamin Anau, Alex Samuela, Sam Tuibua, Ti-Qwan Lega

Western Australian Schools 

Victor Harris, William Tui, Tiago Valentim, Jackson Pugh, Liam Van Der Heyden, Marnus Spangenberg (VC), Carlo Tizzano, Brody MacAskill (C), Reece Anapu, Sam Barsby, Walker Smith, Luke Kapene, Nika Morehu, Mayson Hill, Christian Bavadra, Harry Daynes, Jordan Grant, Connor O'Sullivan,Lapo Bigazzi, James Gray, John-Martin Stewart, Lachlan Hardy, Grason Maraka.

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