ACT and NSW I on top after Australian Schools day two

by Sam Phillips and Beth Newman

ACT and NSW I remain the only undefeated teams in the Australian Schools Championship, with one round left before finals.

NSW I had a big 45-5 win over Combined States in Pool A, while the ACT snatched another thriller with a 31-29 win over NSW II

Six of the eight teams have a victory in hand heading into Thursday's final round of pool matches, with WA and Victoria falling short again on Wednesday.

Here's how the day panned out.


QLD I 17 - WA 3

Combined States 5- NSW I 45 

QLD II 35 - Victoria 17

ACT 31 - NSW II 29



1. NSW I - 2 wins, +70

2. QLD II - 1 win, +12

3. Combined States - 1 win, -34

4. VIC - 0 wins, -48


1. ACT - 2 wins, +4

2. NSW  II - 1 win, +38

3. QLD I - 1 win, +16

4. WA - 0 wins, -54


3:42pm - ACT 31 - NSW II 29

The ACT has pulled off a remarkable comeback to keep its unbeaten streak alive, snatching a thrilling 31-29 win over NSW II.

After going tryless for 48 minutes and trailing by as many 17 points midway through the second half, fullback Brendan Jimenez crossed twice in three minutes to narrow the gap to just three points in the dying minutes.

A third five-pointer put them in front, with a rare miss from super boot Will Goddard leaving the final margin at two points.

A far cry from some of the running rugby that has been seen, the two close rivals used their boots effectively, before NSW II’s Hunter Ward scored off the back of a scrum to narrow the gap to one point.

Though Goddard’s boot proved punishing, NSW II answered their penalties with tries, prop Angus Bell scoring two minutes before half-time to give NSW II the lead, after a huge defensive hit from centre Ed Poolman forced an ACT fumble.Brendan Jimenez scored a late double to put ACT back in the game. Photo: WatsonMomentum was all in the hands of NSW II after the break and they drew second-half blood after just five minutes, with winger Thomas Yassmin breaking away to score their third, as ACT found themselves a man down after a yellow card for Lachlan Osborne.

Ward had a double by the 40-minute mark, as NSW II seized control of the game, stretching the gap to 17 points.

Jimenez’s double was exactly the spark the ACT needed and that final try gave them a second victory over a northern rival in as many rounds.

The fullback had a simple approach to those final minutes.

"I just backed myself and tried everything I could," he said. 

NSW II's Bell said it a disappointing end, but gave credit to their opposition.

"They grinded it out really well. Those penalties killed us as well," he said.

"I think we dropped our heads and let them back into the game."

Eye catchers


Will Goddard

Goddard was prolific with the boot against NSW II, scoring 16 points. His in-field kicking was hugely influential for the ACT side, handing them plenty of territory with accuracy and distance.

Brendan Jimenez

The ACT fullback made an impact when his team was on the ropes, with two tries in three minutes putting the ACT just five points down. A match-winning contribution from him.

Lachlan Lonergan

He’s seen his brother go from schoolboys to Super Rugby setup and Lachlan Lonergan impressed for ACT again.


Angus Bell

The NSW II loosehead prop was a key part of a strong NSW II scrum that put his side on the front foot more times than not against the ACT. Earned a try for his efforts as well.

Ed Poolman

Poolman was crucial in a momentum-turning try for the NSW II side, a moment that epitomised the centre’s defensive efforts for the entire match.

Hunter Ward

The NSW II No. 8 made his presence felt against ACT, scoring a double and acting as a major force in defence and attack.


ACT 31

Tries: Jimenez 2, Lefau

Cons: Goddard 2

Pens: Goddard 4

Yellow card: Lachlan Osborne (33’)


Tries: Ward 2, Bell, Yassmin

Cons: Easy 3

Pens: Easy

2:15pm - QLD II 32 VIC 17

QLD II have followed the QLD I victory with a win of their own, beating Victoria 32-17.

QLD II had all the ball in the first 10 minutes but made four handling errors, failing to capitalise on the early prime real estate.

When the Victorians finally picked up some field position, a wayward penalty kick for touch turned into points, as Liae Tuilagi plucked the ball above a QLD II player, raced away and scored.

QLD II had too often been going wide before establishing go forward but when they did, a fantastic cutout from Carter Gordon created space down the right hand sideline and some good hands put Braydon Law away for the Queenslanders’ first points.

 QLD II looked a far better side today. Photo: WatsonAn overcooked Victorian lineout then sparked the try of the tournament, a 95 metre QLD II effort.

The ball was spread to Xavier Soli, who split the Victorian line before popping a perfect push pass to Kohan Herbert.

His flick offload was wayward but an incredible piece of an individual skill from Rhian Stowers kept the ball alive.

The halfback kicked the loose ball up to himself while running at full tilt, collected the ball and passed to Will Chaffey, who fought off a scrambling Victorian defender to score and open up a 10-7 lead at the break.

QLD II came out of the sheds firing, controlling possession and territory and eventually finding space down the right hand side for Alex Gow to score.Victoria were resilient against QLD II. Photo: WatsonBut Victoria hit back, Paul Faoagali running a superb line off clean ball inside the QLD II 22 to break two average tackles and score.

The QLD II defensive lineout wreaked havoc all afternoon and it even created some points for the Queenslanders, Law scoring his second from a pick and drive soon after.

But the Vics wouldn’t go away, Angus Edwards using quick ball from a penalty to catch the Queenslanders napping on the right wing, Harry Ma’o scoring and taking the score to 22-17.

The injection of Josh Vuta proved a winning move, the halfback coming on and kicking a penalty before scoring a try to seal the result.

Eye catchers - QLD II

Carter Gordon

Threw a couple shaky passes but was otherwise crucial in keeping QLD II going forward from flyhalf. Plays a heads up style and isn’t afraid to attack the line, which is exactly what you want in a young playmaker.

Braydon Law

Scored a pair of neat tries but it was his work around the park which impressed. Carved through work at blindside flanker, making plenty of tackles and flying into several breakdowns when his side was in danger of giving away turnover ball.

Lachlan Connors

Made a few crucial tackles when the Victorians threatened to break the line and did his fair share of work running off Gordon.

Eye catchers - VIC

Haloti Fonua

Wreaked havoc from the back when QLD II in play kicks were misguided. Has a sharp burst of acceleration and a powerful fend to match.

Benjamin Anau

Like the speed of his pass and his urgency in getting to the breakdown. Really good turn of foot, which is a really potent weapon to have as a halfback.



Tries: Law 2, Chaffey, Gow, Vuta

Cons: Gordon, Easy

Pens: Vuta

VIC 17

Tries: Tuilagi, Faoagali, Ma’o

Cons: Fonua Jnr

12:45pm - QLD I 17 WA 3

QLD I have laboured to a tight 17-3 win over a willing WA side.

The Queenslanders had plenty of ball in the first term and a lot of that possession was in the WA 22 but some stoic WA defensive work and an error ridden QLD I attack meant it took nearly 20 minutes for the first try of the match.

Even that try wasn’t a direct result of any great team play, with skipper Harrison Wilson dishing a first class offload to put second row partner Fred Fewtrell through a hole to score.

That try was enough to give QLD I a 10-3 lead at the break, as WA also failed to build any sort of attacking momentum.

QLD I proved too strong for a willing WA outfit. Photo: WatsonQLD came out of the sheds firing but it was left to another slick offload from Wilson to create points again, this time Joseph Faulalo the beneficiary of Wilson’s sleight of hand.

That would be the final scoring act of the match, as neither team could crack some ferocious defensive breakdown work and similarly feisty defence.

Eye catchers - QLD I

Harrison Wilson

The Queensland skipper has been touted as a future star and he was terrific today. Punched through plenty of work at the furnace and showed he has the ball skills to match in dishing a terrific offload to put Fewtrell over before doing the same to create Faulalo's try.

Theo Fourie

A really mobile prop that has a great appetite for the contest. Repeatedly puts his head over the ball at the breakdown. Plays as a fourth backrower in that sense, despite lining up at loosehead prop.

Joseph Small

Responsible for a pair of crucial pilfers in the first term and flew into contact when WA were peppering the QLD line.

Eye catchers - WA

Brody Macaskill

Put a few massive shots on, each of them with QLD runners stretching out at full tilt. Was flying around the field constantly looking for more work.

Carlo Tizzano

Responsible for a pair of pilfers that eased the pressure on WA when they looked like cracking and was similarly tireless defensively.


QLD I 17

Tries: Fewtrell, Faulalo

Cons: Parata 2

Pens: Parata

WA 3

Pens: Barsby

11:15am - NSW I 45 Combined States 5

NSW I has continued an undefeated start to the Australian Schools Championship with a 45-5 win over Combined States, led by a hat-trick to centre Lachlan Ilias.

Four unanswered first half tries put the home state in a dominant position going into the break, helped by super attacking work from winger Will Lloyd, who had a try and set up two others

Combined States, who sprung a surprise over Queensland II on Monday's opening day of competition, stemmed the bleeding after the break, with just one try in the opening 20 minutes of the half.

Three tries in the final 10 minutes, to NSW I's Donny Freeman, Ilias and Combined States' Michael Pavlakis, made the final margin 40 points.There is no shortage of athleticism in the NSW I ranks. Photo: ARU MediaCombined States flanker Harry Turner said NSW I were too clinical but was pleased with their mental toughness.

"It's hard to match them with their fitness and the structure they play with," he said.

"Every time they scored, the boys came back and that shows the resilience we have, which is a quality of the Combined States boys.

NSW I take on Queensland II in their final round clash on Thursday and prop Bo Abra said it wouldn't be an easy one.

We got to go in there, they're going to be physical, bigger than us. We need to match their physicality

"We're probably the fitter team but we can't go in there arrogant after two wins."

Eye Catchers


Will Lloyd

The NSW winger was the star in the early stages for his side, setting up two tries and scoring one of his own as NSW I worked their way out to an early lead.

Lachlan Ilias

NSW's hat-trick hero in their second math, Lachlan Ilias showed his finishing abilities, putting himself in the perfect spot to complete his side's strong attacking work.

Thomas Woodcock

Taking the playmaking reins, Woodcock was impressive against Combined States. Switched to fullback after Will Donaldson was replaced and was equally influential at the back.

Combined States

Harry Turner

Turner by name, turn(over) by nature. The Combined States backrower  a force in defence for his side even as they faced an uphill battle for a second surprise victory.


Combined States 5

Tries: Pavlakis

NSW I 45

Tries: Ilias 3,  Freeman 2, Lloyd, Douglas

Cons: Donaldson 3


QLD I 18 - ACT 20

NSW II 40 - WA 0

NSW I 38 - VIC 8

QLD II 22 - Combined States 28


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.

Match day 2 – Wednesday 5 July

10am - CS vs NSW I

11:30am - QLD I vs WA

1pm - QLD II vs VIC

2:30pm - ACT vs NSW II

Match day 3 – Thursday 6 July

10am - VIC vs CS

11:30am - WA vs ACT

1pm - NSW II vs QLD I

2:30pm - NSW I vs QLD II

Match day 4 – Saturday 8 July

8:45am - Pool A 4th vs Pool B 4th (not live)

8:45am - Pool A 3rd vs Pool B 3rd

10am - Pool A 2nd vs Pool B 2nd

11:30am - Pool A 1st vs Pool B 1st