Underdog spirit driving NSW II in National Schools final

by Sam Phillips

The physicality, skill level and composure on display at the National Schoolboys Championship has been lauded by Australian Schoolboy coach Andrew Moloney ahead of Saturday's all-NSW final.

Moloney will name his Australian Schoolboy squad after NSW I square off with NSW II on Saturday afternoon and while some sublime tries have been scored, it's on the other side of the ball where drastic improvement has been noted.

"We've been really impressed with the way all the teams have played the game and the conditions have allowed for attacking rugby but it's been the physicality which has been really good to see," Moloney said.

"The pace of the game has been fast, the catch-pass skills have been great and we're seeing attacking mindsets from all the states - the coaches all deserve credit for that."It'll be an all NSW final on Saturday. Photo: Karen WatsonMoloney, like many fans, is excited at the prospect of the NSW I-NSW II final, noting the chip-on-shoulder attitude as a key factor in the latter's road to the final.

"It's always exciting when either QLD II or NSW II make the final," Moloney said.

"We saw it with QLD II last year when they were up against ACT - they all played like they had a point to prove after being overlooked for the top side.

"QLD I were a touch unlucky with that yellow card which allowed NSW (II) back into their clash but the way they attacked the game at the death was really impressive."Victoria have been the surprise packets of the tournament. Photo: Karen WatsonThe rise of Victoria in this year's tournament has also been noteworthy after they knocked off QLD II on day two.

"It's always tough on the first day of games and each state has differing degrees of preparation.

"So to see WA and Victoria respond from big defeats on the first day is testament to their character."

The fourth and final day of the National Schoolboys Championship kicks off at 8:30am on Saturday at St Ignatius College Riverview, broadcast LIVE on RUGBY.com.au.


Saturday July 14

8:30am – QLD II vs WA

10am – Victoria vs Combined States

11:15am – ACT vs QLD I

12:45pm – NSW I vs NSW II