CAS Round 8 – Championship won

CAS Round 8 – Championship won

The CAS Premiership could be decided in Round 8 at Knox but there was also interest in whether Cranbrook could maintain their comeback against Trinity, and could Waverley overcome their disappointment of their poor performance last week, at the expense of Barker?

Knox v St Aloysius

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     by “Tahmen”


In what was billed as the match of the round, the two top teams of the CAS competition went head to head at Knox 1.  Knox could win the Premiership with a win and the crowd was mindful that teams were separated by only one point the first time they met, in Round 4.

First half

Aloys kicked off and the game started at an high intensity, with strong rush defence from both teams and a lot of kicking. Knox got the first real attacking opportunity after Aloys kicked the ball out on the full.  After some impressive play at top pace by the backline, Stenning (15) split the Aloys’ defensive line down the middle for Woodcock (10) to score.  He converted his own try. 7 – 0 to Knox.

A dropped ball from the kick-off gave Aloys attacking momentum and position. This enabled  Lawson (12) to slice through the whole Knox backline for a spectacular solo try to get Aloys on the board. 7 – 5 to Knox.

Long periods of play ensued with some excellent breakdown work by Chapman (7) and threatening runs by Diamond (11) who always drew in defenders. Knox’s discipline was poor however and Aloys crept forward slowly but surely and were rewarded with a solid try to Slaven (13). Aloys took the lead 12-7.

Knox crestStraight from the restart Knox hit back off of some sloppy play from the visitors, who attempted to catch the ball even though it had not gone ten metres. In the confusion Chapman (7) pounced on the ball and offloaded to Margin (4) for a try to Knox who retook the lead, 14-12 after the extras.

Williams (12) then scythed through several Aloys’ defenders before being stopped short, and the ball taken out. Neither teams’ lineouts had looked solid and an Aloys’ error enabled Cutrone (3) to score Knox’s third try to put them ahead 21 – 12.

Aloys responded with phase after phase of pressure on the Knox line and they were rewarded with an easy penalty right on the buzzer.

Half-time score:  Knox 21 – Aloys 15.

Second half

Solid play from the powerful Knox forwards saw Knox place some early second half points on the board with a forwards’ try scored by Milan (8) — 28 -15 to Knox. From there it didn’t let up and Knox scored again and again.

The Championship looked within their grasp as Ingram (11) scored after a good run from Milan (8) down the field – and then Knox slotted lead a penalty to lead 38-15.

Aloys showed some flashes of danger but the second half was all Knox.  Another try to Ingram for them ended the scoring.

Full-time score:  Knox 43 – St. Aloysius 15.

Knox won the  Premiership as they can’t be overtaken in the last two rounds.

The players

Aloysius crestSt Aloysius – Lawson (12) was my pick of them today by a long way as he looked dangerous with the ball and was solid in defense. As always Diamond (11) was dangerous but didn’t seem to have the same wrecking ball effect that he had last game—perhaps some targeted defence by Knox helped.

In the forwards I thought Stene (2) had an solid game.  Even though his pack was out-muscled in most areas he led his smaller group bravely.

Knox – Stenning (15) had an outstanding game.  You forget how fast he is until you see him run—definitely a danger man on the field and combined with Williams (12) and Armstrong (13) I think the Knox backline is more dangerous than they get credit for. In the forwards Rowell (2) was a workhorse around the field; he was in everything, great to see.

The teams

St Aloysius – At half-time I was looking forward to an exciting second half like the last time these two met. Aloys played as if they were the favourites in the first half never giving up and always looking to score. In the second half I felt like the forwards never seemed to put pressure around Knox rucks and the backs seemed to lack any structure or intensity, letting metres be gained by Knox in contact that should not have been.

But they fought bravely, which is all you can ask.

Knox – With a monster of a pack and a nearly full strength, dangerous backline Knox showed everybody why they are the CAS premiers by beating the next best team in the comp by such a large margin. It is not the stars that make the team it is the really solid performances from every single player.

Hard to see Cranbrook or Barker coming close although there have been so many upsets this season that I don’t see why not.

Click on Page 2 below for a report on Waverley v Barker by “sidelineview”

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Voted most valuable member of the G&GR Forum since records began - Ed.

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