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Hawkesbury Valley Rugby U12s thrilling victory over Newport Breakers

Jun 29, 2023

In a highly anticipated showdown on Sunday, the Hawkesbury Valley Rugby U12s clashed with the formidable Newport Breakers at their home ground. Both teams boasted a strong representation of talented girls and were known for their impressive roster of representative players.

This encounter promised to be an intense battle, with Hawkesbury eager to secure their first-ever victory against Newport in this age group, especially after suffering a heart-breaking defeat in last year’s semi-final. Adding to the challenge, Hawkesbury had to face Newport without their chief playmaker and captain, who was away representing the Catholic schools rugby teams in Forbes.

Right from the kick-off, Hawkesbury adopted a forward-oriented strategy, launching four powerful runs at Newport’s defensive line. The cracks in Newport’s defense were evident early on as Lavinia Tomkins-Oloaga found a gap and sprinted an impressive 50 meters for a try. The newly groomed fly half, Colton McGlaghlan, successfully converted the try, giving Hawkesbury an early advantage.

However, Newport quickly responded and managed to score off a fumbled catch after the kick-off. Undeterred, Hawkesbury maintained the pressure and forced Newport into an error. Following a strong scrum, the Hawkesbury backs executed one of their newly trained moves, resulting in Jeriyah Tomkins-Oloaga bursting through Newport’s defensive line and leaving defenders in his wake. Tomkins-Oloaga crossed the try line under the posts, and the conversion was successfully made.

Hawkesbury were eager to secure their first victory against Newport.

Once again, Newport countered with a remarkable run from one of their rep girls and a try scored right on the sideline, narrowly missing the conversion. The match continued and Newport soon found themselves on Hawkesbury’s try line. Despite Hawkesbury’s resolute defense repelling Newport’s assaults, one of Newport’s powerful players managed to crash over the line for a try. Newport failed to convert, leaving the score at 17-14 in their favor.

With only five minutes remaining in the first half, Hawkesbury took control of the ball for a solid ten minutes. They displayed patience and composure, executing their game plan of maintaining possession. Sensing a tiring defense, Colton sent a long cut-out pass to Luisa Lolomanaia, a Sydney Cup winner with the Two Blues. Lolomanaia raced away untouched for a 20-meter try, which was successfully converted. At halftime, Hawkesbury led 21-17.

The second half witnessed an intense back-and-forth battle for a solid fifteen minutes. Newport’s rep girls showcased their strength, frequently stealing the ball at will. Meanwhile, the Hawkesbury forwards utilized their power, and counter-rucking to deny Newport clean possession. After a robust counter-ruck from Connor Craig and Lexi Fitzpatrick, Hawkesbury gained possession and swiftly delivered the ball to speedster Latu Viahola Lolomaniaia, who sprinted away untouched to score under the posts. The try was converted, extending Hawkesbury’s lead to 28-17.

Recognizing a clear mismatch on the wing, Hawkesbury targeted that area and initiated their plan to exploit it. Opting to go up the middle initially, they drew in defenders and made valuable meters before the backs executed their strategy. With precise passing and a series of cut-outs, the ball eventually found its way to Viahola, who once again showcased her speed and evaded defenders to score a try near the sideline. The conversion was successful, further increasing Hawkesbury’s lead to 35-17.

In the final five minutes, Newport managed to score two additional tries, but their failure to convert them proved costly. Both teams scored five tries each, but Newport only converted two, while Hawkesbury capitalized on all of their conversions. Ultimately, Hawkesbury emerged victorious, ending their losing streak against Newport with a final score of 35-29.

While all players received three points for their contributions, the man of the match honor went to Jax Gillies, who made a crucial try-saving tackle and played a pivotal role in setting up three tries. Gillies assumed the captaincy for the day in the absence of the regular captain.

The team now enters a well-deserved four-week break due to the school holidays and byes. This hiatus will provide an opportunity for players to recover from any injuries and for the team to refine their skills as they prepare for the upcoming finals.

 

 

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