High scoring affair!
The annual Coast of Origin Rugby League game is a fantastic event that has been happening since 2011 to offer a sporting opportunity to Haeata Community Campus after the Christchurch earthquakes resulting in a lot of the East Coast facilities being damaged.
As current holders of the shield our team had a lot of feeling for this game wanting to retain the shield and with a large Y13 contingent they wanted to finish their schooling rugby league on a high.
We had a combination of GHS and JPII players to fill out the team, which continued the strong relationships between the two schools supporting each other on the sports field.
First Half: Our team started off the game with a solid set, from being all the way back on our own line. Antonino Verhoeven (JPII) dished off a great pass to Mac Gibson (JPII) to opening the scoring and Matty Molloy (JPII) added the extras. HCC capitalised on a mistake from the restart from our team giving HCC an easy opportunity to get over the line, and it was under the posts giving an easy conversion to lock up the score line. After this mistake from the previous restart the boys wanted to quickly put that in the back of their mind. Molloy showed some impressive individual running putting HCC under pressure, with an extra player on the outside Molloy dropped the step to cut back inside to beat the last defender to go in for his first try, being out wide it was a tricky conversion but Molloy made it look easy to add the extras. Our team once again had issues from the restart handing HCC another great attacking opportunity and getting in for a very soft try in our books to lock up the scores again. the GHS/JPII boys knew they were making some uncharacteristic mistakes in the game spurring them on to produce some great plays. The next set of six saw the boys move the ball through the team and Gibson stabbed through a great kick which sat up perfectly for Wilson who was chasing hard and he dove over the line to get in for his double, the multi talented Wilson nearly converted his own however is bounced off the upright. The last points of the half went to the GHS/JPII team – Wil van der Geest showed off some fancy footwork stepping through four defenders proving very tricky to handle, Griffin Thomas added the extra points with a great kick from the sideline. Half Time: GHS/JPII 22 – 12 HCC
Second Half: HCC started the second half with good pressure on our side straight from the whistle causing some miscommunication at the back from our team meant HCC got in for another easy try. Payton Guthrie (JPII) turned on the speed from within our our half outpaced the HCC cover defender with a classy step to go in under the posts for a fantastic individual try. Molloy is back on the tee to keep the conversions ticking over. GHS/JPII keep the foot on the peddle putting HCC under all sorts of pressure and this time Niko Barnett was on the end of the line to get in for his first try and the team’s sixth try after a solid team effort to form the play. Thomas converted again. HCC are not out of the picture yet, they continued their hard running and keep the ball in play close to our try line to go in under the posts, again an easy conversion to keep them in touch on the scoreboard. The final say of the game went to HCC who again used the ball well after handling errors from us opened up the attacking opportunity putting us under all sorts of pressure and HCC got in for their fifth try of the game.
Final Score: GHS/JPII 34 – 26 Haeata Community Campus
Thank you to coaches of Kurt Dixon and Gene Wilson for leading this group of talented players, fantastic to have people like yourselves supporting youth sport in the community. Also a big thank you to referee Dean McGrath for officiating and to WCRL for supporting this fixture!