Mater Maria: 0 Gowerton under 16s: 42
The eagerly awaited Mater Maria fixture did not disappoint. The pre game warm up and ritual was interrupted due to a late arrival after some sightseeing. We arrived at the school at 11.45 with the scheduled kick off due at 12, thankfully it was delayed slightly to 12,10. Quick change, strap and run around and the boys were ready to rock.
The game started much the same as previous games, at a ferocious pace and some big abrasive exchanges. Jack Soproniuk once again controlled the restart with a great take and strong run – the tone was set. Joe Bright was unlucky to experience the effects of a reoccurrence of injury to his neck that reluctantly forced him to retire early – this was a big blow to the Gowerton pack, with Bright being the lineout marshal and the main voice in defence. Only time would tell how this would affect the performance – it certainly required others to step up and take on this leadership responsibility.
The initial tempo of the game was fast and furious and a little hectic, this benefited the Mater Maria team much more than Gowerton. Gowerton were clinging on, struggling to gain any territory or implement any structure on the game. On several occasions Gowerton moved away from their tried and tested “Territory First” philosophy by trying to run the ball from deep, this resulted in mistakes and further pressure. Thankfully the tackling of Elliott Rees (7) Jacob Ireland (6), Nathan Davies (1), Max Treharne (9) and Declan Duckworth (5) ensured no tries were scored. As the game settled, Gowerton reverted back to what they did best, kicking for territory and applying pressure. To do this we needed a good set piece, initially without the leadership of Bright we struggled in this area, however as the game went on and players rose to the challenge we became more dominant. Aled Simons at hooker took control of the lineout and between him and Jack Soproniuk provided clean and quick off the top possession for Treharne to distribute – this was the exact possession that led to the first try. Treharne, whose passing has developed significantly on tour relayed the perfect pass to Cambriani who sliced through the back line with ease to go over. A much needed and well deserved try. Captain Cambriani once again leading the way and setting the standards for his team mates to follow. Elliott Rees converted. Gowerton led 7-0 with five minutes until the half time whistle. Mater once again applied much pressure, wingers Sam Jones and Sam Nicholson were involved in the game significantly – handling in possession and ensuring Gowerton kept the ball, but more importantly in defence – establishing and remaining in position and tackling their opposite number as and when required to ensure there were no breaches.
The first half finished 7-0 with Gowerton breathing a sigh of relief and feeling lucky they were in the lead. The message at half time was very much the same as previous games, focus on the structure, do your individual role well and the result will take care of itself. Mater Maria had obviously been issued a stern talking to as they started with the better intensity, once again applying pressure deep in the Gowerton half. Cam lewis came to the rescue with a strong jackle that resulted in a penalty – Cambriani now focused on the structure and understanding that our strengths were in our set piece kicked long to touch. This territorial game plan suited the Gowerton pack significantly more than their Australian counterparts. With fresh legs now on the field and the strong abrasive running of Sean Collins being introduced Gowerton looked like a more complete outfit. The next try came from what they did best – perfect lineout possession provided by the Simons – Sopronuik combination, not forgetting the hard working lifters Ethan Guy and Ollie Quick. Treharne transfers the ball at speed to Cambriani, Cambriani introduces Collins on the gain line at speed. Two phases later a long pass from Cambriani finds Lewis in space to cross over for a well worked try. Elliott Rees despite working hard in his new role as 7 composed himself well enough to add the extra points. 14-0 and Gowerton started to look more composed and assured. Mater were determined to get back into the game, this played into the Gowerton game plan with Mater trying their best to physically intimidate Gowerton. Late tackles were made on several occasions, notably to Cam Lewis and Cambriani, the later resulting in a yellow card. Gowerton never took a backward step to their credit and this frustrated the Mater Maria team further.
With the set piece really dominating it was there that the second try came from. A Mater Maria scrum was stolen against the strike, this was down to the synchronisation and communication between a well knitted front five; Davies, Simons, Quick, Duckworth and Guy all working together to produce enough pressure to provide Cam Lewis at 8 enough time and space to pick up and canter over, no surprise that Rees once again added the extra points. 21-0. Although the score line suggested Gowerton were comfortably in the lead the actual game did not reflect this. Mater Maria once again applied pressure deep in the Gowerton half after a good restart kick and some strong tackling. Elliott Rees clears from deep, this is charged down. What happened next produced the best try of the game. Iwan Richards gathered from the 5m line – his fast feet and elusive movement took the team out of the 22 and provided a base from which to attack, Cambriani who had now reverted to 9 quickly picked and attacked the open space, sliced through the unorganized defence, Collins provided the perfect support angle to cross under the posts. 28-0 and confidence was high.
The later stages of the game produced some moments that typified the Gowerton spirit. Sam Jones on the wing was fed the ball with little space or time, Jones bravely clattered into two heavier and stronger Mater players. Despite coming out slightly battered, bounced back to his feet, dusted himself down and resumed his position, outstanding bravery. Adam Fielding showed his silky skills with some mazy running that was often unselfish in his quest to create space and time for others to benefit, a real team player. Rhys Baker who slightly out of position at one point saw a high kick drop 5m away from him, his determined approach resulted in a great jackle and penalty that allowed Gowerton to remain deep in Mater Maria territory.
The two final tries were scored from typical plays/patterns. Fielding and Collins combined, both offloading in the tackle to allow Iwan Richards to race over from 40m out. While Jack Soproniuk competed and stole Mater Maria lineout ball in their 22m, Cambriani attacks the line with intent supported well by Adam Fielding who crosses over under the sticks. Elliot Rees steps up and slots over his 6th conversion from 6th attempts – pretty impressive.
Another pleasing result for the U16s squad, who are really gelling well and looking forward to their final fixture in the hotter climate of Brisbane. Injuries and niggles will be reassessed closer to game day. Although it is fair to say that all players will return home with some credit they are hoping to ensure its another victory.
Man of the Match was once again a close call. Treharne produced another fine performance, however it was felt for the sanity of his lovely mother, that we could not further emphasize his better credentials than those of his dad. Dai Treharne successful “Czechoslovakian tourist” undefeated on tour I might add-we all know how strong the rugby in Czechoslovakia is!!
Cambriani once again produced great leadership and control. His ability to change the structure of the game allowed for the emphatic score line. But his ability to assess and select this with no guidance is more a sign of his maturity. Collins in the centre once again proved his worth with his barnstorming runs and Soproniuk at second row and later flanker proved his worth as a lineout forward in providing quality possession and stealing/pressurizing Mater Maria ball. However a stand out performance came from Cam Lewis who ran strong and hard at all times, tackled and jackled in crucial areas to ensure Gowerton’s defensive record remained intact and who led from the front throughout the game. Well Done Cameron.
Match report: Mr W.Thomas
Netball- Gowerton Vs Mater Maria (MM)
The game most of the girls have been looking forward to as many are up against girls they have previously hosted.
We arrive at the outdoor netball court just behind where the rugby boys are playing. MM have an impressive 35 player squad, we feel slightly outnumbered with our 8 girls. However our girls show a keen spirit.
We decide to play 4 quarters, some of which will be played purely Gowerton against MM and the rest would be a mixed game, which would give everyone a game and balance out the numbers.
The starting 7 are the same that started against Barker. After captain Charleigh has effectively warmed up the players, we go through a few drills.
Shortly after 4 we start the game. The game gets off to a quick start, MM are very impressive and have some excellent players. Their GS is particularly tall, which will give Shanaye a tough time. However, she is determined to try her best to jump and put her under pressure. MM take the lead 2-0. Charleigh is eager to get the ball down her end so she can shot for goal. After a lovely interception by Miriam Higgs the ball travels down the court, fast paced and Amy Baldwin passes a high ball accurately into Charleigh she shoots and scores.
MM centre pass and they take advantage of the possession and move so skilfully down court to feed the ball into their tall shooter, who is also an excellent goal scorer.
Back to a Gowerton centre pass, Amy and Chloe continue to show how much they have gelled as centre court players and move around the MM defence to feed the ball into Millie, unfortunately the GK is quick and reads the pass well- interception made and MM are quick to move the ball down to score. Chloe Watkins has absolutely blown me away this game, she has really improved all her netballing skills and is showing a fantastic attitude to the game- she is really becoming a fierce little centre court player.
Throughout the rest of the quarter, Rebecca, Miriam and Shanaye are increasing put under pressure by the highly skilled MM but should be so proud of the effort and commitment they put into every play.
During the second quarter Tiffany Thomas came on in to add to defence and Miriam moved back into the circle. Again our attack continue to show some impressive sets of play in order to penetrate the MM defence, but the GK is a very good reader of the game and is proving to make it very difficult to get shots in. The defence continue to fight for every ball coming their way and get in some excellent interceptions, Rebecca Williams is really improving her tracking. Tiffany Thomas and Miriam Higgs both go in for the same ball and end up colliding with each other. Miriam is down and looks hurt. I quickly run over to see to her and the very kind MM girls tend to her lip which is cut. The enter squad give her a round of applause as she leaves the court- showing the great relationship with MM and the respect the rest of the team has for her. Mr Mason comes over to see how she is. She is okay and very brave, a bit shocked and a cut on the inside of her lip. Myself and Mr Mason decide it is best to take her to hospital just to be on the safe side. For anyone reading at home- doc gives her the all clear, no stiches, just needs to keep it clean and she is back with us very quickly to be greeted by all the girls- both sides- who are eager to ask how she is and show their concern.
Back to the game and Gowerton has now merged with MM. They are now called the purple and reds. The teams consist of all our players, apart from Tiffany who has asked to come off and Chloe Watkins, whose groin is still a little sore. Its a great combination of players and given our girls to play in different positions and with new players. Our girls continue to show an excellent standard of play and both Millie and Charleigh score around 8 goals each- but one is playing for the reds and one the purple. Shanaye and Rebecca continue to mark their opposition effectively and Amy works very well with the MM GS, feeding her some accurate balls into space in order to score some goals.
The games ends very cheerfully as all girls have now bonded on and off the court.
Player of the match
As voted by both Gowerton and MM is Miriam Higgs- during the time she was on the court she show determination to track her player and improve her style of play- I feel she is developing every game and am so proud of her hard work.
Mater Maria Hockey 1 – Gowerton Hockey 3
Mater Maria are not known for their hockey teams so we have arranged to play 7 a side indoor hockey. This suits us as we only have 7 players anyway. Before the game, Mike Harrison (the MM coach) suggests we go through the indoor hockey rules as they are slightly different from 11 a side hockey. We establish that you can only push pass and not ‘hit’ the ball as well as keeping our sticks below our shoulders. Once the rules are clear for both teams start the game.
Lucy Jones has volunteered to go in goal for the first half as she is yet to play in goal for hockey. During the first minute of the game, you can see that Mater Maria are relatively new to hockey as we dominate possession. This possession leads to the first short corner of the game which was worked by Freya Fleming. We continue to dominate the ball and find ourselves playing some lovely passes going forward which leads to a well taken shot by Ehsan to put us 1-0 up. Freya had played a lovely pass in to Ehsan for the opportunity. We continue to press and find ourselves with another sight at goal. Freya takes advantage of this by trying a long shot at goal which hits the outside of the post. Unlucky – it would have been a lovely goal too. Mater Maria are settling in to the game at this point and their first shot on goal after 7 minutes it marginally wide. From the resulting ball on the 16 yard line, Chloe Weatherley plays an audacious shot which hits the post. That would have been a sneaky one! Ehsan picks the ball up on the left and puts in a delightful cross across the goal which is missed by both the Mater Maria defenders and our attackers. Freya continues to run the midfield area and expertly battles a Mater Maria midfield player to win the ball. She looks up and sees Ehsan free in the centre of the circle who expertly turns as he receives the ball and somehow, the ball ends up in the back of the net. 2-0 Gowerton. (Ehsan later tells me that he didn’t mean for that to happen – you would never had thought that if you had seen the goal). Mater Maria have won the ball back and are attacking our defence however, Chloe is once again in the way to defend the ball and stop a shot. 2 minutes later Bethan Dallimore tries her luck with another long range shot which is once again, just wide. Freya continues to dictate play in midfield and tries her luck with a shot from just outside the circle which is well saved by the Mater Maria goalkeeper. Freya continues to pressure every Mater Maria player (I’m not sure how she managed to get round the entire pitch). This has restricted the number of shots that Lucy has had to deal with. Towards the end of the first half, Mater Maria are pushing for a goal themselves which is only stopped by some great defending by both Chloe and Holly. They continue to pressure and hit the post from a shot. Freya picks up the loose ball and dribbles down the length of the pitch to sweep a well timed cross in tot he circle where Sam Hughes is well placed to sweep home for 3-0 Gowerton. The last play of the half is well worked when Chloe intercepts a Mater Maria pass, plays a ball in to Sam who shoots just wide.
Freya is playing in goal for the second half so Lucy can play in an outfield position. The half start with both teams going end to end for the first few minutes. Neither team can get a grip on the game which leads to a free flowing game of hockey. Great to watch from the side line and the neutral! Mater Maria have taken the game by the scruff and are starting to put together some lovely passes which leads to a powerful shot at goal. Freya is in the way to block and keeps the score at 3-0. Lucy picks the ball up in midfield, runs down the line and hits the outside of the post from a tight angle. The game is still very open in this half with both teams looking likely to score. We keep the score at 3-0 when Holly clears a shot after a solo run by Mater Maria’s only state hockey player, Annie. You can see why she’s a state player from the level of skill she shows on the field. Annie, once again, continues to dribble around the pitch of her own accord and places a shot in the corner of the goal. 3-1. We have change tactics slightly at this point to deal with Annie which leads to Lucy showing excellent skill in midfield. She picks the ball up and runs down the line, beating 3 players. We are back in the game and Sam is just about to shoot at an open goal when a lovely bit of defensive work by Mater Maria sees the ball stolen from Sam. It would have been 4-1! Lucy has taken over from Freya in midfield and she is now running the plays and making some lovely passes in to the forwards giving them space and opportunity to shot. Half way through the second half Lucy sees a gap and shoots only to see it well saved by the goalkeeper. Mater Maria are chasing a second goal and only a well saved shot by Freya keeps the score at 3-1. That was close! We are pushing forward for a fourth goal which leaves a Mater Maria player on her own in front of goal. She is one on one with Freya in goal, but some how, Chloe manages to race back and intercept the shot. Excellent defending by Chloe again. Mater Maria’s tails are up now and we soak up some pressure with Holly intercepting a shot before Lucy blocking another. A third shot is just wide. In the remaining 3 minutes, Bethan tries her luck with another shot which is just wide after some nice passes from defence to midfield to forwards. The last action in the game is a Mater Maria short corner which leads to another great save by Freya to keep the score at 3-1.
POTM: Freya Fleming – outstanding play both outfield and in goal. Well done!
Written by Miss Smitham
Mater Maria: 7 Gowerton Under 18s: 28
Gowerton were looking forward to attempting to avenge their defeat the last time the two sides met. Mater Maria kicked off and a good take by lock Joe Whitehorn set the platform for the forwards performance that was to follow. The Gowerton pack had a lot of the possession of the ball for the 1st 10 minutes, but the resolute and dogged Mater Maria defence did not yield.
Some strong ball carrying from the front row of Ryan Hughes, Ben Brown and Tom Northey enabled scrum half Milo Fleming to put a few accurate box kicks in for the lively wingers Nick Williams and Lewis Hyatt to chase. Fly Half Steff Tyrell was also able to probe the Mater Maria defence with some clever kicks behind which once again enabled the Gowerton wingers to pressure the opposition. A big pass out wide from full back Tom Ham fed Lewis Hyatt who made good yards, but the pass back inside to Callum Carson came a split second too late as Hyatt’s foot was in touch. The ensuing line out was won by Mater Maria, and a break down in communication by the Gowerton backs enabled the opposition centre to run free, and only a strong tackle from full back Tom Ham stopped the centre in his tracks. Steff Tyrell was quick on the scene and was able to compete for the ball at the ruck and win the penalty.
The Gowerton forwards were a constant nuisance for the Mater Maria line out, with the tireless Ethan Harris spoiling lots of ball, and Luke Andrews, Lloyd Dudley-Jones, Trystan Williams and Joe Whitehorn were strong in the tackle area, holding the opposition off the ground on many occasions resulting in a maul turnover. The forwards were setting the platform for some quick ball for the backs to play with, and centres Keiron Charles and Callum Carson, as well as Tom Ham looked dangerous with the ball in hand, but the last pass or resolute Mater Maria defence prevented Gowerton from crossing the try line.
The break through came when good pressure at the scrum enabled Milo Fleming to hassle the opposition 9, and when the ball somehow popped out the side of the ruck to Lloyd Dudley-Jones, he couldn’t believe his luck, but not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, he raced clear unopposed to the try line to score the games 1st try. Callum Carson converted from out wide.
Mater Maria kicked off and the ball was kicked loosely down field enabling the home team to run the ball back. A penalty enabled Mater to kick up field for a lineout, and a good catch and drive saw the Mater forwards rumble closer to the Gowerton try line, and when the ball was fed out wide a nice support angle by the Mater centre saw him cross for a try under the posts which was easily converted.
Gowerton’s 2nd try came when Tom Ham counter attacked up the centre of the field, and when the ball was recycled Callum Carson sped through a gap in the defence before passing inside to the supporting Ethan Harris, who managed to subtly offload the ball before contact to allow fly half Tyrell to run in under the posts. The other dubious ‘highlight’ of the 1st half was an attempt by centre Carson to imitate Kiwi fly half Lima Sopoaga’s reverse over head kick. It may have come off had centre Keiron Charles not been miles in front of Carson when he kicked it!!
Half time Mater Maria 7 Gowerton 14
Half time substitutions saw winger Sam Williams and full back Olly Smith enter the field of play. The 2nd half saw Gowerton trying to play a more territory based game, and some probing kicks by Keiron Charles and Steff Tyrell gave the forwards an opportunity to put pressure on the Mater line out due to them kicking the ball out under pressure.
A Gowerton lineout in the Mater 22 saw an accurate throw from Triston Williams hit Ethan Harris, and an excellent catch and drive saw the Gowerton forwards press towards the try line. Only a Mater infringement stopped a certain try. Gowerton once again kicked for the lineout and the exact same lineout move saw the ball moved to the back of the maul enabling lock Luke Andrews to score. The conversion added another 2 points.
The Mater attack continued to look for holes in the Gowerton defence, and they almost pulled a try back when the centre run through a gap out wide, feeding the winger to run for the corner, and only a last ditch try saving tackle by Sam Williams prevented a try from being scored. The game continued at a frantic pace, with neither side yielding, and a bit of niggle from both sides threatened to spoil the contest, but some stern words for the referee settled the players. The Gowerton defence was aided by the fresh legs of Olly Smith, Sam Williams and Cameron Lewis, who put in some telling tackles around the field. A harsh yellow card for Steff Tyrell, now playing in the back row, meant that the Gowerton players had to work a bit harder to cover for the extra man the opposition team had.
Unfortunately for Mater, even with 14 men, Gowerton still had the last word and a scrum saw the ball passed out wide by Sam Cambriani to centre Keiron Charles who stepped his defender well to speed away and score in the corner.
The game was another tough encounter for the Gowerton boys, and it looks like Lloyd Dudley-Jones and Joe Whitehorn may have played their last game on tour which is a blow to the pack.
Man of the match could have gone to at least 6 different players, and it is pleasing to see so many of the boys put in big performances game after game, but No. 8 Ethan Harris took the accolade on this occasion.
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