Victoria Schools: 5 Gowerton Under 16s: 41
The U16s team were suitably placed for their second game after a resounding win in Singapore. Changes were made to the starting team to ensure all tourists had now started a game. The Victoria Schools U16s promised to be much stronger opposition and this was reflected in the intensity and focus from the Gowerton boys.
The game started at a ferocious pace with big tackles and strong running setting the tone. Up front Joe Bright, Cam Lewis and Jacob Ireland proved effective as a back row unit, tackling hard, running hard and battling intelligently at the breakdown. Half backs Max Treharne and Sam Cambriani were calling the shots and marshalling the troops with confidence, this stretched the defence of Victoria and it was just a matter of time before Gowerton broke through. Plenty of unseen work was done by wingers Elliott Rees and Sam Jones, who applied effective pressure from territory searching kicks, this was so effective it nearly lead to several scores.
Gowerton took the lead in the 12th minute, when captain Cambriani kicked a penalty and from the line out a well orchestrated catch and drive allowed flanker Ireland to cross.
The game was largely played in the middle third during the first half with both teams venturing into the opposition third and threatening to score. Strong defence ensured Gowerton did not concede and even led to a score in the 23rd minute, when backline pressure resulted in an interception from Treharne who then fed centre Sean Collins to cross. This score gave Gowerton some breathing space and with this came more confidence and composure.
Once again the Gowerton set piece stood strong. Accurate throwing and hooking of the ball by Aled Simons ensured quality possession was in abundance, he was well supported by strong running prop Olly Quick and work horse Nathan Davies. As the game opened up the elusive running of centre Iwan Richards and full back Rhys Edwards became more evident and was effective in stretching the defence even further.
As the first half drew to a close Gowerton stretched their lead when a powerful run by No.8 Cam Lewis allowed Collins to cross for his second try, although the score did not really reflect the game itself. Changes were effectively made at half time, along with this change was a change in the weather, the later resulting in a change of tactics. Gowerton adopted a tighter more limited game plan while a typical Welsh down pour drenched the field.
With such a good lead the worry was that the visitors could lose focus – similar to what had happened in Singapore. It’s pleasing to note that this was not the case. The defensive structure led by Joe Bright was proving effective, this coupled with a desire to not concede points ensured Gowerton always looked comfortable.
A successful win, more importantly a step up in performance. The benchmark has been set and it is important that this is maintained during the last few games. Man of the Match was given to Jacob Ireland for his tenacious and busy approach, linking well in attack, scavaging for the loose ball, strong in defence and tackling and jackling well.
In the second half, the visitors cut the deficit with a try from prop Sam Hill, but Gowerton stretched away in the final quarter with tries from flankers Ireland and Bright and centres Richards and Collins
Wing Elliott Rees kick two conversions and centre Richards added a third.
Good leadership from Cambriani and Bright both on field during the game and prior to the game during the warm up was evident. A mature response from the players showed the unity of the group that will ensure the team are difficult to beat in the coming games.
Harlequins RFC (Melbourne) U18s: 5 Gowerton 1st XV:43
The 1st XV kicked off against a physical looking Harlequins team and in the early stages the hosts forwards held the upper hand in the contact area.
However, as Gowerton settled they began to exert more pressure due to their greater cohesion and they took the lead in the 13th minute when the hosts failed failed to control a lineout 10 metres from their own line and Ben Brown pounced to cross for the opening try.
In the 22nd minute, Gowerton stretched their lead when a half break by fly half Steffan Tyrrell freed centre Callum Carson who crossed in the corner. Full back Olly Smith added the conversion.
The wind and driving rain were making the playing conditions extremely difficult and the visitors were better able to adapt their game and on 25 minutes, an excellent turnover by prop Tom Northey secured possession on halfway, when the possession was moved away, an excellent pass by scrum half Milo Fleming allowed centre Callum Carson to burst clear for a try that Smith again converted.
Gowerton increased their lead to 24 points on the stroke of half time when centre Kieran Charles finished off a fine handling move.
In the second period, the hosts applied the early pressure, But Gowerton’s defensive line refused to yield with forwards Joe Whitehorn, Luke Andrews, David Carpanini and man of the match Ryan Hughes all working tirelessly.
The last quarter was dominated by the visitors and centres Charles and Carson and full back Smith all crossed for tries, two of which smith converted.
The hosts were deservedly on the board with a try of their own, but at the final whistle it was Gowerton who moved to round 3 of the tour in Sydney with an impressive 2 out of 2 record.
Firbank Grammar soccer: 1 Gowerton girls soccer: 3
Gowerton marked a notable achievement-their first ever game of football in the southern hemisphere with a 3-1 victory over Firbank Grammar School.
The squad of 15 girls were determined to give a good account of themselves and they did just that, producing a determined performance which was founded on the strong defensive work of Shanaye Grant, Freya Fleming and Charleigh Baker. The spark for their success came from the midfield promptings of the most skilful player on the pitch-Chloe Watkins, whilst the pace out wide of Millie Steadman and Holly Breeze-Jones was a constant threat down the flanks.
In the second half, the bravery of goalkeeper Chloe Weatherley thwarted several threatening attacks by the hosts.
Gowerton kicked off and were in front in the 3rd minute when Millie Steadman and Tiffany Thomas combined well down the right hand side and crossed for Sam Hughes to bury a shot in the corner.
Firbank possessed several good players of there own with Dani Scocic a constant threat and in the 6th minute she blasted home a free kick from 20 yards that tied the scores.
The next 10 minutes were end to end and in the 18th minute, Gowerton were back in front when a great tackle on half way by Shanaye won the ball, it was picked up by Chloe Watkins who set off on a run that saw her dribbling past 3 players before shooting into the corner.
Three minutes later it was 3-1 when good work down the right by holly Breeze-Jones and Millie Steadman set up Beth Dallimore and she blasted home from 15 yards out.
The early stages of the second half saw Firbank pressing in an attempt to pull a goal back and they were only denied by an excellent goal line clearance from Shanaye Grant and two fantastic saves from the fearless Chloe Weatherley, who on one occasion dived headfirst into the feet of an onrushing attacker to save her team.
Encouraged by their defensive effort, Gowerton pushed forward in the final quarter and Lucy Jones, Tiffany Thomas and Beth Dallimore all came close to increasing the lead.
At full time, Gowerton were victorious and the girls and Miss Smitham were elated.
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