Old boys triumph at inaugural match against the 1st XIII
MORE than 1000 spectators were on hand at Emmaus College Oval last Saturday to watch the inaugural Old Boys versus the 1st XIII match. And they were not disappointed.
They were treated to a dominant first half display by the Old Boys and a spirited second half comeback by the college's 1st XIII.
In the end, it was not enough and the Old Boys took out the first ever match between the two teams 20-16.
The event was the brainchild of Emmaus College's sport development officer Justen Parle who said the match had everything.
"It was great game," Parle said.
"It had the lot, big hits, great ball running and offloads and some excellent tries."
The 1st XIII started the match looking a little intimidated and it showed on the scoreboard, with the teams going to the sheds after a dominant display in the opening half by the Old Boys to lead 20-6.
In the front row, former Broncos player Nick Kenny was outstanding, despite having shed several kilograms since his playing days. His strong carries and super offloads for the Old Boys were causing havoc for the 1st XIII defence.
"Nick has trimmed up a lot after doing charity fundraising on the bicycle in Cambodia," Parle explained.
"But this still didn't stop him doing a mountain of work in attack with plenty of great offloads. He always drew in two or three defenders to get the ball away and put teammates into space. Nick set up some great tries."
One of the best on ground for the Old Boys was hooker Chris Fleming.
"Chris is still fit and was excellent out of dummy half and distributing the ball to his Old Boys runners," Parle said.
"And he hasn't lost any of his competitiveness. He was definitely out there to win."
Another to shine for the Old Boys was lock Ryan Nash. But unlike Kenny, he has put weight on, not lost it.
"Ryan had a good game and carted the ball up strongly," Parle said.
"But he has put on a bit of weight since finishing school."
In the second half, the 1st XIII settled and came back strongly and, with the Old Boys slowing down, their superior fitness began to show. They crossed for two tries. One of which was a barnstorming run by second row Anitelea Tiaaleaiga who ran over the top of several tiring Old Boys defenders to score.
The try narrowed the gap but in the end it wasn't to be, despite the 1st XIII outscoring the Old Boys two tries to one in the second term.
"The first ever Old Boys match was a great success," Parle said.
"We had a huge crowd and it was great to see so many Old Boys and Girls support the match. For our first year it was outstanding and we are already planning next year's fixture."