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Rugby has long been a game of contrasting styles. Festival rugby is some people’s idea of heaven; others dismiss it as akin to basketball, all frills, no crunch. Unfortunately for Wesley College, the case of great rugby prowess and glory was getting close to dissipating completely.
Wesley College continued their perpetual Sisyphean struggle; which has seemingly emerged as a common theme throughout their campaign; remaining dominated by both Drew’s this week, losing 79 – 7, and last week’s imperious opponent St Paul’s College, losing 47-9. The ‘Androvian’ team continued their dominance throughout the campaign scoring 12 tries to Wesley’s 1.
They played the ‘champagne’ rugby for which they are renowned, scoring 4 tries through set-piece and 8 tries through the craftiness of general play. Despite Wesley being not so organised, Drew’s held their composure, moving away from last week’s meaty and prosaic tries against Johns, thus allowing for the works of their outside backs to come away with some meat pies. However, the score line continued to mount in Drews’ favour, with their forwards powering mauls breaking the paint try after try.
Their captain, Darcy Creagh, was a dominant force throughout the game, leading by example and inspiring his teammates to greater heights. Notably, like a Shakespearean actor, governing the dynamics of the play, Jake Jorgenson captivated the audience, playing the opposition as if they weren’t even watching the ball.
However, persistent effort from Wesley gave way to momentary glimpses of ‘good footy’, shifting momentum ever so slightly as Wesley’s 12, Connor Taylor-Helme, danced through the Drews’ defence, late in the first half. At times the feat of scoring seemed to antagonise the visitors until Fergus Atkinson in the 67th minute gave the crowd something to cheer for with a half-field intercept try (the second of his Rawson campaign).
Nevertheless, their efforts remain the bane of any lover of consistency – losing the ball to silly mistakes and the class of the Andrews defence too often to even think about making a comeback. Ultimately, their performance left spectators wondering if they have what it takes to defeat St John’s College in a fortnight’s time.
A special mention from Dr Robert Leach, the principal of St Andrew’s College, which I think summed up the game ever so beautifully; “Very impressive performance by the Andrews team. They’ve managed to keep their structure despite Wesley being not quite so organised. The uncontested scrums probably haven’t played in our favour, but nevertheless, we’ve held it together as a forward pack and done well in the lineouts. Keeping the ball alive in the backs has been a conspicuous feature which is led to many tries.”