GIO Schoolboy Cup: Hills take out scrappy first round win over Farrer
Defending champions Hills Sports High ground out a scrappy 30-6 win over a determined Farrer Memorial Agricultural High on Friday at Brookvale Oval.
With both sides guilty of simple errors and ill discipline, as well as some brutal if slightly illegal hits in defence, it was up to a few of Hills’ little men to secure the first round victory as Farrer’s forwards held their own against the much bigger Hills forward pack.
Livewire Hills hooker Manaia Cherrington, who was recently named in the NSW Under 18’s side, was superb in repeatedly slicing through Farrer’s ruck defence, and more often than not found fullback Jayden Horo flying through in support, with the son of former New Zealand international Mark Horo crossing for the first try of the match in the 16th minute.
As both forward packs belted each other senseless throughout the first half, it was again Cherrington and Horo combining to capitalise on a brilliant offload from captain Brendan Attwood on the stroke of halftime, with Cherrington this time streaking away to give Hills a 12-0 lead at the break.
The Hills’ forwards, particularly Attwood and human wrecking-ball Addin Finoua-Blake, stepped up a gear in the second half, repeatedly stringing together offloads and second-phase play to wear down the dogged Farrer pack.
Man of the match Cherrington was again involved in the lead up to Hills’ third try when monster winger Ofa Siale crossed untouched in the corner, while five-eighth and Parramatta SG Ball representative Zach Clay converted from the sideline to make it 18-0.
Despite giving away a massive physical advantage, Farrer were never disgraced in defence, with captain Ben Allen and interchange prop Jermain Sandbrook in particular giving as good as they got with some bone rattling hits in defence.
The visitors were finally rewarded for their tireless efforts when halfback Jacob Booby slipped through the Hills defence from short range in the 34th minute, however any thoughts of a comeback were short lived as Clay and hulking centre Fabian Goodall added late runaway tries to blow out the final score and secure the two competition points.
Hills next take on fellow first round winners Patrician Brothers at Blacktown in their bid for a third consecutive GIO Schoolboy Cup title, while Farrer will host St. Gregory’s of Campbelltown as they look for their first win of the season.
The Hills Sports High 30 (J Horo, M Cherrington, O Siale, Z Clay, F Goodall tries; Z Clay 4, J Horo goals) def. Farrer Memorial Agricultural High (J Booby try; L Harris goal) at Brookvale Oval, Manly