Junior Finals: Round of 16
Final Score: Keebra 54, Ipswich 4
Try Scorers: Tofaeono 3, Christie, Capie, Pakinga, Schmidt, Khan-Pereira, Borrell-Wikatane, Beer, To’A.
Man of the Match: Tu Borell-Wikatane
The finals series for the 2016 Renouf Cup began on Tuesday afternoon down at Southport Tigers with Keebra Park taking on Ipswich SHS. Off the back of a well-deserved 2 week break from school (4 week break between games) our boys looked fresh and determined to finish the season off as Renouf Cup champions. Kaleb Ngamanu made his much anticipated return from a broken collarbone which has seen him miss most of the season, and he made an immediate impact on our left edge by picking the right option to set up several tries throughout the match. Syris Schmidt scored off his first touch of the football by breaking through some flimsy defence to run 40m. On the back of multiple repeat sets from our ill-discipline, Ipswich managed to hit back and level the scores at 4-4 ten minutes into the match. However, this would be the last time they saw the ball in the first half with Keebra Park dusting the holiday cobwebs off and running in 6 consecutive tries in a row to go into half time leading 32-4. Tu Borrell-Wikatane was a standout on the left edge absolutely terrorising Ipswich’s right side half and making countless line breaks due to some hard line running and late footwork. Herman Tofaeono ensured that his Ipswich friends knew he made the right option to travel to Keebra everyday by absolutely dominating them through the middle whilst scoring his second hat-trick of the season. Darias Christie also had a very strong game and showed coach Norman that he had been doing his extras working hard on his passing game over the holiday break by throwing the final pass for multiple tries. With the game in the balance it could have been easy for the boys to put the cue in the rack, but they showed their hunger to improve with each touch of the footy and the deadly combination of Schmidt and Khan-Pereira iced the game with Khan-Pereira running a magical second rowers line to slice straight through and run 60m untouched to score under the posts. The boys have now qualified to go straight through to the semi-finals and as a result, get next week off to recover. Semi-final details will be posted when they become available.
Final Score: Keebra 38, Ipswich 6
Try Scorers: Khan Pereira 2, Borg, Vaalepu, Marshall, Walsh, Haas
Goals: Solomon 5/7
Man of the Match: Reece Walsh
The “real competition” has begun with Keebra entering the knockout phase of competition yesterday. A tough road trip away saw Keebra do battle with Ipswich State High School at Swifts Rugby League club. It was shaping up to be a mouth-watering battle as Keebra and Ipswich played out a highly entertaining 16—14 result earlier in the year. Keebra managed to get off to their first fast start of the year with hooker Reece Walsh eyeing up the short side and delivering a beautiful cut out ball to Lleyton Borg who was too big and strong to be stopped from a short distance out. Keebra upped the ante through the middle, with the Ipswich side resigning to the fact they were going to have to shift the ball to score. Keebra’s defence made light work of them, constantly forcing errors and providing a great attacking platform. Some moments of brilliance from Klees Haas and again Walsh who provided the pass to Johnny Marshall for his try, extended the Keebra lead to 24-0 at Half Time.
The second half started much the same as the first, with Keebra inflicting some ferocious defence. The referee didn’t take a liking to the level of contact (fearing for the Ipswich boy’s safety although the contact was legal) and decided to send two Keebra boys to the sin bin on the back of a 15-1 penalty count. This didn’t stop Keebra’s momentum with Ipswich still unable to score against just 11 defenders. Jadyce Vaalepu put the final nail in the coffin scoring during this period. Alofi Khan-Periera also managed to grab himself a late double to extend the final score to 38-6.
This was an incredible effort by the boys, with what seemed like everything going against us including some unsavoury comments from Ipswich parents sitting behind the Keebra bench. Next week sees Keebra Park line up in the Quarter Finals of the Hancock Cup.