TAMWORTH Public School (TPS) came within a try of booking a spot in the State Rugby League Knockout final yesterday as King St Public, Singleton ground out a 6-nil victory at Scully Park.
The two games prior to this, TPS had come up with the goods in the last minute and, despite desperate attempts, couldn’t do it this time as the Hunter school dominated possession and territory.
There will be some sore bodies at TPS tomorrow after they almost tackled themselves to a standstill, keeping the Singleton school at bay the entire first half to go into the sheds scoreless.
Second-rower Alex Hawkins would have made well over 30 tackles in the match.
It was a very close score for what was a one-sided game.
TPS coach Kevin Squires said that at least 80 percent of the game was played in their own 22.
The Hunter side was literally camped on the TPS line, but stuck in a stalemate.
The home side tackled, scrambled and dragged the opposition over the sideline all game as King St failed to break the line until the back end of the second half.
A ball was spread wide and found the hands of electric fullback Cooper Mayton who weaved before drawing and passing to put winger Oscar Roberts over for the only try of the game.
Mayton was one of the stand-outs, constantly dangerous with the ball in hand and very quick on his feet.
Tamworth’s usual passing and running game was shut down by a well-drilled side.
King St’s line speed and defensive structure was excellent, with TPS unable to make the advantage line and constantly on the back foot.
“Our defence was outstanding,” Squires said.
“They were very good and we only let them in once.”
TPS was missing star attacking centre Blair Maloney, who had been one of the stand-outs in its charge for the title, along with James Marshman, Vanda Erich and Jack Chegwyn.
The semi-final equals the furthest TPS has been in the competition, getting to the same stage five years ago.
King St will go on to play in the final at Kogarah Oval on September 9.
It was a big week of sport for the Tamworth school and for some of the boys who play across all teams.
On Tuesday night the TPS rugby side beat St Nick’s in the Friday Night Rugby final, before an extra-time loss to Hillvue in the State Touch Knockout on Tuesday.
TPS touch side found itself down 4-2 at halftime against a very fast and handy side.
Once again, the players pulled together and used that scrambling defence to keep Hillvue out all half, whilst scoring two of their own.
“It was a great second-half effort to level the scores,” Squires said.
The game went to golden point extra-time drop-off, with a player dropping off each side every two minutes.
The two sides were evenly matched until the numbers dropped to four a side.
Hillvue found some room and slid through a gap to score a try and go through to the next round against Nemingha Public.
Teacher Lisa Kenniff said it was a very exciting game.
“It was so close. We are all very proud of the boys,” Kenniff said.
Unfortunately for the school the girls won’t join them in the next round after going down to Tamworth South 5-2.
TPS will now drop ball for bat as the State Cricket Knockout gets underway again today.