THE Armidale School’s First XV has scored a 24-6 home win over Sydney Grammar.
In just their second game together, the TAS team produced a polished display of well-tuned rugby to reverse the fortunes of a loss the previous weekend at Coonabarabran against Orange’s Kinross Wolaroi School, who were playing their fourth match of the year.
Cold winds made for bracing conditions against Sydney Grammar’s First XV, but there was plenty of warmth in the sheds and on the sidelines for the blue and white boys, who had been presented with their jerseys by two TAS old boys and former Australian rugby representatives.
Former Queensland Red and Wallaby tourist Adrian “Moose” Skeggs and Australian Schoolboys and under-21 player Michael Forsy spoke about their careers and the spirit of rugby. They then watched the game.
The first half was tightly contested, with the visitors staking the ground early through a penalty goal, before Dan Lethbridge crossed for TAS to make it 5-3.
Sydney Grammar led 6-5 at the break following another penalty goal.
TAS dominated the second half with tries to Alex Kirk, Joshua Jones and Hamish Cannington and a conversion by Will Swales.
TAS coach AJ Whalley said: “The boys went in hard and our defence was a dramatic step up in physicality both in terms of Kinross last weekend and how Grammar played last year.
“We need to be playing direct, forward-running, abrasive and physical rugby, and the boys returning from last year really set the example to those who have come up from the 16s.”
While strong winds made kicking and lineouts challenging, Whalley said he was proud of the way the team came together in just its second outing. “There’s a depth in the squad that hasn’t there in the past couple of years. And I think we’re further ahead in our development, so that augurs well for the matches ahead.”
Grammar took out the Second XV fixture 14-10, with eight fixtures in lower grades evenly split.
TAS next hosts Sydney’s Cranbrook School before the last pre-GPS fixture against St Gregory’s College Campbelltown and then the first round of the AAGPS Third Grade competition against The Scots College on June 2.