Canberra school Erindale College kept their hopes of moving into the knock out stages of the GIO Schoolboy Cup alive with a big 42-0 win over Hunter Sports High School on Friday afternoon at GIO Stadium in Canberra.
The match served as an undercard for the National Rugby League match that was to be played later that night between the Canberra Raiders and Canterbury Bulldogs. This gave the High School boys the fantastic opportunity to play at a professional stadium, for some players this was the first time they were able to do this.
The match started off slowly as both sides felt each other out. Early penalties gave both schools attacking chances and Erindale took their first opportunity with open arms was Captain Kalani Going crossed for his side to take a 6-0 lead.
Erindale looked to extend on their lead when five-eighth George House split the line but the Hunter Sports defence rallied to keep their line safe.
Hunter Sports moved the ball up field, threatening the Erindale side however as they spread the ball wide Erindale centre John White swooped, intercepting the ball to go the length of the field and extend the score to 10-0.
The half closed out with Erindale again finding the try line this time through lock Jesse Martin and John White calmly converted to see Erindale go in 16-0 up at the break.
The second half started with Erindale posting points immediately through Leon Tupuola after teh front rower forced his way over next to the posts to make it 22-0.
From this point on Erindale looked to put Hunter Sports to the sword that’s just what they did as massive winger Sione Afemui got over in the corner after quick hands from the Erindale backs.
At 26-0 Erindale weren’t done as a move identical to the play that saw Afemui go over was again on show. This time centre Jai Lyons dived over for a well deserved try and when John White converted from the sideline Erindale were 32-0 up.
With five minutes remaining, Erindale still had another two tries in them with Sione Afemui getting his second after coming in and barging through the middle of the Hunter defence.
In the closing stages White crossed for his second try of the afternoon to give Erindale College a 42-0 win.
Erindale’s Captain Kalani Going took home $100 as the GIO Most Trusted Player in a great performance leading his side.
For Hunter Sports High School it was a tough afternoon, which saw them fight hard after a big road trip down to the Nation's Capital. Hunter were down on personnel missing three star players who did not make the trip down due to previous commitments.
Despite this they can hold there heads high with particularly strong performances from fullback Ngangarra Barker, five-eighth Jayden Hocking and lock Luke Marks.
Erindale were very pleased with their win, bouncing back after a first round defeat to Patrician Brothers.
“We gained a lot of confidence after the last game and knew that we would put in big performance today. It gives us a big boost for our next game in Sydney against Westfield Sports.” Erindale’s captain Kalani Going after the match.
“It was an awesome experience getting the chance to play at GIO Stadium before an NRL match. The school had a lot of students come up and watch which really lifted us for the match.”
In Round Three, Hunter Sports play Patrician Brothers Blacktown in their final game. The young side has put in encouraging performances this year, which has seen them gain a lot of big game experience. Expect them to return next year as a major threat.
Erindale head to Sydney to face Westfield Sports High School in what promises to be a cracking match that will see the winner advance to the knock out stages of the GIO Schoolboys Cup Competition.