VSRU U18 Schoolboys Final Team Announced

The VSRU would like to congratulate the boys selected in the Victorian U18 Schoolboys Team. They will compete at the National Schools Rugby Championships in July held by St Ignatius’ College, Riverview in Sydney. 

VSRU schools featuring strongly:  St Patrick's College four reps, St Kevin's College four reps, Marcellin College two reps, Geelong Grammar School two reps, Melbourne Grammar School one rep and Melbourne High School one reserve. 

VSRU Xavier Sevens 2019

For the past twenty-five years the Xavier Rugby 7’s has been a constant on the Victorian Schools Rugby Union calendar. Running rugby was again spectacularly on show in 2019, as 26 teams of young men and women in the Under 16’s and Open age groups showcased their skills. All teams fought hard for the Silverware on offer – Cups Finals for the Senior Boys, U16 Boys and the Senior Girls, with Bowl and Plate Finals for the boys’ teams that didn’t make the Cup play-offs. Many of the schools that entered boys’ teams in 2019 have returned year in and year out, with the Xavier Rugby 7s Carnival their launching pad for the season. It was wonderful to also welcome Senior Girls’ Teams from Fountain Gate and The Grange this year.

Download the newsletter from the tournament here:

VALE - (Thomas) Bruce NORTON

April 2nd, 2019

September 1937 – 30 March 2019

Members of the Victorian Schools’ Rugby Union and the Rugby Victoria community are saddened to hear of the passing of Bruce Norton. Bruce volunteered his services as a coach and administrator for nearly three decades to offer quality rugby experiences for the youth of Victoria, and also Australia wide.

Bruce learned his rugby in his native New Zealand before coming to Melbourne and was an engineer by profession. He offered his services when his son Bryce was playing in clubs.  By 1988 he had become involved primarily in representative teams and was the coach of the Victorian Schoolboys at the Australian Championships for nine years from 1988 to 1996 where he coached the team in the Division 2 competition to four Premierships and three Runners-Up trophies.

In the 1990’s the VSRU conducted pre-season events to promote the game as a community of schools and Bruce ran for the Union, over many years, the 15 a-side Carnival Day with great success.

Four times Melbourne hosted the combined Australian Schools Championships (’75, ’81, ’92, ’99) where every state and territory attended, every player was billeted and the whole event conducted by the host state’s schools’ union. In 1992, and again in 1999, Bruce was the coordinating master mind of delivering the Championships to the nation in Melbourne.

Bruce was a coach on three international tours for the VSRU. The Bi-centennial Tour to the UK in 1988, the Canada/USA Tour in 1989 and the UK and Eire Tour of 1992. All of these Victorians gained invaluable experience in rugby but also in the benefits from participating in a worldwide fraternity.

Ever the believer in the opportunities afforded school age players by offering measured higher honours to excel, Bruce was a keen supporter of the Australian Schools Rugby Union’s Division 2 representative team selected from Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia.

He coached or managed the team six times between 1989 and 1995 where a highlight was the ASRU Division 2 tour to Japan in 1992.

In 1999 Bruce took on the role as coach of the Scotch College 1st XV and developed the rugby at Scotch immensely, eventually also being the Director of Rugby Coaching 2001 to 2012. During this 14-year period he was the 1st XV coach and co-coach. In the time Bruce was in the roles Scotch played in eight Grand Finals for five Premierships (four consecutively 2001 - 2004).

Bruce gave generously to the VRU club competition as well. He coached at several clubs including Harlequins, Melbourne with their Colts and 1st Grade teams where he won the premiership in 1998 with, and later volunteered at Melton. He also coached the adult men’s state team for a period where a highlight in 1997 was coaching Victoria versus France at Olympic Park, a match where at one stage Victoria led France.

Bruce was a great analyzer of the game, was brilliant at logistical planning for training, tours, and events. He was forthright and always wanted bigger, brighter, and better ways to introduce the game, and then develop the game in young people. Many players in Victoria and across Australia are better players and people for his guidance.

His devoted wife Val supported Bruce through all his rugby commitments, and attended many, passed away recently in 2015. He is survived by his children Kim and Bryce.

VALE BRUCE

Tour Game Day 6 vs Ysgol Glantaf, Cardiff, Wales

December 15th, 2018

Soaking rain, cold, mud and wind was a welcome to remember and games were played short due to conditions.

Victoria started well with much of the attack and good play particularly by Henry Martin, Melvin Poseta, Sam Richardson and Charlie Bradley at fullback. Matthew Migotto as captain had another outstanding game with Boyd Marshall stepping up and making aggressive breaks.

Despite positive play there was no capatilising by the visitors and in their first real foray up the field, it was Glantaf who scored the first try to make it 5 - 0 at half time.

Thomas Moeller came on and got involved immediately as Lachlan Findlay started directing the troops from half. Melvin Poseta was enjoying a strong game with many half breaks and Enzo Iezzi also looking for gaps in the tight Glantaf defence. Matthew Lightfoot has an immediate impact when he came on and broke the defensive line on multiple occasions. Hamish Hollamby came on and got involved as the awful conditions continued. Thomas Moeller Came off with a leg injury but some good forward work with multiple phases saw Antonio Masina in for a try to level the score 5-5. Henry Martin continued his good game and Melvin Poseta challenged to the end.

 

A game to remember for the conditions and great sportsmanship of the Glantaf players and support.

VSRU U16A 5 drew Ysgol Glantaf A 5

Try: Antonio Masina

The early game only meant that the mud was yet to be churned up with the conditions for the B game horrendous and possibly more wet. With such soaking rain the field lines were barely visible and the referee was without a dedicated assistant referee on either side. 

With the Welsh surely at home in such conditions it was not surprising to see them with such clean handling, twice moving the ball out wide exposing some lax defence on both wings to score and quickly be 10 - 0. After being denied on the goal line despite thinking they were over, the Victorians finally had a try through the rumbling prop Josh Uisa to go into half time 10 - 7. 

After addressing some tactical decisions that weren't being made in the first half, the Victorians looked a different team, kicking with much greater effect and capitalising for two quick tries through consistent perfomers Maara Piniata and James Fogale to take the lead 19 - 10.  It was an arm wrestle as the mud started to deepen, feet slow, and the battle for the ball intensify. To the dismay of all, a tackle saw one Glantaf boy slip his leg out and injury it quite seriously. After a brief stoppage the game was called to an early finish. 

It was time to get out of the cold, wet mud and into warm clothes ahead of the combined group trip to go see the European Champions Cup match between Cardiff Blues and Saracens. 

VSRU U16 B 19 defeated Ysgol Glantaf B 10

Tries: Josh Uisa, Maara Piniata, James Fogale (1)

Conversions: James Fogale (1)

Tour Game Day 5 vs Gowerton School, Wales

December 13th, 2018

A chilly wind but no rain gave the boys a different experience after their morning trip on the Gower Peninsula and The Mumbles. They were keen to play and warm up was positive.

 

Both sides showed good defence but it was Jamie Harris who muscled over for our opening try. Jamie Harris broke again and was well supported by Boyd Marshall who sprinted 50m to put us in a strong attacking position and Jonathan De Bono went in for the try converted by Antonio Masina. Antonio Masina followed up with a try of his own before a defensive lapse by our boys gave Gowerton space out wide to score. Disappointed, our boys lifted and Henry Martin lifted our attack, stepping two and running 60m. Matthew Migotto was having an exceptional game as captain and ran 40m but again, we couldn’t finish. Finally Boyd Marshall got over for a well- deserved try and converted by Henry Martin. William Dong made a solid tackle and was having a great game in defence and attack as we went to half time up 24-5.

 

With a lineout 10m out, we started well with Boyd Marshall coming through in support to score. Matthew Migotto continued his strong game and Matthew Lightfoot was outstanding. Clancy Pickering and Thomas Moeller played well while Jonathan De Bono and William Dong attacked hard. Johlrhys Youse was safe under the high ball and bravely went into contact often. Continued hard work saw Matthew Lightfoot almost in but Thomas Moeller scoring the points. Thomas Moeller made two exceptional breaks with amazing speed only to be caught short of the line.

Maara Piniata, Matthew Migotto and Sam Richardson all made breaks but it was Thomas Moeller who finally got the try with Henry Martin converting. Maa Piniata, Thomas, Matthew Migotto and Matthew Lightfoot continued to impress and the coach made a master stroke move putting Blaine Doust into the forwards with instant success after William Dong went off with a serious leg injury.

Charlie Bradley made a good break and the players continued to work hard. A series of penalties saw Gowerton move into the attacking zone until a try came out of no where to finish the game with a solid result 43-12.

 

VSRU A 43 d Gowerton High School 12

Tries: Boyd Marshall, Thomas Moeller (2), Jonathan De Bono, Jamie Harris, Antonio Masina (1).

Conversions: Antonio Masina, Jamie Harris (2)

 

Beginning the game in late twilight, the B team were focussed on the task at hand with a crowd building as the floodlights took over.

 

Despite ages being similar, the opposition opted for uncontested scrums and it seemed to be the way they were thinking from the onset. The opening two tries were in before the 10-minute mark through Number 8 Maara Piniata and Half Back Conor Sargent, with only our handling mistakes holding back the tide. To Gowerton’s credit they settled into the task and started to find their way into the game, scoring to narrow the lead. Captain Gus Farnan muscled over with great body height and gap running to separate the two Gowerton tries for the game and Michael Tereszko had his first before half time with the score 26 – 12.

The second half turned into the Tereszko show with Michael adding three more on-the-trot to make it four for the game with a combination of individual brilliance and capitalising on the build-up work from his teammates Caleb Dooney, Max Pendlebury, and Lucas van Schaaik. James Fogale knocked them in from all angles, one from deep on the sideline only missing his first into a tricky wind which he quickly conquered to go six from seven.

Being the first games not played simultaneously, the boys enjoyed the opportunity to watch each other for those who hadn’t moved between the two teams so far this tour, and then were quickly off with their hosts to enjoy the comradery of new friends.

 

VSRU U16 B 47 d Gowerton High School B 10

Tries: Michael Tereszko (4), Gus Farnan, Conor Sargent, Maara Piniata (1)

Conversions: James Fogale (6)

Tour Game Day 4 vs Gresham's School, Holt, England

December 11th, 2018

Gresham’s produced a glorious day for us with perfect rugby conditions on their beautiful grounds.

Matthew Migotto was captain as Sam Richardson sat out with injury.

 

VSRU started with good defence and then attack with multiple penalties in our favour. Melvin Poseta scored our opening try and Antonio Masina converted. Gresham’s got an impressive driving maul going and attacked into our 22m zone. Good tackling by Matthew Lightfoot and an effective in-goal grounding by Johlrhys Youse deprived Gresham’s of a try. To the opposition’s credit, the 5m scrum resulted in Gresham’s eventually scoring, but it was short lived as Enzo Iezzi scored at the other end and Antonio Masina hit the upright on the conversion attempt. Good contact by Tom Moeller and strong defence was the key feature of the game. Late in the half a line out in the corner gave us the platform to spread the ball to Enzo Iezzi who scored and we had a handy lead 24-12 at the break.

 

At the beginning of the second half Victoria attacked and Enzo Iezzi looked good but an intercept saw Gresham’s score a try and make it a 7 point game! Good attack by Melvin Poseta put us in the clear again as we scored a converted try through Antonio Masina. Jonathan Debono and Melvin Poseta continued to lead the very physical but enjoyable match. We showed good ball skills and excellent defence but could not finish our moves. Enzo Iezzi was tackling well and it was a fitting reward for him when Matthew Findlay got the ball moving through the backs hands to get Enzo Iezzi his third try. Both sides had scoring opportunities at the end of the game but tacklers like Tom Moeller made sure that we didn’t concede any points. Last play of the day and again it was appropriate that the hard-running Melvin Poseta got the final try in the corner.

 

VSRU U16 A 43 d Greshams 22

Tries: Melvin Poseta (4), Enzo Iezzi (3)

Conversions: Antonio Masina(4)

 

The VSRU U16 B Team stepped onto the defrosted fields of Gresham’s for their fourth match of the tour facing a fired up Gresham’s U16 ready for a battle. With two teams evenly matched in size, the contest was to prove a cracker from whistle to whistle.

 

The first half started with the VSRU driving back their opposition who held possession valiantly only to finally succumb 10 metres out. Clancy Myles-Malone was on the spot for a pick and go over the line in the corner to open the scoring. James Fogale was again proving clinical by foot with one of his four out of five for the game. There was one more for the visitors through some sharp work at half back by Clancy Pickering before half time but the gameplay had definitely dropped off, leaving the score 21 - 5

 

After a small rev-up by coach David Southward, the lads went out with four fresh players only to be jumped by a reinvigorated Gresham’s who scored twice quickly. With the scores narrowed to 21 - 15, the contest was hot and both teams were in the trenches not giving an inch for a large part of the second half. One team had to blink and it was Gresham’s with Maara Piniata (named best afield by the opposition) who pounced on a loose ball and bulldozed his way for a fantastic try.

 

Another cracking set of matches against some excellent hosts in the boarding school of Gresham’s.

 

VSRU U16 B 33 d Gresham’s B 15

Tries: Maara Piniata, Clancy Pickering, Blaine Doust, Michael Tereszko, Clancy Myles-Mallone (1)

Conversions: James Fogale (4)

Tour Game Day 3 vs Kinross High School, Scotland

December 8th, 2018

Matthew Migotto was captain for today’s game and, after a six-day break, the boys were keen to play. Phases early saw Edward Beale, Lachie Findlay and Johlrhys Youse heavily involved before our opening try to Jonathan Debono who was having another inspiring game. Our whole defensive line absorbed the Kinross attack and were quick to turn it into their own forward thrusts. Melvin Poseta, Antonio Masina and Boyd Marshall were dominant combining for tries in many combinations for the VSRU to lead 33-0 at the break.

 

The second half saw Edward Beale and Clancy Myles-Malone playing well and Boyd Marshall continuing his blinder, being involved in multiple phases before Neti Latu scored one of his three. Henry Martin distributed well from 10 and gave good options to the backs. Kinross continued to attack and the score did not reflect the standard of the game, but rather a testimony to the determination of our players to give it all.

Final Scores: VSRU U16A 72 d Kinross HS A 0

Tries: Melvin Poseta, Neti Latu (3), Jonathan Debono (2), Sam Richardson, Antonio Masina, Caleb Dooney, Joshua Uisa

Conversions: Sipa Masina (5), Johlrhys Youse

A clear, chilly day greeted the boys at Kinross High School as the marched out to the sounds of the leading bagpiper to play game day three. A young opposition faced our B team but they looked undaunted by the task ahead.

 

The game started with the VSRU boys dominating possession, scoring tries twice in the first six minutes. Kinross weren’t going to give up that easy and through some consistent play scored themselves much to the pleasure of their fans. The VSRU boys didn’t lose focus and if anything started the best patch of Rugby for the B team this tour, scoring down the middle and on the flanks repeatedly to go into the half time break up 45 - 7. Stand out players were Ah-Lai Leung-wo with his physical presence and James Fogale scoring both tries and conversions, the latter from angles that would make any kicker impressed.

 

The second half began much the same although the standard dropped for our lads due to some physicality brought by the Kinrosians. The floodgates eventually opened and scoring seemed to happen with every probe forward, Enzo Iezzi bagging a hat-trick and Maara Piniata managing a brace on the final whistle and kicking his own conversion to boot.

 

A great hit-our regardless of the scoreline with the boys happily chatting post-match.

Final Scores: VSRU U16B 92 d Kinross B 7

Tries: Enzo Iezzi (3), Maara Piniata, James Fogale (2), James Slaviero, Ah-Lai Leung-wo, Blaine Doust, Jamie Harris, Max Pendlebury, Lucas van Schaaik (1)

Conversions: James Fogale (10)

Tour Game Day 2 vs Sligo Rugby Football Club, Sligo

December 3rd, 2018

A beautiful backdrop of mountains and the Atlantic Ocean greeted us at Sligo Rugby Football Club on the West Coast of Ireland. With a whipping wind blowing down one end of the pitch, our boys were going to need to work just to stay warm!

In the ‘A’ game, a solid start saw Jonathan Debono and Melvin Poseta powerful in attack with Joshua Uisa dominating the scrum. The back line finally clicked combining for the opening try through a lovely off load from Boyd Marshall for Henry Martin to go over.

Melvin was back in the action soon after, breaking tackles and scoring another try, to cap a sparkling 15 minutes of rugby. The next 10 minutes was awful, as we dropped ball, missed tackles and kicks, while Sligo came back to be 14-14 at half time.

Coach Steven Griffiths gave the players his honest assessment of their efforts and not surprisingly, the second half saw a major improvement. Matthew Migotto and Neti Latu joined the dominant players to see the VSRU put on some big hits into contact and the Sligo players fighting gallantly to contain them.

Te Staples-Rei made some good ground late in the day and Enzo Iezzi ran strong on one wing, while Charlie Bradley made a good 40m down his wing to almost score a late one.

Final Scores: VSRU U16 ‘A’ team 35 defeated Sligo RFC U17 ‘A’ team 14

Tries: Neti Latu (2), Henry Martin, Melvin Poseta, Boyd Marshall

Cons: Antonio Masina (5)

 

The second game day of the tour saw the full list now have a start and it didn’t take long for the ‘B’ team to impress scoring a try inside the first five minutes. Play was typified through some powerful runs up the middle by the forward pack led by Matthew Lightfoot and Will Dong, then profiting out wide with strong runs from James Fogale, and the finish by Michael Tereszko for the first of his two.

As the half progressed, we did put ourselves under pressure through poor decisions on exits against the wind as Sligo played to the conditions with their kicking game, but the boys showed great resilience in defence with Scarff impressing delivering dominant tackle after dominant tackle.

Strong set piece throughout the game provided continued possession with aerial dominance in lineouts and winning against the head in scrums highlighting the performance. Sligo worked hard for third try of the game, a deserving finish to a hard-fought match between new friends.

Final Scores: VSRU U16 ‘B’ 32 defeated Sligo RFC U17 ‘B’ 19

Tries: Michael Tereszko (2), James Fogale (2), Max Pendlebury, Jem Schutzinger

Conversions: James Fogale

Tour Game Day 1 vs St Mary's College Rathmines

December 2nd, 2018

The first games of the VSRU U16 Tour of Ireland, United Kingdom and Belgium was played Sunday December 2nd in Dublin, Ireland versus St Mary’s College with the spoils shared between the hosts and tourers. Played on the pitches in picturesque Kenilworth Square, the ‘A’ team match saw St Mary’s winners 21 – 12 while the ‘B’ team match had the VSRU victors 38 – 12.

Having been in Dublin less than a day, the ‘A’ team had a rusty first half against a strong St Mary’s attack. Our defence held fast as they attacked our line, but we couldn’t exploit any attacking options of our own. Team Co-Captain Antonio Faofua Masina was inspirational in leading the forwards with Nat Latu, Matthew Migotto and Tom Moeller also playing well. The St Mary’s attack continued calling for a number of try saving tackles from Johlrhys Youse and Charlie Bradley. We started to get our team play going but errors in handing and weak communication held our attack back. St Mary’s were up 14-0 at half time and were first to score in the second half as well. It was time to lift and Melvin Poseta was outstanding, exploding into contact to set up the advantage for Jonathan Debono to score. As the soaking rain arrived late in the game Matthew Migotto scored but we had left our run too late.

VSRU U16 A 12 defeated by St Mary's College 21

Tries: Jonathan Debono, Matthew Migotto

Conversions: Antonio Faofua Masina

The ‘B’ teams squared off with the VSRU team visibly bigger than their Irish opponents and they quickly asserted their physical dominance to draw first blood inside two minutes with a try under the posts by Michael Tereszko, setting the tone for a dominant first half. The VSRU scored three more tries to lead 24 – 0 at half time with Henry Martin delivering quality ball for his fellow backs at flyhalf. The second half saw coach David Southwood ring the changes across the team and St Mary’s slowly gather momentum, scoring twice on the back of greater possession and improved field position. Of the two tries in the second half for the Victorians, Harry Bland’s stunning solo effort beating at least five defenders with some fancy footwork was one for the highlight reel.

VSRU U16 B 38 defeated St Mary's College 12

Tries: Harry Bland (2), Jonothan Debono, Hamish Hollamby, Max Pendlebury, Michael Tereszko

Conversions: Henry Martin (2), James Fogale (2)

U16 Europe & UK Tour Prepares to Depart

October 20th, 2018

Saturday evening October 20th, St Kevin's College played host to the VSRU U16 UK & Europe Tour Dinner where 42 young men were presented with their tour ties and team photos while raising funds for their trip. With members of the Melbourne Rebels there to present, and Cook Island Dancers for entertainment, the evening was enjoyed by all of the 280+ in attendance. The tour preparation gains momentum ahead of the November 30th departure.