Congratulations to our Rugby League Senior team for winning the 2014 Victorian School Boys GIO Trophy.
On Wednesday 18th June, Hallam Senior College competed against Victoria University Secondary College in the state final of the GIO Schoolboy Trophy. It was hoped this would be a tightly fought contest seeing both teams had drawn in their two encounters last year. In these encounters last year, Hallam won the GIO Trophy in Extra time Golden Point and on the second occasion on AAMI Park, the two teams couldn't be separated after extra time.
In the lead up to this match both teams were depleted a little by injuries incurred in representative programs associated with Melbourne Storm, Melbourne Rebels and Victorian Rugby League. For Hallam, they were missing the likes of Eddy Tuilotolava, Angelo Leupepe and Afaefe Haisila. Both teams also had a student each not playing because of their regular inclusion in the Melbourne Storm Holden Cup team. Ben halfpenny from Hallam Senior College was this player.
The Casey Fields Rugby League field was a heavy surface on this day, which meant a tough tussling match was likely. Early on Hallam Senior College got off to a great start with a break away try from a kick return to the very evasive and elusive Oisin Clarken. This try was quickly converted by Keenan Pesamino from the sideline to make it 6 – 0 very early on in the game. It was after this that the Hallam forward pack took real control of the game through aggressive runs and defence from Melvin and Paula Fifita and Tokorima Metua. James Brooks was also making easy yards from dummy half and getting his forwards over the advantage line. Before they knew it Hallam was leading 16 – 0 and in danger of taking this game right away from Victoira University.
Victoria University then had a progression of repeat sets at Hallam for a good 10 minutes and during this time Hallam began to create unforced errors and therefore incomplete sets. Eventually the workload became too much and Victoria University went down the right sideline of the field to score in the corner.
Hallam ended up working through this tough time period and finished the half with an additional try making it 22 – 4 at half time.
Hallam knew that Victoria University finished the first half off strongly and would be similar at the beginning of the second. The focus for Hallam remained around completing there sets and getting to good field position with the hope of repeat sets if they didn't score.
The second half ended up with 2 more tries to Hallam and 1 to Victoria University. Hallam ending up eventual winners 32 – 10 taking home the GIO Victorian Trophy for the 7th consecutive year. The best on the field were: Oisn Clarken, Melvin and Paula Fifita, James Brooks, Ikapote Tupai and Keenan Pesamino.
This means Hallam Senior College now progress onto the next stages of the GIO Trophy. They are required to play in the NSW/ACT Country Rugby League Southern Gala Day on 24th July in Cootamundra playing the winners of 3 other southern regions. If successful on this gala day, the next stage is a Country Rugby League Final against the Northern Gala Day winners in Dubbo on the 6th August which will be televised on Foxtel. The competition then ends with the Country Rugby League winners playing against the NSW Metropolitan winners on the 27th August which will also be televised.
The GIO Trophy (formerly known as the Commonwealth bank Cup or Arrive Alive Cup) has been going for 38 seasons and this year will have more than 300 schools participate. In that time the competition has produced an amazing array of players and any number of unforgettable matches. At the same time it has contributed positively to the identities of the schools that take part, creating proud traditions for teachers, students and parents.
Hallam Senior College is extremely proud of its history and involvement in this competition. Last year they were able to beat Chifley College who are past winners of the competition and come within 4 points of last years finalists Eaglevale High school. Seeing our local boys travel and come up against quality opposition from NSW schools makes the Hallam Rugby League program a very worthwhile option for any young boy playing the game in the South Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. Next term promises to be an exciting time for the 40 odd boys in the Hallam Rugby League Academy. By progressing through to the GIO Trophy finals, they can also find game time for the other boys requiring games with their inclusion in the Melbourne Storm Cup, which is a regular competition and the year 10 boys also competing in the Cooper Cronk Shield state finals day.
If there are any young players or his families that want to know more about the Hallam Senior College Rugby League program or other programs in the Sports Academy, go to: http://www.hallamssc.vic.edu.au and follow the links to the Sports Academy. Or call the school on 9703 1266. Applications for 2015 are currently open.