Dominant win gets GPS tilt underway
RUGBY UNION: Seamus King-Smith's 16 points helped Ipswich Grammar School launch its 1st XV campaign with an emphatic 38-14 triumph over Brisbane State High.
On target with the boot, the goal-kicking winger also crossed for a try as the red and white opened its GPS season in style.
Elated IGS master in charge of rugby union Michael Abbott said attaining any victory in the prestigious competition was no easy feat and his charges had to fight tooth and nail to secure their maiden win.
"We're really happy with the round one performance,” he said.
"The start of each half was very physical. The contact was very heavy. We had to work for every metre.”
Abbott said the clash was a brutal grind, with each talent-rich schoolboy outfit grafting relentlessly in search of an advantage. Ipswich found it.
They were first to score, breaking through after 20 frantic minutes as each squad fatigued under the effect of the fierce opening exchanges.
By half-time, IGS led 18-0 but State High were far from beaten.
Abbott knew they would not lie down. He expected them to come out swinging after the break.
Ipswich had prepared for such a scenario over the course of an arduous pre-season. Every one of those painstaking hill sprints paid dividends as the mobile grammar forwards absorbed the challenge, resisted and responded, wearing down their counterparts.
With the pack laying a platform, controlling the ruck and set piece, and presenting quality ball, the star-studded IGS backline had a chance to express itself. The final scoreline was not a true reflection of the contest as Ipswich skipped clear with a flurry of late points.
Abbott said the entertaining high-scoring affair had been a brilliant way to kick-off the season with the spectacle engaging all in attendance.
In an indication of the school's considerable depth, IGS fared well across the grades, with the seconds, 14A, 13A and 12A apex sides, as well as a number of the B and C outfits also recording favourable results. State High's 15a and 16a units are expected to be among the competition pacesetters.
Abbott said the outstanding outcomes across the board were a testament to the tireless efforts of many to lift the standard of the rugby union program and ensure players were being developed through high quality coaching and access to state-of-the-art facilities.
He said the comprehensive program applied a holistic approach incorporating skill development, strength and conditioning and sports psychology.
"It also shows that the boys have been buying into what we are trying to achieve,” he said.
"It is pleasing to see us doing well again. We've still got some improvement left. I'd like to see us get back to where we were 10 years ago.”
IGS travels up the motorway to face arch nemesis Brisbane Grammar School next week.
Abbott said BGS was renowned for its technically sound and intelligent style of rugby, and it would be a difficult test.
He said the first round success would be rendered meaningless if IGS failed to back up the performance and the team would target consistency throughout the cut-throat round robin.
"Every game is a Grand Final in GPS, so consistency is really important,” he said.
"We'll prepare well and hopefully we can play as well as we did on the weekend.”