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Re: Southgate Skolars triumph in Italy! Wed Jun 17, 2009 2:16 pm  

Elite Skolar wrote:
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The #8 wrote:
Southgate Skolars lifted the Simone Franchini Memorial title at the third attempt after holding off a fierce effort by XIII Catalan juniors in Padova, north-east Italy on Saturday night.

The Southgate side, which included nine teenagers, won the first three of their 30 minute games in the annual tournament, to enter the final fixture against the Catalans Dragons Under-20s, knowing a draw would secure them the title.

In a tempestuous game which threatened to boil over on several occasions in the 40 degree heat, both sides were reduced to 12 men for five minutes with David Johnson sin-binned for Southgate. Catalan missed a penalty attempt and two minutes before half-time the English went ahead through Stuart Harvey’s dive from close range, Andre Vine converting the try.

The French bounced back with a try of their own before the half-time whistle but missed the conversion. In a ferocious second half battle, the Catalan camped in Southgate’s half and were awarded a penalty five minutes from time which they kicked to tie the scores. Southgate were put under huge pressure but managed to hang on, the final whistle brining whoops of delight from the English and despair for the exhausted young French side.

The final game had reflected the fiery tournament opener nine hours earlier in the day. Harvey had put Southgate ahead on four minutes with a near identical try, Vine converting, before Catalan pinned Southgate back for the rest of the half. That pressure finally told midway through the second half but a missed conversion saw Southgate hold on to win 6-4 in a dirty game.

In their second game the Londoners – half of whom have played for London Skolars RLC Premier team this season – made heavy weather of beating the Amici di Simone 18-12. A Smokie Junor solo special opened the scoring but the Italians levelled before the break. Then Jerry Obuchowski put Southgate back in front before a fabulous kick chase by Dino Kos on the left wing and Vine’s superb conversion made it 18-6. Amici pulled a try back but could not draw level again.

In the return game with the Italians in the afternoon, Southgate won by four tries to two after going behind early on to the older and bigger Italians. But a great scrum play saw Obuchowski dart down the right to score and Junor got his second after half time. Player-coach Dan Stocks took full advantage of a wonder ball pass from wing Ani Mustafa to make it 12-4, Harvey adding the first goal after two misses by Vine, and after the Amici scored again to close the gap to a mere four points, Obuchowski finished them off on the left.

The quick and tough young Catalans beat the slower and rugby union-based Italians by larger scores than Southgate, so just needed to win the final game to triumph. But another gutsy display by the Skolars saw them home.

The Italian RL Federation officials – including founder Mick Pezzano and former Salford Reds prop Carlo Napolitano – chose Obuchowski as Southgate’s Player of the Tournament, while Michael Engmann, playing only his second ever game of rugby, also deserve plaudits for one of many full-hearted displays by the boys in red and black.

XIII Catalan Won 6-4 Try: Harvey. Goal: Vine
Amici di Simone Won 18-12 Tries: Junor, Obuchowski, Kos. Goals: Vine 3
Amici di Simone Won 18-10 Tries: Obuchowski 2, Junor, Stocks. Goals: Harvey
XIII Catalan Drew 6-6 Try: Harvey Goal: Vine

Southgate Skolars squad:
1 Smokie Junor - Full-back
2 Ani Mustafa - Wing
11 Jaroslaw Obuchowski - Centre
4 Manny de Jesus - Centre
5 Dino Kos - Wing
13 Dan Stocks - Stand-off
7 Stuart Harvey - Scrum-half
14 Nimai Parmar - Prop
9 Phillip Browne - Hooker
15 David Johnson - Prop
8 Michael Engmann - Second row
12 Dominic Madden - Second row
6 Andre Vine - Loose forward
10 Dion Chapman - Centre
3 Gavin Willacy - Wing

well done lads. who is the winger at the end?

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