Creagh confident Australian School Barbarians still have best to come

Australian Schools Barbarians centre Vincent Creagh is confident his side’s best is ahead of them after a strong showing against New Zealand Schools on Monday.

Trailing 21-0 early against the Kiwis, the Barbarians found a way to play their way into the match and will take plenty of confidence into their next game against Tongan Schools, according to Creagh.

“We knew it was going to be tough, they’re the best rugby nation in the world but I think we certainly held our own. It wasn’t the best start but once we got over that, we put 31 points on them,” he said.

“In saying that, we also identified a few things that we need to work on, particularly around our defence on the edges where they ran through us a little bit. That’s something we’ve worked on this week.”

Creagh captained Sydney school Joeys to their first GPS premiership in more than a decade earlier this year in remarkable circumstances.

Needing to beat Riverview to claim the title, the lead changed three times in the final minutes of the match, before Joeys scored with the final play of the game to seal a memorable win.

“The finish at Riverview was unbelievable, you really couldn’t have scripted that and to finish our final game of rugby at Joeys like that, it’s something I’ll never forget.”

After impressing for NSW II at the Australian Schools Championships, Creagh, who lived in Asia for most of his schooling years, was picked in the wider Australian Schools squad before earning a starting jersey in the Barbarians team.

“I was speechless when I was named in that initial squad and then I was really happy to eventually get named in the Barbarians side. It’s something I’ve aimed for for a while now, so it was an incredible feeling,” he said.

“Getting the chance to face the Haka is an experience I’ll never forget, not many people get to do that and it was everything I thought it would be.

“We scored off an intercept first but then the rest of the points came from our structured attack which was really pleasing and I think we’ll build on that when we face Tonga.”

Creagh singled out flanker Brett Wellington and prop Zane Nonggorr as his sides best against New Zealand but said the entire 23 will need to step up if they are to beat the Tongans.

“It’ll be physical, they’ve got a hard running No.12 and No.8 so we’ll need to watch them but once we do that, I think we’ll be able to exploit a few of their weaknesses.”

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