GPS: What we learned from round 2

Shore and Joeys played out a thrilling 28-all draw at Northbridge on Saturday, while Kings and Riverview extended their unbeaten starts to the season with impressive wins over Newington and Scots respectively. 

Here are a few things we learned from the round two: 

A good attacking maul is important, a good defensive maul is even better

Right across International rugby, the maul has quickly become the go-to attacking tool for most sides over recent years and it’s clear most of the GPS sides have followed that trend. 

Shore scored three tries from mauls, while Scots scored two and there was little their opponents could have done to stop any of those tries. 

Sides have clearly spent a lot of time working on their attacking maul in the opening weeks of the season. It’ll be interesting to see which side is able to improve their defensive maul, or their defensive line out first, to stop sides close to their line. 

The teams that do, will have a serious advantage over their rivals. 

Support play the difference in opening two rounds 

Support play is another aspect of the game that appears to be differentiating the sides in the opening two rounds. 

All six GPS sides have the ability to attack and one of the best things about schoolboy footy, is that boys back themselves to do it from anywhere. Defence is also an area that most developing rugby players are still learning and those two factors lead to plenty of line breaks. 

The support play of Riverview and Kings, the two sides that lead the competition, has been brilliant in the opening weeks of this season. 

Whenever a player finds space, he needs numbers around him and Riverview and Kings have done a great job of this in the opening two rounds. 

It also makes for fantastic watching. 

Kickers eat nerves for breakfast

If the Wallabies and Australia’s Super Rugby sides are looking to improve their goal kicking percentages, they don’t need to import a kicking coach from overseas. 

They could have learnt plenty from spending last Saturday afternoon at Northbridge. 

Shore’s Hugo Orpin and Joeys’ Hwi Sharples both kicked four from four in the 28-all draw, with the vast majority of shots just metres in from the sideline. 

The two No.9s put on a show and they did it in a match where neither side led by more than 7 points. 

It was clutch kicking at its finest and it would have been great to see Orpin get a chance to win the game with a late penalty attempt. But the referees had other ideas. 

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