NSW CAS: Champions have no intention of being forced to share 2019 title
Barker were crowned CAS champions for the second consecutive season following last weekend’s 41-17 win over an injury-hit Waverley College, but Knox do still have a chance to somewhat spoil their party this weekend.
With a three-point buffer at the top of the table heading into Saturday’s final round Barker are guaranteed to be etched onto the trophy again, but Knox can still force them to share that premiership with an upset win.
Points difference plays no role in deciding the table, and should Knox take down the champion Barker outfit the two sides will finish deadlocked at the top and share the spoils.
Easier said than done for Knox, who were somewhat clunky in their 23-13 win over last-placed St Aloysius last weekend. Especially considering Barker have no intention of sharing the title.
“At the start of the season we said we wanted to carry on from last year, we wanted to win the title again and we wanted to go through undefeated,” Barker coach Dean Hargreaves said.
“The boys have worked really hard this year and we’ve done one of those things, we’ve got one more game this weekend to try and do the other.”
Hargreaves said he’s not expecting any danger of his side becoming complacent having already tasted success, especially not considering how motivated they know Knox will be.
“The guys certainly enjoyed themselves, they loved having a good win last weekend but they’re quite grounded and ready to finish the season on a good note and Knox will definitely be up for it, playing at home,” he said.
“Knox are a really strong side, they’ve got a great back row in terms of contesting the breakdown and carry capacity too and they drive the ball well too from their lineout.”
Hargreaves said his side does still have plenty to work on, identifying a couple of key areas he’d like to see improvement in on Saturday.
“We did loosen up a bit in the last quarter of the game last weekend and credit to Waverley, they came back and scored a few tries at the end,” he said.
“We probably didn’t react to a few things they were doing as well as we should have and fatigue did come into that a little bit, and we were well ahead at that point, so one thing we could better is to close the game out I think.”