NSW CAS: Knox hold off fast finishing Waverley to claim crucial opening round away win

Knox held off a fast finishing Waverley outfit and claimed an impressive 32-28 victory at Queens Park in the opening round of the 2019 CAS season. 

The visitors led 26-11 in the second half, before Waverley scored three back to back tries to reduce the deficit to four points with time to play. 

Led by their tireless backrow, Knox defended desperately as Waverley searched for the match winner and eventually caused a knock on to seal a memorable win. 

“It was an arm wrestle but we were able to hold on in the end,” Knox coach Tai Glassie told Rugby News. 

“It’s never easy to win out at Queens Park, that’s the first time we have since 2015.”

While Knox led from the third minute and by as many as 15 points in the second half, Glassie said he always expected Waverley to fight back in front of a vocal home crowd. 

“Rugby’s all about dominating the key moments and we took our chances early on and got ahead but then they had the momentum in the second half,” he said. 

“We talk a lot about momentum and how important is it and the boys know that when they lose it, that’s when they’ve got to work really hard and fortunately they were able to do that late in the game on Saturday.”

The Knox backrow, led by No.8 Tom Gratwicke, were exceptional but Glassie said it was difficult to single out individuals. 

“All fifteen players did their job but I think a number of the boys played the best game they’ve played all year. 

“Then we had a number of boys make a big impact from the bench after playing a full game in seconds, so that was pleasing.”

An away win at Queens Park is a huge boost for Knox’s premiership credentials, but Glassie said the group weren’t getting ahead of themselves just yet. 

“It’s a good win but it’s only one game so we can’t get carried away. Looking at the results, they were all tight games and I don’t think there will be any easy matches this year. 

“We’ve got Cranbrook next on Friday night and we’ve got a lot of work to do this week to make sure we perform well again in round two.” 

In the rounds other matches, Barker raced away to a 24-3 lead before eventually claiming a 29-17 victory against a Cranbrook side that showed plenty of fight in the second half, while Trinity beat St Aloysius’ 26-19. 

“You really don’t know what to expect this year. All three games were won by less than 12 points and I think it’s going to be like that all year. It’s really just going to come down to who turns up best on the day and who can play for 71 minutes,” Glassie added. 

“If the results were completely different next week, I wouldn’t be surprised because the competition is so tight and it shows the depth in CAS Rugby at the moment.”

In round two, Cranbrook and Knox meet under lights at Woollahra Oval on Friday night, while Waverley host Aloys and Barker face Trinity.