NSW CAS: St Aloysius’ CAS 2019 Season Preview

St Aloyisus’ were the surprise package of the 2018 CAS season and caused a number of upsets on their way to a third place finish. 

Coach Greg Austin welcomes back more than half of last year’s squad in 2019 and seems confident Aloys can cause a few more upsets again this season. 

Overview with Greg Austin:

“We’ve had a great start to the year. We had a good trip up to Queensland and toured up there for a week, then we’ve come back and played some invitational games which has been really good for us, playing against some different schools, so it’s gone really well so far,” the coach said. 

“Last year we finished third but we probably could have finished higher. I don’t think the team ever really reached their potential so it was a little bit disappointing but considering the size of our school compared to some of the others, third probably isn’t a bad result. 

“We played Sydney Grammar in our first match and beat them quite comfortably, then we beat Joeys thirds pretty comfortably as well. 

“Since then, we’ve played a few games on the road. We played St Pat’s and that was a really good, physical battle and then we lost 12-5 to Cranbrook, who are quite fancied this year. 

“We lost to a charge down try and probably left quite a few points out there so it was a pretty pleasing result to be honest.”

2019 Squad: 

“We’ve got probably half the boys back from last year and we’ve got a bit of size this year, for the first time in a while. We’ve got some big boys in the pack, then some strong backs as well so it’s a fairly well balanced team. 

“Getting some guys with experience back is a big bonus. Once they reach Year 12, I find a lot of them develop quite quickly and they are a lot more confident playing against guys their own age. 

“They’re a really close knit group and although they might not have as much strike power as last year, they’ve certainly got plenty of resilience, so it’s all looking fairly promising.”

Key areas of improvement: 

“At the moment, finishing is probably the big one. We left a few tries out there against Cranbrook on the weekend and we know that you’ve always got to take your chances in CAS matches, so we need to be better in that area. 

“I think that comes down to decision making really. We’ve been working on that but it’s always different under pressure. Hopefully the more we work on it in training, the more it will rub off on us in the game.”

Hopes and expectations for the season:

“We just want to be competitive in every game we play. We’re always the underdogs but we’d like to pick up a few wins along the way and see where we end up. 

“It’s a tough competition, so any win for us means a lot to the boys and to the college.”

Bold prediction for 2019: 

“The three big schools in Waverley, Baker and Knox obviously have the numbers and the quality so it’ll be hard to beat them. But in saying that, Cranbrook won it back in 2014 so there’s always a chance for the underdogs. 

“Hopefully that’s true for Australia over at the World Cup as well.”

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