NSW CAS: Trinity looking for consistency over 70 minutes ahead of Barker clash

Trinity kickstarted their 2019 CAS campaign with a 26-19 victory over St Aloysius’ on Saturday but coach Nick Pay said his side will need to produce a far more consistent performance this weekend to challenge Barker at Hornsby. 

“We wanted to try and blow Aloys off the park in the first 15 minutes and we were able to do that but then we let them back into the game,” Pay told Rugby News. 

“With a team like Aloys, if you give them an inch, they’ll take a mile and they made life pretty difficult for us. 

“In saying that, past Trinity teams may have lost that game, but this group was able to bounce back and finish the game off well.” 

Trinity led 12-0 after 10 minutes but allowed Aloys to play their way into a match that quickly turned into an arm wrestle and while the home side held on to claim an opening round win, Pay said it was far from a polished performance. 

“We had a few opportunities to take penalty goals and push 10 points ahead but we didn’t make the right decisions and I think the boys have learnt from that. 

“We just couldn’t find a way to put them away, which was frustrating, but a win’s a win at the end of the day.”

After a disappointing 2018 CAS campaign, Trinity played one of the tougher pre-season schedules of the six CAS schools, but Pay said that should set them up nicely in the months ahead. 

“We’ve worked really hard this year to build a belief in our players that we can be a force in this competition. 

“At times this year, we’ve played some really good rugby but we’re struggling to string good passages of play together.  

“We want to play free flowing rugby. We like to throw the ball around and we like to get our forwards running off our 10 and 12. We’ve also got some really strong forwards with good ball skills so we’ll try to get the ball wide whenever we can.”

Pay said his side has been looking forward to Saturday’s clash against Barker for quite some time and knows the importance of a win heading into the holiday break.  

“We almost beat them last year. We were leading at half time and unfortunately couldn’t finish that game off but I think this group is up for it and really believe they can win.  

“Our focus has always been on getting to the holidays with two wins from two,” Pay said. 

“We get two of our big ball runners back at the end of the holidays and a few others will get a chance to get over some little niggles. 

“It’d be a nice spot to be in, heading into those final three rounds, where anything can happen really.”

All three round one matches were decided by 12 points or less and Pay said he wouldn’t be surprised to see some upsets this weekend.  

“Aloys are the dark horse. They might not have the side to win the competition but they’re certainly good enough to stop other teams from winning it, I think they’ll cause a few upsets this year. 

“Knox look to be playing really good rugby, I think they’re probably one of the stronger teams this year, but I wouldn’t want to be tipping this year, every round is going to be tight.”

Round two kicks off on Friday night with Cranbrook hosting Knox at Woollahra Oval. On Saturday, Trinity travel to face Barker and Waverley host St Aloysius’ with the CAS representative teams to be announced following those fixtures.