NSW GPS: Joeys & Riverview to reignite one of Australia rugby’s greatest rivalries
It’s going to have to take something pretty special to top the drama of last year’s final round first XV clash between GPS rivals Joeys and Riverview.
With the 2018 premiership on the line, the match was delayed by more than an hour after heavy winds knocked the goal posts out of the ground.
When the game did kick off, it didn’t disappoint.
Joeys had one hand on the GPS trophy heading into the final five minutes, leading Riverview 21-20.
After defending their line gallantly, Riverview found a way through the Joeys defence and scored what looked to be the match winning try.
The Iggies fans went crazy, but somehow there was time still on the clock.
From the kick off, Joeys regathered on the full and scored one of the more remarkable match winning tries you’ll see.
It’s the kind of stuff you can’t make up. The exact stuff that makes grassroots rugby so great.
“It was a pretty incredible afternoon,” Joeys co-coach Tim Andersen told Rugby News.
The Joeys v Riverview rivalry is one of Australian rugby’s finest and Andersen believes it’s familiarity that makes it so strong.
“There’s great rivalry between all the GPS schools but the Riverview game is special.
“Every year it features boys who play club rugby together, who went to primary school together or come from similar areas of NSW. They know each other well and there’s a great level of respect.”
Joeys are undefeated after two rounds and while Riverview fell just short against Scots on the opening weekend of the season, a win this weekend would shoot them right back into premiership calculations.
“We’ve had a great start to the season. The boys have trained very hard and have been applying themselves well each weekend,” Andersen continued.
“The games against Shore and Newington were probably a little tighter than the scoreline showed and both were played in great spirit.”
While Joeys sit level with Scots at the top of the ladder, Andersen said his side knows that there is very little between any of the sides in the 2019 competition.
“It’s a really even competition. All teams are well coached, well prepared and capable of playing some pretty impressive rugby.
“Riverview are going to be well prepared and very enthusiastic like usual. Their sides are traditionally well drilled, high skilled and very determined and willing and I don’t think this year’s group will be any different.”
Several players from Andersen’s side featured in the Australian Schools Championships over the holidays but the coach said the group remained relatively injury free.
“We’ll field a really competitive side this week with minimal changes to the first two rounds. We’ve trained well all week and the boys seem ready for a big challenge at 3:15pm on Saturday.