HAWKESBURY Ag College has had the better of their cross-town rivals Hawkesbury Valley for the second time this season in first grade, after the two local clubs clashed at College Oval on Saturday afternoon in the Hawkesbury derby.
Things did not all go Ag College’s way, however, on Saturday, as the Colts and third grade teams of Valley secured wins against their opponents, which the club will no doubt savour having done so at College’s home ground.
Both clubs were well rested after a bye over the previous long weekend, and while the first grade team for Ag College prevailed 62-32, both teams had at each other in the round nine contest.
Valley were fresh off their upset win over Redfield in week eight, while Ag College faced some resistance for the first time in a number of weeks after blowing some of their recent opposition off the park.
Indeed, since a round four draw with Barker Old Boys, Ag College put up winning scorelines of 76-0, 116-7, 59-12 and 48-0, before they came up against Valley.
While Valley lost by 30 points, they can point to the fact the team put up the most points against Ag College so far this season.
Hawkesbury Ag College coach Mick West said the team let itself down at times and was guilty of underestimating their opponents.
“We clocked off at crucial times and they took advantage of it,” he said.
“We struggled to execute our shape. It was a good wake-up call for the boys. We learnt a valuable lesson in not respecting our opposition enough.”
Ag College flanker PJ Cartwright, who has been filling in for the injured Ryan James, had a blinder, and has continued his good form since returning from his own injury a few weeks ago.
Cartwright scored three tries in the match, though was not alone in bagging a hat-trick.
Valley winger Sam Aukuso also recorded a hat-trick on Saturday afternoon at College Oval.
Ag College winger Michael Gibson scored two tries.
The total try tally was nine to six in Ag College’s favour, although, the result could have finished closer. Ag College converted six of nine tries, and added a penalty goal, while Valley only managed one conversion.
The game also saw six sin-binnings, with four Valley players being on the wrong end of the referee’s decision, and two Ag College players also spending a stint off the field.
The win has seen the Ag College team move into second position on the table with a 7-1-1 record, while Hawkesbury Valley is in sixth with a 3-0-6 record.
Despite the on-field rivalries, both clubs shared some post-match beers.
Both first grade teams also posed for a photo together, to send to Zion Tauamiti, who has played for both Hawkesbury Ag College and Hawkesbury Valley in the past.
Tauamiti has been in hospital in New Zealand recently, and the clubs took the photo in the hope of placing a smile on his face during a tough period in his life.
In round 10, Hawkesbury Valley will host Brothers at McQuade Park while Hawkesbury Ag College has a tough road trip to take on the first-placed Barker Old Boys.