Woodlawn Under-14s win State final
A TRY in the final minute to centre Codie Austen boosted St John's College, Woodlawn, to victory in the Statewide Cochrane Cup Under-14 rugby league knockout yesterday. The Lismore team won 18-16 after trailing 8-4 at half-time against Clare Catholic High School of Penrith. Woodlawn centre Lachlan Flannery was named best and fairest in the final, which was played at Marathon Stadium, Newcastle. Winger Matt Peters scored the first try for Woodlawn after a good backline move. But within a few minutes Clare High had hit back with a try from a kick and they went ahead with another try before the break. "They were a really big side," St John's College spokesman Kim Evans told The Northern Star by telephone while travelling back from Newcastle yesterday. "Their forward pack included a number of solid Lebanese and Islander kids. Our blokes (forwards) just hung in there early on." Woodlawn started the second half well, with a try to fullback Blake Northfield, and a little later scored the try of the match with a move that took in half the length of the field. Halfback Bevan Cuthbertson threw a dummy to finish it off and score under the cross-bar. The conversion by hooker Robert Kelly gave Woodlawn a 14-8 lead. But again Clare hit back, reducing the margin to 14-12, then with four minutes to go the Penrith school scored its fourth try to lead 16-14. But Woodlawn weren't to be denied and Austen was rewarded for backing up prop Luke Potter, whose great off-load led to the match-winning try. Young forward Tom Sandral, although only 12, went well in his debut. His second-row partner Jessie McEwen also played strongly.