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The Battle of Hastings

10/09/2013

​While not quite as epic as its namesake event in 1066, Keebra Park fought its very own battle at Pizzey Park today with Illawarra Sports high lead by St George Holden Cup player, Jackson Hastings proving to be a difficult opponent to overcome.

Hastings and fellow Australian schoolboys squad member Tom Freebairn formed the backbone of an Illawarra side who had successfully overcome Sydney schools, Hunter, Bass and Holy Cross to take their place in the Gio Schoolboys Cup Semi and were the form team coming into the clash.

Keebra had downed, Marsden, Kirwan and St Brendans in do or die knockouts and although considered underdogs for this encounter had developed a reputation for fitness and determination.

Illawarra spent the morning playing beach cricket, topping up their tans and working of the parmiganas from the night before but they were under no illusions that the holiday was over when Keebra crossed the stripe early in the game to open the scoring. They replied with a try of their own soon after and the tit for tat scoring saw the Keebra enter the sheds with an 18-12 lead at halftime.

The second stanza opened along much the same lines and an arm wrestle ensued with neither side able to really stamp their authority however a 45th minute flurry of Keebra pressure saw them push out to a 32-18 lead and put the game beyond Illawarra's reach. A knock on over the line and a Liolavave try called back for a forward pass would have seen the score blow out but as the final siren sounded, the 38-18 final score line was indicative of a game that featured some passages of open play with both sides happy to push the pass out wide.

Keebra's Australian centre Marion Seve bagged a double while Jamion Iroa went one better with a hat trick. Kelly Tate was relentless in defence and Lamar Liolavave was awarded the GIO "Most Trusted Player" award.

Keebra have a short turn around before the Grand Final clash with Patrician Brothers Blacktown next Wednesday (18th) at Kogarah oval in Sydney.

Special thanks to Burleigh Leagues for hosting this event.

Darren Hart Keebra Park