Rawson sport returned to College in a big way in semester 2. The Covid-induced hiatus meant that training and general preparation for all sports proved difficult, and often required execution of a reduced capacity. With five sporting campaigns to undertake in the best part of a month, the Paulines had their work cut out for them. Compounding the log-jam of Rawson events was the timing of the semester. The state opened back up, assessment crunch time loomed, the Palladian Cup resumed, and important College social events were reinstated to the calendar following the ease of restrictions. The term ‘intense’ was an understatement, not to mention, some men convened and competed in multiple sports… Our second place position on the overall Rawson Cup ladder at the cessation of the first semester meant that serious groundwork had to be made in order to compete with the Androvians, and keep John’s and Wesley at bay.
Our athletics team drew first blood, winning the meet for the first time since 2017.Convenors, Mitch Cassie (short distance), Hayden Fleming (long distance), and Steve Parras (field), poured their heart and souls into training and preparing the squad in their respective fields. Particular attention was paid to the field athletes, which paid dividends as it has typically been an area of weakness for the College in recent years. The Fleming brothers (Cameron and Hayden) performed at an exceptional level, as they traditionally have, across the short and middle distance events, while Connor Whiteley continued his phenomenal first place winning streak, taking out the 1500m and 5000m events with flying colours. This is the second time Connor has achieved this in as many years.
Soccer was next, and proved to be another sport of strength for the College, with our boys finishing in first place for the third year in a row. Not a single goal was conceded during the tournament, which was a credit to the goalie Jack Attenborough, who stepped up in the absence of Rawson soccer veteran, Gavin Stein, one of our resident cane toads, who chose to return home when a border opening presented itself. The games were played in a shortened 20-minute halves format, which forced a fast-paced, punchier style of play. With 3-0 and 1-0 victories against St John’s and Wesley, respectively, and St Andrew’s also winning their first two matches, the stage was set for a showdown. The final was tightly contested with lots of passion on display from both sides, but a split could not be made, resulting in a nil-all draw, meaning Paul’s and Drew’s were joint winners.
The legendary Paul’s VIII took up their oars at the Sydney International Regatta Centre for another historical victory. The initial 2000m race was scheduled for semester 1, as is tradition, however, was postponed due to a blue green algae outbreak that developed in Penrith Lakes. This did not prove to be an issue for the crew, who are renowned for a grueling, self-driven training regime, spearheaded by Nick Trotter and Jack Singer. A first place finish for the second year running, showcased exactly what commitment and ticker can achieve. This crew has truly been one of the most dedicated groups of sportsmen we’ve seen in the history of the College.
1st Paul’s 6:56.63, 2nd Andrew’s 7:37.96, 3rd John’s 7:52.28, and 4th Wesley 8:07.44
Three victories in two weeks; not a bad effort.
Basketball. The shortened 5-minute quarter format proved difficult. Compounding this was the unusually large contingent of Freshers who made up the squad. For many of them, this was their first Rawson sport, meaning the shortened quarters made it particularly challenging to find any rhythm. We went down in our first game against Andrew’s 20-7, drew with Wesley 23-all, and defeated John’s 15-14, resulting in an equal second place draw with Wesley.
Finally, the racquet men. This sport was crucial for our final standing in the overall Rawson Cup and would make or break the entire campaign. Unfortunately, the final two matchups (Paul’s vs Andrew’s, and John’s vs Wesley), were washed out, which ended the 2021 Rawson Cup tournament on an anticlimactic note. Drew’s finished with the most points for tennis, and were slightly ahead on overall Rawson points, meaning they finished as the 2021 Rawson Cup victors. Paul’s defeated Wes 6-3, and lost to John’s 6-0.
The pride and sportsmanship displayed from the men of the College who were bestowed with the privilege of representing, demonstrated why St Paul’s is the best college. Congratulations and well done to all involved.