Sale Knock-out a big hit

THE 19th annual Sale Touch Knock-out was held over the weekend, with 52 teams competing for prize money.

Despite the windy and wet conditions at Stephenson Park, the games were played at a high standard.

Saturday was the men’s and women’s competition, with A and B sections in each.

The Maori Saiyans won the A grade men’s with runner-up Blood 2nd X1; Carvery took out the prize in the B section, with Bloods 3rs X1 runner-up.

MUTE Frequent Frogs were the premiers in the women’s A grade with Galaxy runners up. The Elite 8 was B division premier with Ballarat runner-up.

Sale entered two teams; one in the men’s B division on Saturday and a team in the mixed social division on Sunday. Neither team was successful in taking out a prize.

The Sale mixed team won its first match against La Trobe University six tries to four. Leigh Mawley top-scored for Sale with two tries, and Jack Neesham, Maddie Hinder, Declan Jones and Louisa Date each made one.

In its second game, Sale went down to Ballarat 4-1. Sale’s try came from Neesham.

The Monash University Incredibulls defeated Sale with Mawley scoring the only try for the home side.

In its final game, Sale defeated RMIT 7-2. Kane Cutler, Mawley and Hendrico each scored two tries, with one each from Andrea Schofield, Georgia Martin and Neesham. Cutler, 13, received the Laurie Smyth Award for the player who participated in the best spirit across the weekend.

Touch Victoria’s Chris Liddell said the rough weather didn’t make too much of an interruption.

“It’s been very competitive, we had five or six games go to a drop-off in the finals, some of those have gone for five or seven minutes (extra time), he said.

“It’s all been played in the right spirit, for a lot of them it’s their end-of-season tournament and they’re here for a good time.”

Organiser and Sale Touch Association president Laurie Smyth added it was great to see so many teams.

“We had a referee from Sydney and players from Hobart, and the Melbourne teams have state and national players, really good players,” he said.

“I think the attitude of the whole thing (was a highlight), it was a social event and there was no spitefulness out there for the entire event, which was good.

“This is the 19th event for our Sale association, so the 20th next year will be really big — I know there’ll be heaps of people coming down.”