Source: Andrew Prentice | The Manly Daily | 12/05/11

RUGBY great Mark Ella says Wednesday night’s hybrid game at Brookvale Oval was a success – and that it was now up to the Australian Rugby Union and National Rugby League to develop it further.

More than 4000 watched St Augustine’s College beat Keebra Park 16-12 in a high quality schoolboy encounter.

Spectators included Kangaroos coach Tim Sheens, Wallabies coach Robbie Dans, NSW Waratahs coach Chris Hickey and Keebra Park old boy Benji Marshall.

Saints’ points came from tries to Jamil Hopoate, Luke Vescio and Harrison Blake, with Jack Purcell booting two goals. Keebra’s tries were scored by Andrew Vela and Michael Kai, with Manaia Rudolph kicking both of his conversion attempts.

Ella – one of the organisers, along with former Wallabies coach Bob Dwyer and Sea Eagles great Bob Fulton – said the match lived up to the hype.

“Expectation was high and the players delivered,” he said.

“I expected more kicking but the game flowed quite well.

“Some of the hits were frightening – I’m glad I wasn’t on the end of one.

“As a demonstration we achieved what we set out to do.”

St Augustine’s coach John Papahatzis was also happy with the outcome.

“It was a great exhibition of how the codes can coexist,” he said. “Each side held their own. It was a great spectacle.

“I thought the game favoured rugby union to an extent – we had an advantage with lineouts and scrums.

“The boys all loved the experience.

“It was a great hitout and a game they’ll never forget.”