Drinkwater a star against South Grafton
The Sydney Roosters junior scored three tries and booted six from eight conversions in Terrigal High's 44- 18 quarter-final win over the hosts at McKittrick Park yesterday.
It was an ugly start for South Grafton who trailed 28- 4 at one stage before fullback Tom McGrady sliced through the defence to complete a first-half double on the stroke of half-time.
In front of the large crowd of peers and supporters, South Grafton came out with renewed vigour in the second half and notably took the game to their larger opponents, with commendable efforts from interchange forwards Jeremy Betts and Brandon Child.
Sustained pressure resulted in two inch-perfect tries from winger Jordan Child, a player with ability and growing confidence who, being in Year 11, will be a player to look out for in 2016.
But the might of Terrigal eventually prevailed, South powerless to stop the quality outfit running away with the game with hat-tricks to Drinkwater and his halves partner Kye Hopwood.
"Their halfback is a pretty good player," South Grafton High captain and Year 12 student Mason Graham said.
"He's an Australian Schoolboy, so tops to him, and that was a man-of-the-match performance I reckon.
"It's good we got this far, one further than last year. We come up against a tough side today.
"There were a lot of blokes who put in for us today. Thomas McGrady and Nick McGrady always put in a big hard effort, big James Hughes is always strong and you can't go past little Merrick Skinner, he's always there
"School footy's over for me. It's been a good six years, played every year and I wish I could do it all over again."
The journey continues for Terrigal, however, who have booked a semi-final berth against either Karabar High from Queanbeyan or Yanco Agricultural High from Leeton. The school was also recently crowned Country Cup champions and take on Aquinas College in the GIO Schoolboy Cup final next week.
Ten players from the side were also engaged in the school's NSW All Schools Touch Football win in Sydney this week.
"We got the trophy and jumped on the bus," Terrigal High coach Jeff Coroneas said.
"Under the circumstances we played well today. We always knew it would be tough here at South Grafton's home ground, and we've seen footage of the McGradys and knew we'd have to contain them.
"We stayed at the hockey complex (Bunkhouse) last night and everyone in town's been great."
TERRIGAL HS 44 (Scott Drinkwater 3, Kye Hopwood 3, David Warner, Zac Christensen tries; Drinkwater 6 goals) defeated SOUTH GRAFTON HS 18 (Tom McGrady 2, Jordan Child 2 tries; Nick McGrady goal) at McKittrick Park.