1st XV NLD Cup Final 2024: Melbourne 54-15 Derby

For this game, Callum Jones made a return after a year’s absence and Tom Hinchliffe made his debut at prop.  Both were called on to bolster a hastily assembled team for the final of the NLD Cup.

From the start, Melbourne looked the better side, and only three minutes in, a quickly taken penalty created a gap exploited by prop Adam Parkins to score a try converted by Josh Worley.  Melbourne enjoyed more possession which was used well by their backs, especially centre, Euan North, whose strong running broke through the gain line several times.  In defence, they were solid and effective.

A driving maul gave Wing forward, Ethan Benstead, an unconverted try but following a charge down, No.8, Tom Watson, scored near the posts for Worley to convert, giving Melbourne nineteen points lead and control of the game. Derby’s Callum Jones made a decisive break from a scrum and found Mc Grath Van Wyk in support.  His inside pass to Ryan Milton split the defence as he cut inside for an unconverted try.  Following a speculative kick and chase, winger, Tom Waston, got the luck of the bounce and touched down in the corner.  Worley did well to convert against the wind to give his side a commanding lead at the interval.

Five minutes after the restart, Adam Parkins added a try, converted by Worley.  Then Derby managed a resurgence to see McGrath Van Wyk score a try.  However, they were then forced to fight hard in defence of their line.  Eventually, a lack of communication and timing in a lineout, gifted Melbourne’s Brayon Taylor, a try.  He added two more tries, all of which Worley converted.  Jake Barker scored a late try but Callum Jones sustained a knee injury and had to leave the field of play. 

Though Derby made a valiant effort, it was Melbourne’s day and they richly deserved to collect the NLD Cup.

Report by: Gerry Sherry