Chris Aumua celebrates Silverstream winning WelTec 1st XV Premiership
Chris Aumua will always hold one crucial piece of bragging rights over his older brother, Asafo.
The St Patrick’s College, Silverstream winger claimed a WelTec Premiership winners medal on Sunday when his side beat Wellington College 17-11 in the Wellington premier high school rugby final at Porirua Park.
It was something Asafo Aumua was unable to do during three years in the Stream first XV.
The 20-year-old does have an Under-20 World Cup winner’s medal to his name, but Chris Aumua said he wouldn’t let his older brother forget their comparative records at Stream.
“I’ll probably rub it in his face when I get home,” he said with a laugh after Sunday’s win – Asafo Aumua missed watching Stream win their first title since 2012 as he was playing for Wellington against Manawatu in Palmerston North.
The tight and tense final was not really a game for the backs, but Aumua was able to make his presence felt in the first half with a try of the highest order – his 10th of the season.
Watching it live did not really do it justice. It was only when reviewing it later that Aumua’s brilliance truly shone.
He received the second pass off the back of a scrum, about 25 metres from the Wellington line. He beat one defender by changing the angle of his run, then another with a sharp right-foot step. A would-be cover defender fell off him, then the fullback was beaten with a left-foot step. Finally, he carried two defenders across the line to score.
That was midway through the first half with his team down 6-0 and looking nervous on attack. Aumua said he had one thought in his mind as he waited for the scrum to be set.
“I wanted to get a try to spark things up…it worked.”
Stream went on to keep Wellington scoreless in the second half to overturn an 11-7 deficit, queuing emotional celebrations from the players and their school-mates.
It left Aumua stunned and in tears.
“I can’t explain it. It’s been a while, the boys have worked so hard throughout the season to get the win.
“I’m just emotional, I just want to cry. Seeing the school running onto the field, I just cried with my family and friends.”
Stream’s first-five and captain, Harrison Boyle, was similarly taken aback.
Most of the backline were year 13s, including Boyle and Aumua, so this was their last shot at glory.
”A big group of this team were playing together in under-14s. The backline has been pretty much the same since then. We’ve got a lot of year 12s in our forward pack so they’ll all be back next year, but this was it for a lot of us.”
This year’s win was a long overdue return to form for Stream.
They contested six-straight finals up until 2015, when they lost in the semifinals to St Pat’s Town. Last year saw a shock exit to Rongotai College in the quarterfinals.
And even though they made six finals, they lost four of them, including three heart-wrenching defeats by three and two-point margins.
Boyle said the team was motivated to right the wrongs of those losses.
“This is huge for the school. We’ve got a lot of pride in our rugby. People say we’re underachievers or chokers and that sort of just motivated us even more to come here and get the job done.
“The boys stepped through our school gates wanting to achieve this. We’ve watched so many Stream teams fall at the last hurdle, so to get out there and finish the job is an amazing feeling.
“In year nine I was in the stands watching the 2013 team play Coll. We came into that final unbeaten and didn’t quite finish the job. We were similarly placed to what that team was, so to finish it was just amazing.”
The job is not over just yet though.
Stream take their undefeated 11-0 WelTec Premiership record into the Hurricanes region semifinal, as they host traditional rivals Palmerston North Boys’ High School this weekend.
They should take plenty of confidence into that match, not only from their final win, but the fact they scored a record 71-0 win over Palmerston North on June 28. Palmerston North have improved a lot since then though and beat Napier Boys’ High School 21-20 on August 14 to make the semifinals.
Wellington College face a difficult away trip in the other semifinal as they take on Hastings Boys’ High School – the undefeated champions of the Super 8 competition.
AT A GLANCE
St Patrick’s College, Silverstream 17 (Chris Aumua, Albert Polu, Todd Svenson tries; Riley Forbes con) Wellington College 11 (Naitoa Ah Kuoi try; Joshua Morgan Ranui 2 pen). HT: 7-11.