Tranzit 1st XV Festival Kicks off Saturday
As normal now, last year’s Wellington Premiership top four return to the top grade by right and instead of the qualifying process will again take part on the Tranzit Coachlines-sponsored 1st XV Festival over the next three weekends instead.
As with last year the first set of matches are at Memorial Park in Masterton. After missing out last year, defending Wellington champions St Pat’s Silverstream and Scots College both return and take on Napier Boys and Gisborne Boys respectively.
Wellington College – the only Wellington school to play in all six of these series – are up against Palmerston North Boys’, while St Pat’s Town will face local school Rathkeale College with the Central North Island competition side filling in this week while National Champions Hastings Boys’ are at the Sanix tournament in Japan. Hastings return for the last two legs with the first on home turf and the last in Wellington at Jerry Collins Stadium bar the Silverstream vs Gisborne a Land Rover First XV television slot as the curtain raiser to the Hurricanes match against the Reds on the Friday night.
Wellington Players To Watch
Keelan Whitman (St Pat’s Town) – Tall and athletic with an obvious ‘presence’ on the field, Whitman can cover lock or loose forward and will look to seek higher honnous than his NZ Maori U18 selection last year. Keelan’s older brother Grayson Whitman made the Samoa Under-20’s in 2017 and plays senior rugby in the capital for Marist St Pats.
Ish Perkins (Wellington College) – The versatile outside back can play anywhere from halfback to fullback. Quick on his feet with a solid boot and quick feet watch for Perkins to challenge defenses and help the Wellington backline take shape. Perkins missed much of last season through injury.
Sage Shaw-Tait (Scots College) – A real flyer who could play wing, fullback or midfield, Shaw-Tait was a key part of Scots push to the Condor 7s final last year. The Wellington U16 representative has played softball for the New Zealand Under-15’s and is sure to flourish with ball in hand. Senior Wellington Sevens representative Jaylan Tupuola also returns for Scots.
Iona Apineru (St Pat’s Silverstream) – The head prefect of St Pats Silverstream enters his third year of 1st XV rugby as a member of the WRFU academy. Apineru is a robust ball carrier and has improved as a lineout forwards. His brother Anaru Rangi plays for the Melbourne Rebels in Super Rugby.
5 May – Memorial Park Masterton
- 11.00am: Scots v Gisborne Boy’s, St Pat’s Town v Rathkeale;
- 12.30pm: Wellington College v Palmerston North, Silverstream v Napier Boys’.
12 May – Hastings BHS
- 11.30am: Wellington College v Gisborne, Scots v Palmerston North,
- 1.00pm: Hastings v Silverstream, St Pat’s Town v Napier Boys’.
Friday 18 May – Westpac Stadium (18 May)
- 5.05pm: Silverstream v Gisborne;
Saturday 19 May – Porirua Park
- 11.30am: Wellington College v Napier Boys’, Wellington College 2XV vs Napier Boys’ 2XV
- 1.00pm: St Pat’s Town v Palmerston North, Scots v Hastings.
|2017 Tranzit 1st XV Festival Results|
|May 6: Masteron||May 13: Napier||May 20: Wellington|
|PNBHS: 22 v St Pat’s Town: 18
Wellington College: 19 v Gisborne BHS: 13
Hastings BHS: 46 v Wairarapa College: 7
Napier BHS: 22 v Rongotai College: 8
|Gisborne BHS: 34 v Rongotai College: 7
PNBHS: 44 v Wairarapa College: 3
Hastings BHS: 106 v St Pat’s Town: 7
Napier BHS: 15 v Wellington College: 0
|Napier BHS: 20 v St Pat’s Town: 5
Hastings BHS: 55 v Rongotai College: 0
Gisborne BHS: 33 v Wairarapa College: 15
PNBHS: 22 v Wgtn College: 13
– Article courtesy of College Sport Media
Acknowledgments: Scott McLean