Wellington 1st XV Premiership finalist found – St Pat’s Town upset Scots College

Top qualifier St Pat’s Silverstream and third-ranked St Pat’s Town will meet in next Sunday afternoon’s Wellington Premiership First XV final at Jerry Collins Stadium after winning today’s two semi-finals.

Silverstream accounted for Wellington College 34-12 in one semi-final, while St Pat’s Town pipped Scots College 33-26 in the other. Accounts of the two semi-finals are below.

Wairarapa College beat St Bernard’s College 26-12 in the playoff for fifth (played on Friday) and Rongotai College defeated Kapiti College 41-19 in the seventh v eighth encounter.

In Premier 2, both the away teams won tight semi-finals. Aotea College beat Hutt Valley High School 32-25 and the Silverstream second XV will be going for a three-peat of titles next Saturday after beating Tawa College 38-33.

In club rugby, the Avalon Wolves will host the Upper Hutt Rams in the Division 1 Paul Potiki Shield U885kg competition. Avalon beat the Tawa Titans 16-0 in the 1 v 4 semi-finals and the Light Rams defeated Eastbourne 20-17 in the other. Division 2 results to come.

The First Grade semi-finals also took place today. It is understood that top qualifiers the HOBM Barbarians beat OBU. The Stokes Valley Chiefs and Petone met in the other Johnsonville Centennium Cup First Grade semi-final.

St Pat’s Town 33 – Scots College 26

Two tries at the death propelled St Pat’s Town to a spirited 33-26 semi-final win over Scots College in the 2 v 3 semi-final at Strathmore this afternoon.

With scores locked at 19-19 with only a few minutes to play, Scots College second five-eighth Sage Shaw-Tait broke through, setting up a try to No. 8 Epa Sailo to the right of the posts to make it 26-19 to Scots.

Scots College tighthead prop Junior Uelese went down injured and after a long injury break, St Pat’s Town launched a concerted raid from attacking scrum in centre field. The ball was spun to the left and then back to the middle and on the fifth phase hooker Seamus Rowberry handed a pass to replacement prop Soul Lauvi Johnson who scored. Replacement flyhalf Christian Stenhouse converted and it was all level.

At 26-26 and with no provision for extra time, Scots just had to hang on to progress to the final as the highest ranked qualifier.

But from the kick-off, St Pat’s held possession and worked their way up into Scots territory. Stenhouse popped a short pass on the blindside to replacement wing Oscar Schmidt-Uili who broke clear in front of the Town supporters and fed centre Emin Kaya who ran through to score the match-winner on fulltime.

Earlier, Scots had scored the first and last tries of the first half to take a 19-11 lead into halftime. Fullback Caleb Cavubati scored a 50m try from first phase off a scrum to open the semi-final.

Following an early penalty to first five-eighth Luke Walmsley, St Pat’s Town struck back with their first try to right wing Sanele Aukusitino after a team breakout and some good link play by outstanding captain and No. 8 Keelan Whitman.

A Whitman turnover and charge up field was followed by Scots loosehead prop Blake Rogers being sinbinned and a second penalty to to extend Town’s lead to 11-7.

Town dropped the ball cold from the next kick-of, leading to an attacking Scots scrum and then a try up the right hand lane to busy blindside flanker Isaac Sailo. This made it 12-11 to Scots with halftime approaching.

Town conceded another turnover, this time from a ruck on their own 22, and Scots centre Ethan Webster-Nonu sprinted away to score their try on the stroke of halftime to put Scots in the ascendancy at the oranges.

However, this time it was Scots that conceded a turnover inside their 22 and Town right wing Aukusitino burst through to score this brace and close the gap to 16-19. The conversion to this try was charged down from in front, which might have proved costly on another day.

Town’s forwards were climbing into their work, led by Whitman and flankers Josh Mallon and Sam Donaldson, hooker Rowberry and lock Dominic Bell, they went into over dive to shut down Scots at the breakdown. They won another penalty and Walmsley obliged to make it 19-19.

Scots had the better of the next 10 minutes but some outstanding defence held them out at least three times. The Town forwards repelled a drive at the line in the far corner and then Kaya made a try saving tackle and right wing Aukusitino rushed up to prevent a break out wide.

Town took their chance to equalise and then sensationally scored again at the end to win.

St Pat’s Silverstream 34 – Wellington College 12

St Patrick’s College, Silverstream will defend their Premier I title against fellow Marist school, St Patrick’s College Town at Jerry Collins Stadium next Sunday.

Silverstream beat Wellington College 34-12 in the first against fourth semi-final.

Unfortunately, the spectacle wasn’t as bright as the delightfully sunny conditions in Upper Hutt – Silverstream spluttering rather than surging their way to victory.

Despite winning by more than 20 points, Silverstream missed four goal kicks, incurred two yellow cards and lacked the ruthless efficiency which has characterised their so far unblemished season. Three tries were potentially ruined following forward passes.

To their credit the considerably smaller visitors showed plenty of heart defensively and actually won the second-half 12-10. However 2018 has been a miserable year for Wellington College with a series of record defeats.

Silverstream scored four tries in the first-half to lead 24-0 at the interval. Lock Neyla Masima lumbered over in the right corner after side to side attack. Flanker Iona Apineru bustled through from close range before outside backs Scott Svenson and Sam Clark outflanked their opposing markers.

Centre Svenson and No.8 Luke Mannix were arguably Silverstream’s best with both making a number of telling breaks.

The second-half was dominated by whistle. SIlverstream wing Fritz Raysai managed to cross the chalk twice with some dynamic running, but was guilty of careless handling at times which led to a Wellington College try to Patrick Malu.

The highlight of the match was Wellington’s first try created by a 30-metre ‘Barrett’ cross kick by Liam Collett. The diminutive blonde was a lively addition to a sleepy affair. Tight forwards Ridge Studd and Geordie Bean have been consistently good for Wellington while halfback Marino Doyle deserves acclaim for his constant chatter and positive energy.

Silverstream have made the final unbeaten four times since 2014 and haven’t lost at home since 2016.

– Article courtesy of ClubRugby