Rongotai on top after successful exchange against Silverstream
For the first time in more than a decade, Rongotai College have secured a home semi-final in the Premiership defeating St Patrick’s College, Silverstream 10-5 in the 60th annual Old Boys Cup traditional.
The conditions were brutal with a bitter southerly accompanied by horizontal rain, hail, thick mud and a wobbly pair of goal posts.
Rongotai trailed 5-3 at halftime, but held the visitors scoreless in the second-half with a sensible kicking plan and committed defense.
The winning try was scored by first-five Dylan Jackson with about 20 minutes remaining. Silverstream was forced back to their own goal line where a ruck formed and the ball was parked stationary over the paint.
Jackson realized the ball was out of the ruck so he quickly zipped from behind a tangle of bodies and applied his hand to the ball, before Silverstream could clear. Jackson’s conversion was the last act of scoring.
At the outset, Silverstream enjoyed an obvious ascendancy in the lineouts. They were able to poach Rongotai possession and prop Mika Felix scored a soft pushover try to make it 5-0.
Silverstream hardly kicked, often guilty of being lateral, isolated and rushed on attack. This enabled Rongotai to camp inside the Stream half; Jackson’s opening penalty was slotted from 25-meters out and another chance rebounded off the right-hand upright.
Rongotai used the grubber kick especially effectively in the second spell; Silverstream often forced to turnaround. Excluding a late bust by centre Roco Berry, Silverstream never looked liked overhauling the deficit.
The entire Rongotai pack deserve acclaim for their industry, but lock Bede Brown punched well above his weight and No.8 Joyner Gaualofa was deveasting in the tackle.
Out wide halfback Trevall Tolova’a-Uele was a pivotal figure with his sabre kicks and sound judgment. Wing Tana Tusa was lively when involved and second-five Taupe Fa’avae was rock solid.
For Silverstream locks Marco Venter and Akira Ieremia were disruptive and loosehead Julius Masoe has enjoyed a consistent season.
Rongotai’s success is their first against Silverstream since 2016, but only their second in the Old Boys Cup since 2010. In the past two seasons Silverstream have won this fixture by a combined margin of 127-0. Overall Rongotai have celebrated 19 victories compared to Silverstream’s 38.
Rongtoai are currently on top of the Premiership standings, but could be passed by Scots College if they beat St Pats Town on Saturday. Silverstream can finnish no higher than third, Rongotai no lower than second.
The Rongotai First XI defeated a struggling Silverstream 3-2 in the Boyle Cup football traditional. The two sides will again clash again on Saturday in a bottom four Premiership clash.
In order to reverse this result, Silverstream will have to avoid a slow start; Rongotai was up 3-0 at halftime following goals by Sam Masters, Mohammad Dia and Jesse Randall.
Despite the blustery wind and puddles on the surface, great dribbling around the penalty area by Randall put freed Masters for the first strike after half an hour.
Randall was at the centre of the next goal as well as he played Mohammad Dia on the overlap and Dia didn’t miss with the time and space to unleash.
Dia then turned supplier for Randall. Dia sliced through the heart of the visitors defense and had a shot parried by the keeper, only for the rebound to be netted by Randall.
The first 20 minutes of the second-spell was scoreless, but Silverstream was growing in spirit and promise and were rewarded when the prolific Seth Loughran opened their account.
Three minutes later Tyron Curtis established the prospect of a grandstand finnish when he netted a second for Silverstream.
Rongotai have just won five of 19 Boyle Cup clashes against Silverstream.
Silverstream’s basketball team continued their historic season trouncing Rongotai 96-73 in the Eagle Cup fixture. Silverstream has completed a rare sweep of their Wellington traditional opponents, having early in the year accounted for Wellington College and St Pats Town.
Rongotai plays Tawa and Silverstream tussles with Scots in top four Pohlen Cup clashes on Friday night at the ASB Centre.
In the hockey Rongotai defeated Silverstream 2-0, an expected result given Rongotai competes in a higher division.