St Pat’s Silverstream win Wellington College exchange 2-0

Story courtesy of College Sport Media

St Pat’s Silverstream beat Wellington 2-0 with one draw in their three-sport exchange on Wednesday on their home fields and court. 

Silverstream won the basketball 101-64 and the First XV rugby 19-12, while the First XI football tie was drawn 1-1. 

Silverstream were fast out of the gates in the basketball, capitalising on Wellington College errors and pulling well clear.  

The Senior Boys Pohlen Cup resumes this Friday night, with Silverstream playing HIBS and Wellington College meeting Wellington High School. Both Silverstream and Wellington College have won their first two competition games. They meet next on 5 August.  

Wellington College led the football 1-0 after 10 minutes through an early goal to Zander Edwards. Silverstream pulled a goal back in the 55th minute, which was scored by Jake Brown, assisted by Luke Stoupe. Silverstream retained the Fred Rooker Memorial Trophy. 

This was their third meeting this season, and all three have resulted in draws. Prior to this, they drew 2-2 in pre-season and 2-2 again the recent grading round.  The two First XIs meet again in round six of the Trevor Rigby Cup on 23 July at Wellington College. 

Silverstream regained the Ken Gray Trophy in their 91st traditional First XV rugby meeting against Wellington College, winning 19-12. 

This was a Transit First XV Premiership fourth round game and was Wellington College’s first competition loss in four matches. Wellington College have this weekend off but Silverstream play Wairarapa College in Masterton in a catch-up game this Saturday. 

Head-to-head, Silverstream have now won this traditional 51 times, Wellington College 33 and there have been seven draws. 

This match went down to the wire and was destined for a 12-12 draw up to the final three minutes.  

Silverstream halfback Ollie Cuff missed a chance to win the game with an angled penalty.  

Silverstream had one final opportunity to get ahead, and after multiple phases of relentless attack with ball in hand inside Wellington College’s 22, they went wide and tighthead prop Patrick Solomona was on hand to receive a pass and dive over the line. Halfback Cuff’s conversion was good and his school mates swarmed the field. 

Winning try-scorer Solomona was part of a dominant Silverstream tight five and front row that proved the difference in as tight and willing contest, as the scoreline suggested. 

Solomona’s front teammates, hooker and captain Toby Mallon and loosehead prop Senio Sanele were also to of the game’s key protagonists - as well as helping to convincingly win the scrum battle, which was a telling area of dominance for Silverstream.  

Mallon made numerous carries and kept his side on the front foot against a tenacious, disruptive Wellington College defence, while Sanele scored Silverstream’s first two tries in the second half. All three of Silverstream’s tries were scored in similar vein, building phases, and eventually overwhelming the defence on the fringes from close range. 

Despite being dominant up-front, Silverstream took a long to settle. They made several handling mistakes and their discipline wavered for much of the game. For Wellington College, No. 8 Jack Riley was into everything, supported by openside flanker Angus Miller. 

Wellington College captain and first five Stanley Solomon missed his first penalty in the opening two minutes of the match but was successful with his next two as Wellington College led 6-0 at halftime. 

Both sides had chances to score tries in the first half but neither could convert these. Silverstream probably had the best chance to cross the line in the first 35 minutes, a bust and some quick recycling resulting in them being held up over the line. 

Wellington College survived after two goal line dropouts, escaping their territory after the second of these and winning a penalty at the breakdown for Solomon to kick the second of these penalties. 

The visitors started the second half brightly, winning another penalty, this time for offside, and Solomon kicked a 37 metre penalty to extend their lead to 9-0. 

Now facing a two-score deficit, Silverstream re-focused and after a good spell with ball in hand, Sanele scored his first try, to cut the lead to 9-5. 

The next 10 minutes or so of the contest was dominated by stoppages as players went down injured and play was held up. 

Eventually, the game regained its flow as Silverstream once more  got a roll on. Turning down a gift three points under the poles, they instead opted for a lineout on the embankment side of the ground. 

This was taken cleanly by workhorse lock Travis Polglase and Silverstream ripped it wide to the far side. They were initially kept out, but prop Sanele burst over to score his second try. Halfback Cuff slotted the sideline conversion, and they were in the lead for the first time, up 12-9. 

With about 15 minutes still to play, Wellington College were not done yet. They started to make in-roads, with the likes of Solomon and others making several incisive runs through and around traffic. 

Double try-scorer Sanele also went off injured, resulting in another delay in play, and soon after Wellington College were awarded another penalty. Their talismatic first five stepped and kicked it to make it 12-12. 

A draw was good enough for Wellington College to retain the Ken Gray Cup, but they almost scored a try but were kept out. Instead, the home team, through their powerhouse scrum and direct ball runners regained territory and tighthead Solomona subsequently became the toast of Upper Hutt by scoring the winning try on fulltime.