Midweek secondary school rugby kicked off in the capital this week with two successes for local outfits against touring opposition and a successful Beard Trophy defence by Tawa College against Porirua College under the floodlights of Jerry Collins Stadium.
St Pat’s Town accounted for St John’s College, Hastings 39-11 at Evans Bay Park while Club Rugby witnessed the matches between Hutt International Boys’ School and Rathkeale College and Tawa College and Porirua College.
Tawa College: 27 v Porirua College: 12
Tawa College retained the Beard Trophy finishing strongly to deny Porirua College.
With 15 minutes left Porirua squared the ledger at 12-12 when left wing Trey Uitime narrowly outpaced the cover defence in a tight race towards the left corner flag.
Porirua was brave, but Tawa always looked the more threatening and three tries in the final ten minutes was a reflection of their superiority.
Fullback Viliame Tamani was particularly lively and his impact was best illustrated
against energy sapped lungs. Quick footwork created space for wing Mau Tealei and a Cullen like breakout was finished by hooker Cassidy Samuel.
There were 17 scrums in a stagnant first-half which featured a try apiece. In addition to Tamani, lock Jack Crawford, hooker Hayden Kuresa and No.8 Sione Valu were standouts for the victors. Crawford almost broke his back scoring a try while Porirua No.8 Jabez Peniata produced a back-breaking effort with a series of strong carries.
Hutt International Boys’ School: 17 v Rathkeale College: 10
Hutt International Boys’ School (HIBS) subdued a stubborn Rathkeale College 17-10 at a windswept Trentham Racecourse in the annual traditional fixture.
HIBS centre Gerry Green blew away the opposing defense in the opening minute, disposing of his immediate marker in a 25-metre burst to the line.
HIBS threatened to expand their lead, but poor handling prevented that possibility.
Gradually Rathkeale wrestled the ascendancy and profit was gained when a struggling HIBS lineout enabled the visitors blindside to level proceedings.
The damage could have been greater for HIBS had the Rathkeale centre held the ball after a break from halfway.
The most significant moment of the match occurred just prior to the interval when blood bin replacement Thomas Sexton waded through feeble Rathkeale tackling triggering a movement which resulted in a penalty try for a high tackle. Rathkeale was caught short on the right touchline and their scramble was too desperate – HIBS turned 12-5 ahead with the advantage of the breeze.
The second-half was a feast of fumbles and another botched HIBS lineout enabled Rathkeale to reduce the deficit to 12-10.
HIBS eventually discovered the merit of consistently plugging the corners. Green used his left foot to good effect and when No.8 Jono Bailey dived over with less than five minutes remaining the prospects of a Rathkeale comeback were unlikely, despite a final assault which ended on the HIBS 22.
HIBS loosehead Harry Press was a ball of energy and arguably the standout individual.
St John’s, Hastings and Rathkeale College start the Central North Island competition this Saturday. View the draw HERE