- By Scott MacLean
The coming week sees the curtain come down on the local component of the college rugby season. That starts with Finals Day tomorrow – once again being hosted by St Patrick’s College, Silverstream – followed by Sunday’s Premiership Final at Porirua Park. That venue will also host the Girls finals on Wednesday night. In all, 14 grade and division winners will be found in the next week.
In the Boys grades fourteen different schools will have at least one team featuring in a final, with Silverstream topping that count with five teams.
The biggest game in town this weekend is at 12.10pm on Sunday at Porirua Park, where Scots College and St Pat’s Silverstream meet in the final of this year’s College Premiership.
Scots are out to end a five-year drought, having not claimed the title since their first and only success in 2014, and haven’t made it to this stage in the past three seasons. They have however rolled through the competition this term going unbeaten on the field – their only listed defeat came as a result of a self-reported breach of a player eligibility rule in their first match against Rongotai – and discarding that their average result has been 53-11. They beat St Pats Town for the second time in a week in their semi-final (by 22-8) and accounted for Silverstream 34-7 in their earlier meeting this season.
While Scots have plenty of firepower out wide, particularly their quartet of Hurricanes U18 players in Oryann Kalolo, Ethan Webster-Nonu, Sage Shaw-Tait, and Roderick Solo, you’d write-off their forwards, led by front-rowers Sase Va’a and Jonty Bird, at your peril. Va’a and Solo will also play their 50th matches in the final.
Silverstream come in as the title holders, having beaten Wellington College and St Pats Town in the previous two finals. While they haven’t quite been the points machine Scots have been this year, their 348 points scored is second only to their opponents and they did rack up the largest margin of the year when they raised the century against Kapiti College. Their 5-10 loss to Rongotai in the final round-robin game meant they dropped to third but atoned for that in their semi-final against the same opposition winning 41-10.
Their chances will depend a great deal on whether they can starve Scots of ball and contain them when they do have it. Akira Ieremia will lead a pack with much work to do in that regard, while Rocco Berry, Riley Higgins, and youngster Tony Solomona will need to strike when the opportunities present themselves.
Regardless of the result, both schools will move on to the Hurricanes Top 4 playoffs next weekend. However that road will vary with the winner hosting either Palmerston North or Napier Boys’ High (they play tomorrow), while the loser must travel to face Hastings Boys’.
Did you know?
The 2014 Premiership final between Scots College and St Pats Silverstream featured a dozen players who have gone onto to play first class rugby: Joel Hintz, Lui Luamanu, Daniel Schrijvers (NZ Sevens), Joe Apikotoa, Asafo Aumua (All Blacks), Losi Filipo, Salesi Rayasi, Alex Fidow, TJ Va’a, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Thomas Umaga-Jensen, Connor Garden-Bachop. Additionally the following players are or have been regulars in Premier rugby: Delano Morkel, Vern Sosefo, Ivan Fepuleai, Jack McCormack, Kaide McCashin, Jarrod Jay Adams, Sione Uvea, Tynan Barrett, Jarimar Schuster, Michael Findlay, Patrick Fenika.
Finals Day Saturday
Before Sunday however, there’s Saturday’s action at Silverstream. The main game there is the Premier 2 final with top qualifiers Tawa College taking on northern rivals Porirua College for the Murray Jensen Cup on the #1 ground at 1.30pm.
Tawa narrowly missed a place in the Premiership in the qualifying part of the season but have since then run through the grade unbeaten. However they were made to work last weekend for their place, being held to a 7-7 draw by the three-time defending champion St Pats Silverstream 2nd XV and only proceeded due to the College Sport rule that the higher-seeded team goes through in the event of a drawn semi-final.
Conversely Porirua have had their struggles this year after playing in the Premiership the past two seasons, but still managed to finish third. They’ve also hit a vein of form at just the right time, roaring back from a deficit to pip Hutt Valley HS in their last round-robin match and then winning away 21-13 over the St Pats Town 2nd XV in their semi-final.
The pair met in the second week of the competition with Tawa winning 56-5, but it should be much closer tomorrow. Tawa last won this title in 2014, while Porirua never have.
The Premier 3 title match for the Paul Cameron Cup will see the top two qualifiers – Paraparaumu College and the Wellington College 2nd XV – meet. Paraparaumu are the unbeaten side, including topping tomorrows opposition 32-17 in the round robin and progressed after beating Heretaunga 29-7 two weeks ago. That loss is Wellington’s only one after they found themselves in this grade for the first time in a few seasons, and they won their semi-final a fortnight ago 32-17 over Onslow. Paraparaumu have won this title four times, last in 2013, while Wellington College last won it in 2009 when it was claimed by their 3rd XV as part of a clean sweep of the top-three Premier grades
The Premier 4 final with the Onslow Cup up for grabs has the defending holders Scots College 2nd XV facing their St Bernard’s counterparts. Scots crushed the Silverstream 3rds 82-22, while Bernard’s won away 33-20 against the top qualifier Porirua College 2nds.
Moving into the age-grade, for the first time in four seasons the Under 15 Division 1 contest for the Father Gus Hill Cup won’t be an all-SPC affair between Silverstream and Town. Silverstream will be there, having gone unbeaten in competition this season so far, but they’ll face Wellington College after they upset Town 29-19 in their semi-final two weeks ago. For their part Stream saw of St Bernard’s 43-12, and won the earlier meeting against College 38-19.
There is also silverware in play in the Division 2 final between Wainuiomata and Aotea with the Ross Findlay Cup having been reappropriated from the currently dormant Premier 5 grade. The two finished top of the double round-robin with Wainuiomata winning eight of their 10 games and Aotea seven, with Wainuiomata winning their only on-field meeting 38-19.
In Division 3 Naenae and the Silverstream 3rd side will contest the final, having also finished 1-2 in the double round-robin. They’ve split their two meetings, remarkably with matching 24-19 scorelines in each match.
Lastly, there are the weight-grades which, like their club brethren, continues to provide entertaining games each week and the bodes well for the four finals on tomorrow.
The six-team Under 80kg Arthur Reeve Cup competition comes down to their final between the Silverstream and St Pats Town sides. It’s been almost impossible to split these two, with them sharing their two meetings so far, Stream taking the first 34-17 and Town returning serve 24-12. Town were top qualifiers and beat HIBS 33-21 in their semi-final last week, while Stream battled past Wellington College by 17-5. Silverstream are going for six titles in a row, while Town’s only success came in 2010.
Silverstream also feature in the Under 65kg Division 1 final for the Ina Hansen Cup, where they’ll face Rongotai. Like the Under 80’s the pair have split their two meetings in the double round-robin with Silverstream taking first blood 31-10, but Rongotai winning their second encounter 44-22 just two weeks ago. Rongotai last won this grade in 2009, with Silverstream then winning seven straight from 2010-16, but haven’t featured in the past two deciders.
The Under 65kg Division 2 contest has Kapiti College taking on Tawa College. Kapiti went unbeaten in their seven matches and beat St Pats Town 41-29 in their semi-final, while Tawa were second qualifier and edged Mana 29-27 in the other. Their previous meeting was a 12-5 result to Kapiti.
Lastly there’s the real lightweights of the game, with Hutt International and Hutt Valley HS the finalists in the Under 55kg grade for the David Scott Cup. HIBS have been in imperious form all year having topped 50 points in all but two games and racked up a century in their semi-final win over Silverstream White, while HVHS had a much tighter outing against Wellington College Gold winning 19-10. One of those two occasions where HIBS were kept under 50 was the earlier meeting between the two sides, where HIBS win 24-19. HIBS have never won this title however, with HVHS’ only success coming in 1999.
Schedule for the day:
Field #2 – Under 65kg Division 1 – Silverstream A vs Rongotai
Field #3 – Under 15 Division 2 – Wainuiomata vs Aotea
Field #5 – Under 55kg Division 1 – Hutt International vs Hutt Valley HS
Field #1 – Under 15 Division 1 – Silverstream A vs Wellington College A
Field #3 – Premier 4 – Scots College 2nd XV vs St Bernard’s 2nd XV
Field #4 – Under 15 Division 3 – Naenae vs Silverstream C
Field #5 – Under 65kg Division 2 – Kapiti vs Tawa
Field #2 – Under 80kg – St Pats Town vs Silverstream
Field #3 – Premier 3 – Paraparaumu vs Wellington College 2nd XV
Field #1 – Premier 2 – Tawa 1st XV vs Porirua 1st XV
As is the current norm, the Girls finals will take place next Wednesday night at Porirua Park.
The main event is the Premier 1 final, which will see either Porirua College or Hutt Valley HS have their name engraved on the trophy for the first time when it kicks off at 7pm and sees a return this year to the 15-a-side format. However as both sides are composite teams with students from other schools the winner won’t proceed to the Hurricanes final, with St Mary’s again filling that berth.
That game is proceeded by the 10-a-side Premier 2 final at 5.45pm between Wainuiomata and Tawa, with first up at 4.30pm is the inaugural final of the new Under 15 development grade between St Mary’s and a Porirua composite side based around Mana College players.
One more title will be decided tomorrow, with the Reserve Grade Division 1 John Davies Cup to be presented following the decider between the Poneke Ruffnuts and Upper Hutt Pirates at Kilbirnie Park (2.30pm). The Ruffnuts won the first round and have dropped just one game all season, while the Pirates upset the top qualifier Johnsonville Cripples a week ago.
That will leave just one grade, the Reserve Division 2, still going. They finish the round-robin tomorrow with the semi-finalists for next week – the Upper Hutt J8’s, Pare-Plim Punters, OBU Pink Ginners, and MSP Internationals – already found.
Reserve Grade Final Teams (as supplied, subject to change):
Upper Hutt Rams Pirates: 1. Matt Noy, 2. Thomas Chalmers, 3. Grant Toilolo, 4. Blair Griffiths, 5. Josh Satherley, 6. Will Hape, 7. Tanu Misa, 8. Ike McLean, 9. Josh Stewart (captain), 10. Joel Stewart, 11. Carl Heydon, 12. Colin Toilolo, 13. Max Pearson, 14. Ethan Morris, 15. Lee Tukukino, 16. Jimmy Butcher, 17. Joel Hodson, 18. Michael Hewitt, 19. Shea Coxson, 20. Liam McParland, 21. Dan Aunese, 22. Brad O’Connell. 23. Naaman Tamihana-boyd, / Player Coach – Josh Stewart / Managers – Bull Van Den Borst, Josh Satherley, Blair Griffiths.
Poneke Ruffnuts: 1.Adam Fatoese, 2. Mui Liumaihetau, 3.Nathan Tiatia, 4.Josh Ryan, 5.Anthony Taoipu, 6.Sam Ready, 7.Afa Logovae, 8. James Mose, 9.Matty Carter, 10.David Taylor, 11. Conrad Collins, 12. Christian Tasi, 13. Dennis Unasa, 14. Royden Raka, 15. Adam Smith, 16.Tuhoro Kingi, 17.Va’a Taoipu, 18.Anthony Savelio, 19.Tama Kirikiri, 20. Misipalauni Moananu, 21. AJ Leau, 22. Ed Henderson MANAGEMENT: Anthony Carter, Conor Hill, Chantelle Dean
The majority of Wellington’s representative sides are on the road this weekend, starting with the Lions in Napier tonight. The Development and Maori sides are in Wanganui to face their Heartland and B sides respectively, while the Centurions and Samoans also provide preseason opposition for Heartland teams; the Centurions are in Levin to face Horowhenua-Kapiti and the Samoans cross the Remutaka’s to play Wairarapa-Bush in Masterton. The U19s get their qualification for the Jock Hobbs Tournament underway in Palmerston North against Manawatu.
On home turf are the Pride, who play Manawatu in a Farah Palmer Cup preseason match, and the Centurions Under 18 and Under 85kg sides meet at Kilbirnie Park.
- Xavier Numia (Ories)
- Asafo Aumua (Avalon)
- Alex Fidow (Ories)
- Josh Furno
- James Blackwell (Petone)
- Mateaki Kafatolu (Petone)
- Du’plessis Kirifi (Norths)
- Teariki Ben-Nicholas (OBU)
- Kemara Hauiti-Parapara (Tawa)
- Jackson Garden-Bachop (Norths)
- Pepesana Patafilo (Tawa)*
- Peter Umaga-Jensen (Wainuiomata)
- Vince Aso (Pare-Plim)
- Wes Goosen (OBU)
- Billy Proctor (MSP)
- James O’Reilly (HOBM)
- Morgan Poi (OBU)
- Sef Fa’agase
- Galu Taufale (Poneke)
- Luke Taualupe (Ories)*
- Connor Collins (HOBM)
- Thomas Umaga-Jensen (Wainuiomata)
- Trent Renata (Ories)
Wellington Under 19
- Niko Manaena (Petone)
- Tyrone Thompson (MSP)
- Luke Chisholm (Upper Hutt Rams)
- Angelo Smith (Wellington)
- Hugo Plummer (Tawa)
- Jack Sturmey (Tawa)
- Sam Smith (Wainuiomata)
- Shamus Langton (OBU)
- Isaac Bracewell (Wellington)
- Malo Tevita-Manuao (Ories)
- Josh Mallon (Tawa)
- Kienan Higgins (Norths)
- Leo Thompson (MSP)
- Kayden Muller (Pare-Plim)
- Jaylen Tuapola (Petone)
- Kaleb Sinclair (Upper Hutt Rams)
- Sanasco Crichton (Marist St Pat’s)
- PJ Sheck (Johnsonville)
- Josh Southall (Upper Hutt Rams)
- Iona Apineru (Upper Hutt Rams)
- Cam Ferreira (Petone)
- Caleb Robson (Poneke)
- Philip Elo (Wellington)
- Ha’amea Ahio (Ories)
- Ben Power (HOBM)
- Kaliopasi Uluilakepa (Petone)
- Agustin Escalona (OBU)
- James Poloniati (Wellington)
- Josh To’omaga (MSP)
- Lise Soloa (HOBM)
- James Tuiatua (MSP)
- Campbell Woodmass (Norths)
- Brandyn Laursen (HOBM)
- Losi Filipo (Norths)
- Piri Paraone (Petone)
- Tom Maiava (Tawa)
- Nash Fiso (HOBM)
- Callum Harkin (OBU)
- Josh Houston-Tupou (Upper Hutt Rams)
- Ben Aumua-Peseta (Tawa)
- Tanara Haenga (Wainuiomata)
- Eduan Struwig (Petone)
- Jordan Gillies (HOBM)
- Logan Henry (Petone)
- Fereti Soloa (HOBM)
- Viliami Fine (Petone)
- Tanara Haenga (Ngati Porou/Ngai Tuhoe – Wainuiomata)
- Eli Hunt (Ngati Awa – Upper Hutt Rams)
- Joe Reid (Te Whanau a Apanui – Wellington)
- Dominic Herihy (Te Atiawa – Upper Hutt Rams)
- Taine Tata (Ngati Maniapoto – Upper Hutt Rams)
- Matthew Jacobs (Ngapuhi – Wainuiomata)
- William Rua (Ngai Tuhoe – HOBM)
- Luke Omeri (Ngapuhi – Pare-Plim)
- Sheridan Rangihuna (Ngati Porou/Rongowhakaata – HOBM)
- Sam Clark (Ngati Kahungunu – Tawa)
- Travahn Tau’of’ou (Te Atiaunui o Paparangi – OBU)
- Jayden McCarthy (Ngati Porou – Norths)
- Jordan-Glen Bradbrook (Ngai Tamanuhiri/Ngati Toa Rangatira – HOBM)
- Jarrod Adams (Ngati Maniapoto – Petone)
- Pakai Turia (Ngati Apa/Ngati Porou – Poneke)
- Ethan Mate-Robinson (Ngati Awa/Te Whanau a Apanui – Norths)
- Rhys Reiri (Ngati Kahungunu/Ngati Porou – Poneke)
- Wirangi Parata (Ngati Raunui – OBU)
- Ben Taui (Ngati Tura/Hauraki)
- Jimmy-Lee Hongara (Ngati Porou – Poneke)
- Glen Walters (Te Rarawa – HOBM)
- Adam Clarke (Ngati Maniapoto/Ngati Haua – OBU)
- Jerome Va’ai (Norths)
- Poasa Poasa (Ories)
- Alapati Soke (Petone)
- David Filipo (HOBM)
- Ola Va’ai (Ories)
- Mose Tuifao-Papali’I (Avalon)
- Laman Ah Wong (Avalon)
- Tasipale Valavala (MSP)
- Kentino Kapeli (MSP)
- Fa’atonu Fili (MSP – captain)
- Reuben Va’a (Ories)
- Johnny Teleaga (Norths)
- Alex Ropeti (Ories)
- Soli Malatai (Upper Hutt Rams)
- Tafa Tafa (Upper Hutt Rams)
- Paulo Lokeni (Norths)
- Ben Butler (Wellington)
- Gerard Faitoto’a (Norths)
- Mellenniumma Leota (Norths)
- Jimmy Hewitt (Poneke)
- Maui Wallace (Tawa)
- Likisone Siliga (Norths)
- Jon Masaga (Old Boys University)
- Tolu Fakamokioa (Tawa)
- Andrew Jones (Poneke)
- Tietie Tuimauga (MSP)
- James Corcoran (Pare-Plim)
- Nev Apineru (Upper Hutt Rams)
- Callum Watts-Pointer (Norths)
- Sio Fidow (Tawa)
- Folau Vea (Tawa)
- Matt Fowler (OBU)
- Dale Sabbagh (OBU)
- Kyle Preston (Tawa)
- Izzy Fo’ai (OBU)
- Alex Morrissey (Poneke)
- Romu Senileba (Tawa)
- Reece Plumtree (OBU)
- George Jacobs (Poneke)
- Tony Coburn (Tawa)
- Bevan Clark (Wainuiomata)
- Will Ibbotson
- Ben Stephens (OBU)
- Campbell Cowie (OBU)
- Blake Rogers
- Sase Va’a
- Jonty Bird
- Dominic Ropeti
- Maea Tema-Schmidt
- Isaac Sailo
- Cody Lokotui
- Sione Halalilo
- Muri Stewart
- Oryaan Kalolo
- Eric Lawson
- Sage Shaw-Tait (C-C)
- Ethan Webster-Nonu
- Ayden Hammond
- Roderick Solo (C-C)
- Sione Uhi
- JT Penn
- Tyler Auelua
- Hamish Mansell
- Tana Maene-Lokeni
- Kavagn Wanoa
- Ietitaia Campbell
St Patrick’s College, Silverstream
- Julius Masoe
- Luani Ammunson
- Mika Felix
- Marco Venter
- Akira Ieremia (C)
- Jacob Beattie
- Toby Crosby
- Peter Lakai
- Rory Woollett
- Riley Higgins
- Conor Scannell-Houghton
- Rocco Berry
- Tony Solomona
- Reihana Dalton
- Kobe-Joe Vulu
- Ignatius Sio
- Jona Bartley
- Logan Wakefield
- Toiroa Whaanga-Davies
- Charlie Nathan
- Tjay Clarke
- Sean Caulfield