Christchurch’s St Bede’s College beat Wellington’s St Pat’s Town 28-27 at a windswept Evans Bay Park this afternoon in their annual pre-season Traditional fixture.
Despite being out scored five tries to three, St Bede’s capitalised on an error-ridden performance by St Pat’s Town, establishing a match-winning 25-10 lead early in the second half.
St Pat’s Town dominated the opening 20 minutes, scoring two tries and leading 10-6. St Bede’s were kept in the game by their excellent fullback Luke Glen who nailed two long-range penalties.
Town’s forwards made breaks almost at will around the rucks in this period of the game and they scored their two early tries to prop Junior Maliko and Herman Seumanufagai , to seize the early initiative.
The game changed soon after a St Bede’s intercept on halfway led to a try to St Bede’s first five-eighth Jake Heenan. The conversion by Glen made it 13-10 to the visitors.
Then St Bede’s No. 8 Harry Kneebone galloped into the 22 after a 30-metre burst, creating a try to Glen from a subsequent overlap to make it 18-10.
Glen then scored another try and converted it to increase the lead to 25-10.
Town started to comeback after that, but left their run too late. First five-eighth Caleb Mapu scored a try to cut the deficit to 25-15. Reserve fullback Boston Hunt bowled over Glen in a 30 metre run down the touchline and scored and also kicked the sideline conversion to cut the score to 25-22.
Then Glen, after missing two penalties from the same spot, kicked a penalty to make it 28-22. Town then scored again, Hunt regathering a chip and chase and wing Jeremiah Lokeni crossed the whitewash. Hunt missed the conversion into the wind and the match was all but over.
Town were ultimately left to rue making far too many mistakes, after their early forwards dominance. Town out-scored St Bede’s five tries to three but they only kicked one conversion. Keelan Whitman and Xavier English were two players that toiled hard.
For St Bede’s, fullback Glen scored 23 points, consisting of two tries, three penalties and two conversions, and was the Player of the Match. St Bede’s hooker Caleb Allison was industrious.
St Bede’s also won back the Fr. Paul Kane SM Challenge Cup, ending Town’s two-year tenure on the silverware.
In other rugby played today, the St Pat’s Silverstream Second XV won the Hope Cup pre-season tournament, involving five schools in the Hutt Valley.
The Silverstream seconds beat the Hutt International Boys’ School’s First XV 36-10. Hibs were pushed to the end by Taita before winning 17-12 after Taita defeated Upper Hutt College 24-12 in their opening game.
Meanwhile, last year's beaten Top 4 finalists†Hastings' Boys High School†have started 2017 on a winning note, †Beating Auckland's Saint Kentigern College 15-5 today their third win in the past eight days.
Christchurch Boys’ High School defeated Southland Boys’ High School 30-17 yesterday.