It’s first versus third in next weekend’s WelTec Premiership final when top qualifier St Pat’s Silverstream will play defending champion Wellington College in the Porirua Park decider.
In today’s semi-finals, Silverstream defeated St Pat’s Town 41-7 and Wellington College beat Scots College 27-14.
Wellington College were emphatic winners over Scots College at Evans Bay Park. The match was transferred from soggy Strathmore to a sun-drenched Kilbirnie which was supposed to suit Scots’ ambitious running game, but the second-placed qualifier came unstuck against a vastly superior Wellington pack.
The Wellington lineout was imperious and was the source of the first try after about 10 minutes when No.8 Naitoa Ah Koi rumbled over from a maul. Scots halfback Jack Mexted was lively and a quick tap and 15-metre dart propelled Scots ahead. When Mexted left the field with about 20 minutes remaining Scots lost shape and failed to score in the final quarter.
Wellington’s lineout was well-rounded and blindside Mellennuimma-Gerrard Leota crossed the chalk from a blindside move from the set-piece move to make it 10-7 at halftime.
Fullback Josh Morgan-Ranui chipped over a penalty to make it 13-7 to Wellington College before Scots regained the ascendancy when wing Jack Gray scored a 60-metre intercept try. Gray’s father Wayne Gray scored many tries for MSP on the same ground.
Wellington dominated the scrums and openside Felix Murray out-hustled his impressive opposite Tommy Prescott. Wellington took a lead they never lost with 15 minutes left when Scots were muscled backwards from a five-metre scrum and halfback Thomas Bramley snaffled the loose ball to touch down.
Bramley was an assured presence for Wellington distributing nicely and kicking with authority. Bramley’s second try after
Bramley’s second try after multi-phased attack by Wellington sealed a comprehensive victory.Scots failed to build consistent pressure and make too many errors in their own half.Wellington lock Taine Plumtree’s performance would have been noted by the New Zealand Schools’ selectors. The Hurricanes Under-18 starter ruled the lineouts, carried strongly and like John Eales even kicked a 30-meter penalty goal. Ah Koi was equally effective and added punch off the side of the scrum. First-Five Ish Perkins is a welcome return and varied his kicking game to unsettle Scots and centre Connor Fitzsimons defended resolutely.
St Pat's Silverstream comfortably took care of St Pat's Town in their semi-final clash, winning 41-7 to progress to next Sunday's final.
Keeping their unbeaten record in the Premiership, Stream didn't take long to get on the scoreboard with centre Albert Polu crashing straight over Town's line from a five-metre scrum just minutes into the game.
Town failed to keep the kick-off in the field of play, awarding Stream a scrum on halfway and a delightful long pass from first five-eighth Harrison Boyle found Chris Aumua in space, who put Kienan Higgins in for a 14-0 lead.
Teagan Harawira was the next to score for stream, with Boyle again influential in the build-up, as Stream marched towards a 19-0 half-time lead.
St Pat's Town, to their credit, finished the first half and began the second half strongly, but they weren't able to get the rub of the green on most occasions. A charged down Boyle kick landed back into Boyle's lap, seeing him break the line and link up with Toalima Anae Laupola who scored amongst a cluster of players.
At 29-0, the game was close to over, though Stream picked up two yellow cards - both for offside infringements - within the space of two minutes, opening up the possibility of a Town comeback. But proving why they're the competition's only unbeaten team, Stream instead continued the scoring, this time through lock Iona Apineru who strode away for a 40-metre try, killing off the possibility of a Town victory.
You'd have to think Silverstream won't be completely satisfied with the performance, though. The penalty count was highly in Town's favour and that kind of ill-discipline can prove costly in a Premiership final. Nonetheless, the top-qualifiers have progressed to the final and will be installed as favourites for next Sunday's encounter.
Elsewhere Rongotai College beat Kapiti College 20-17 in the playoff for fifth and sixth.
In the Co-ed Cup final at Ngatitoa Domain, Porirua College edged out Tawa College 10-8, winning with a late try.
Tawa had the wind in the first half, but stoic defence from Porirua held them to 3-3 at half time.
Both teams were unable to convert try scoring opportunities in first half, with Tawa dominant at the set-piece and hooker Kaitu Ioane having a big game for his side on both attack and defence.
Both threw everything at each other in the second half but neither were able to make headway. Tawa broke through to score in the corner from a simple blindside break from a solid scrum, to make it 8-3.
That looked to be the end of scoring until Porirua second five-eighth Eli Moataa got the ball from 15 metres out and ran straight through the Tawa defence to score then convert himself for the match-winner two minutes before fulltime.
Porirua College now play Wairoa College on 26 August in their Hurricanes region semi-final. The winner of that goes on the Hurricanes final the following week.
In the Premier 2 semi-finals, the St Pat’s Silverstream second XV beat Aotea College 48-7 and they will play St Bernard’s College in next weekend’s final after the latter beat HIBS 30-5.
In the Premier 3 semi-finals, Mana College beat Onslow College 22-10 and Upper Hutt College edged Wainuiomata High School 14-12.
In the Premier 4 semi-finals, Otaki-Rahui beat the St Pat’s Town 3rd XV 17-12 and the Wellington College 3rd XV defeated the St Bernard’s College second XV 28-12.
In the Premier 5 semi-finals, the Porirua College second XV beat the Aotea College second XV 27-22 and the HIBS second XV overcame the Kapiti College second XV.
The WelTec Premiership final is next Sunday at Jerry Collins Stadium, while all other grade finals are next Saturday at St Pat’s Silverstream.