St Mary’s College have successfully defended their WelTec Premier 1 Wellington title thumping Aotea College 51-12 in a replay of last year’s final.
Played in dry conditions under lights at Jerry Collins Stadium, St Mary’s outscored Aotea nine tries to two to secure their third victory of the season against the Porirua outfit.
The opening salvo was even with each team scoring a try. St Mary’s openside Damaris Samani powered over from ten-metres out initially and then her opposite Soteria Shalom Gaualofa responded for Aotea following a muti-phase build up.
Gradually St Mary’s assumed control and tries to standout centre Ana Puleiata and No.8 and captain Dhys Faleafaga catapulted St Mary’s into a 19-7 lead.
Aotea made sporadic breaks, but lacked the polish of their opponents. Moments before halftime Aotea centre Harmony Ioane disastrously retreated away from her support and was smashed by a quartet of St. Mary’s defenders inside her own 22. The ball was jolted free from Ioane’s grasp and snaffled by prop Laina Semu who touched down to make the halftime score 24-7.
NZSS netball centre Puleiata delivered a Harlem Globetrotters pass to first-five Cheyne Copeland who distributed to wing Riarna Vulu for the first try of the second half.
Ahead, 31-7, Puleiata crossed for a second try and was joined on the scoresheet by Ivana Samani, Leni Moananu and national netball teammate Renee Savai’inaea.
Aotea No.8 Syntyche Maiava scored a consolation five-pointer which was rich reward for an industrious and sometimes skilful display.
Earlier in the day, Manukura had defeated Feilding High School 22-5 in the Manawatu girls final, setting up Hurricanes semi-finals next Saturday between St Mary’s and Feilding (a replay of last year’s final) and Manukura and Aotea.
Of note elsewhere, Christchurch Girls’ High School won the Canterbury UC Cup today, beating Burnside/Rangi Ruru 36-7. CGHS will likely meet Southland Girls’ High School in the South Island final.
Meanwhile, back at Jerry Collins Stadium, Porirua College won an enthralling Premier 2 final 47-25 over St Mary’s College 2.
The 50-minute, ten-aside battle featured plenty of pyrotechnics with 14 tries scored and a number of bone rattling tackles.
Porirua pulled away after an explosive beginning saw each side trade three tries apiece. There were at least five tries which started from past the halfway stripe.
For Porirua first-five Moe John-Maora was classy and bagged two tries, but was outshone by centre and Captain Christina Lafaele who celebrated a hat-trick.
For St Mary’s diminutive skipper Heidi Coleman didn’t shriek the physical challenge and bravely completed a hat-trick while prop Juvael Salu fetched a double.
Premier I Wellington Secondary School Girls Champions:
2017: St Mary’s College
2016: St Mary’s College
2015: Aotea College
2014: St Catherine’s College
2013: Naenae College
2012: Naenae College
2011: Aotea College
2010: Aotea College
2009: St Catherine’s College
2008: St Catherine’s College
2007: Wainuiomata High School
2006: Wainuiomata High School
2005: Naenae College
2004: Sacred Heart College
2003: Sacred Heart College
2002: Sacred Heart College