In an action-packed Labour weekend of sevens a further seven boys and five girls teams have qualified for the Condor 7s at Sacred Heart College, Auckland in December.
The Auckland finals were held on Friday and the boys event was won by Aorere College who upset Sacred Heart College in the final. Joining those two schools at the tournament will be Mount Albert Grammar School, Kelston Boys' High School and Mount Roskill Grammar who rounded out the top five.
Howick College won the girls final 21-17 over Southern Cross Campus with a try with about 20 seconds left to play. The beaten semi finalists were MAGS and Mt Roskill. These four teams qualify for Condors. Howick are looking to build on their U15 Condor winning team from last year with most of this team taking the step up this year. It's a very young team with only a single Year 13.
Meanwhile College Sport Media was in Wellington for the Wellington Qualifier today.
St. Pats Town have retained the Christian Cullen Cup Wellington Secondary Schools’ Sevens Championship, beating St Pat's Silverstream 19-7 in the final this afternoon at Naenae College.
St Pat’s Town and St Pat's Silverstream will represent Wellington at the 30th National Condor 7s tournament being staged at Sacred Heart College in Auckland from December 2-4.
St Mary’s College won the inaugural Kat Whata-Simpkins Trophy, beating Aotea College 42-5 in the final and will represent Wellington in the girls section in Auckland.
The boys final was a dour Dooley arm wrestle won fairly comfortably by Town. Town was able to control possession for long periods with careful passing and deliberate build ups. Speedster Sosaia Paese gassed away for the first try and El Nino Peniamina hit a beautiful short ball to collect a second before the interval.
Silverstream threatened to rally when they secured a tighthead and Albert Polu raced away to close the deficit to 12-7, but Town's conformational defense proved telling. The diminutive Cullen Dexter was trapped inside his own 22 by the feverish Xavier English. Town won a turnover and NZ Schools prop Xavier Numia barged over for the winner.
The girls final was closer than the score suggests, St Mary's pulling clear of Aotea late in the first half with their second runaway try of the half to take a 21-5 lead into the turnaround.
Aotea College put pressure on St Mary's try-line early in the second half, but a turnover on their own chalk and a 100-metre breakout try to Lyric Faleafaga effectively sealed the match. Lyric scored a hat-trick in the final which ended with a 42-5 score.
Silverstream beat Scots College in extra time 10-5 in the first boys Cup semi-final. In a torrid and error ridden affair, Silverstream led 5-0 at the interval following a Scott Svenson try. Mitchell Bull-Elvines went close as well when he surged 50-meters down the touchline, three times being tackled, placing the ball and driving again.
The second-half lagged until Scots Tai Neli scorched 45-meters to tie the scores with a minute left. Malo Manuao narrowly missed the conversion attempt from touch, but ripped the ball from the last scrum in regulation time presenting Scots with one last chance to win the game. Neli broke again and linked with Connor Garden-Bachop who was ankle-tapped into touch by the diminutive Cullen Dexter agonisingly short. Dexter would prove to be a hero for Stream. In extra time he jolted the ball free from Manuao's grasp when the former nearly slipped into hole. From the scrum pint-sized Lucas Dutton scurried free and was tackled 10-meters short of the line. Dutton kept the ball alive for Kienan Higgins who juggled and deflected onto to Dexter to touchdown.
In the second Cup semi-final, St Pat's Town made sure of their 26-0 victory over Bishop Viard College by applying a heap of early pressure and converting that into two converted tries and a 14-0 halftime advantage.
Playmaker Billy Proctor was sin-binned late in the first half, but he returned in the second spell to set up their third and match-winning try that was scored by Sam Baylis. Grayson Whitman made a blindside break from a scrum to seal St Pat's Town's semi-final victory.
Upper Hutt College won a thrilling Plate final, scoring the winning try with the last play of the game to take a 22-19 victory over St Pat's Town B.
Earlier in boys pool play there were several one-sided matches with predictable outcomes. Silverstream and Town cantered into the final four, but there was an upset when Rongotai lost controversially to Bishop Viard 14-12. Rongotai had a conversion on fulltime to tie the game and would have advanced had it had gone over. The kicked missed, but Rongotai claimed it was successful. On Field two the goal posts where considerably shorter than those on field one. However Rongotai had four yellow cards in two games so discipline wasn't a strong suite.
Meanwhile the Scots v Wellington match was a knockout affair. St. Pats Town B and Heretaunga College, with a selection of HIBS and St. Bernard's boys, were classified as composite teams meaning they were illegible to qualify for the finals of the main draw. Wellington edged ahead 19-14 after Connor Garden-Bachop was sin-binned and Tom Hoskin and Tom Branley scored eye-catching tries. When Garden-Bachop returned the NZ Barbarian showed his quality when he scored his second try and converted to give Scots a narrow 21-19 win.
Some of the players to really excel throughout the boys tourney were Josh Morgan-Ranui (Wellington College), Paese, English and Procter from Town, Garden-Bachop and Manuao from Scots. Dexter, Polu and Fritz Rayasi from Silverstream. Brothers Roy and Tom Maiava from Bishop Viard, Brayden Knight from Heretaunga, Jason Tuitama from Rongotai College and Gregory Te Kura from Upper Hutt College who bagged two tries in the Plate final.
The girls tourney was reduced to a disappointing six teams following several late withdrawals. St. Mary's the National First XV runners up were an obvious standout conceding just two tries in five games.
Pool A: St Pat's Town
Pool B: St Pat's Silverstream
Pool C: Scots College
Pool D: Bishop Viard College
Pool A: St Mary's College
Pool B: Aotea College
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