Christ’s College have won the annual Quadrangular Rugby Tournament for the 16th time, defeating hosts Wanganui Collegiate 33-7 in the final this afternoon.
Christ's achieved a school record victory in the decider eclipsing their 18-6 win over the same opposition in 1980. Christ’s margin of victory was the largest in any final since Wellington College beat Nelson College 27-0 in 2008.
Wanganui made a promising start with a bust by hooker Ben Strang and a missed penalty by wing Logan Henry in the opening 10 minutes.
Gradually the size and discipline of the Christ's pack began to tell and Christ's broke the stalemate in the 15th minute when blindside Amhlaoibh Porter barged into space on the short side and engendered a try for halfback George Coull.
Christ's lock and captain Sam Darry was named Player of the Match. His work at the set-piece coupled with his strong carries made him a menace for Wanganui and his try was earned after nine assertive phases.
Christ's led 15-0 at halftime.
Christ's second-five Shun Miyake boasts an educated right boot and a second penalty expanded Christ's lead to 18-0.
Wanganui had periods of promise, but Christ's defense was resolute and their scrum superior.
Christ's sealed their victory in the 58th minute when wing Harry Zarifeh finished an assault on the Wanganui line which unusually employed the services of the backs.
Wanganui never surrendered and were awarded a strange try by the assistant referee at least a minute after Christ’s appeared to have cleared their goal line. A breakdown in the officials communications gear meant the referee missed a signal from his assistant awarding a Wanganui try to Henry.
Zarifeh had the last say for Christ's stepping the opposite fullback after a slick set move opened a huge hole in the Wanganui defense. Miyake kicked three penalties and two conversions while props Patrick Thacker and Lachie Gunson won acclaim for their industry.
On Monday, Christ's College had beaten Wellington College 49-19 to earn their place in the final. The only victory bigger for Christ's against Wellington was a 41-9 hammering in 1974.
Tries to Te Wanihi Rowe, Wareti Cooper and Semi Vodosese earned Wanganui Collegiate a 19-13 win over Nelson College on Monday. It was Wanganui’s first win in 22 matches at the quad stretching back to 2006. Today was Wanganui's first final since 2004, their last win was in 1991.
Meanwhile Wellington College was last for the first time since 1984, thumped 45-0 by Nelson College. The margin of defeat was Wellington's worst in any quad match going back to 1890.
Nelson completely dominated possession and territory, deservedly winning seven tries to nil.
Nelson’s continuity on attack and interchanging between backs and forwards proved too much for the beleaguered Wellington College side who are struggling this season.
Nelson scored three first half tries to lead 19-0 at the break and then turned into a gentle breeze to lay on four more.
No. 8 Isaiah Malaulau (2 tries) and both locks Fergus Hughes and Taya Brown were their best, while captain and openside flanker Anton Segner was strong in the first half and first five-eighth Wil Jakka and fullback Levi Carew were always threatening.
Wellington College rarely troubled Nelson and the small amount of pressure they did build invariably ended with coughed up ball or botched lineouts or breakdowns. First five-eighth Liam Collett was their best player on the day.
Nelson set the tone early and a long opening spell on attack was finally rewarded with their first try in the 14th minute when Jakka sold a dummy and ran hard at the line from an attacking scrum. He was brought down, but skipper Segner dived over from the next phase to score.
Locks Brown and Hughes helped set up the next try, Brown busting in midfield and Hughes ripping a lovely pass out to unmarked hooker Daniel Dixon who crashed through to make it 12-0.
Nelson went close to scoring a third try from a lineout steal and 70-metre break up field, before a sweeping passage of play using the width of the field saw No. 8 Malaulau barge over in the corner. Fullback Carew nailed the sideline conversion and it was 19-0 up after 26 minutes.
Nelson went desperately close to scoring three times just before halftime, twice of consecutive Wellington College errors, but somehow Wellington scrambled and halftime was blown with no further damage done.
It took Nelson all of several minutes to open the second half scoring, blindside flanker Connor Rhind steaming through after a relentless build-up.
It was lights out after 50 minutes for the capital side when Malaulau scored his second try, following a big break up to the 22 by fullback Carew and 15 phases of build-up play inside the 22. This made it 31-0.
Nelson College ran back a clearing kick and Carew burst through a hole and sprinted 40 metres to score the next try.
Hughes and Malaulau combined up the touchline to set up the final try to replacement prop Luca Inch, converted by Jakka.
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