For the first time the Kapiti College First XV is in Premier One of the Wellington Secondary Schools rugby competition. After being humiliated 97-7 by St. Pat’s Silverstream in Round One, Kapiti have won three games on the trot and caused a huge upset when they tipped over 2016 semi-finalists Rongotai College 19-15 last weekend.
A father and son duo, are coach and captain of the team. Hooker Liam Tooman has played over 50 games for the side while his father Mark coaches. Liam admits the pair rarely talks about anything other than rugby.
“Were not allowed to talk about rugby at the dinner table because mum banned it, but we talk about rugby on the way to school, at lunchtime and pretty much any opportunity we get.”
The frequent discussions have paid dividends. Kapiti have improved from Premier 2 semi-finalists in 2016 to a possible top four contender in the WelTec Premiership.
“We believe we can make the semis. We have a big game against St. Pat’s Town this Saturday, which is one were really targeting. Wellington College and Scots will be tough, but the remaining games we believe we can win.” Tooman enthuses.
How has Kapiti become a threat in the top echelon so quickly?
“It hasn’t happened overnight. Dad has been coaching a group of us since Year 9 and we’ve built a strong bond. We have four players who have played over 50 games for the First XV and two more will do so soon.” Tooman explains.
Kapiti was thumped 53-21 by Silverstream in the first round of grading and nearly had their Premiership ambitions thwarted by Aotea College, who they had beaten in the pre-season.
“We beat Aotea in a spiteful game by 15-10. There were calls going everywhere and it nearly got out of control. I think our two point loss to Tawa in the Prem two semis the year before spurred us on.” Tooman stresses.
Taita College was the last hurdle to conquer and were emphatically beaten 35-0.
Kapiti achieved their first win in Premier One against Tawa College 22-16 with Taine Hata scoring two tries, but Kapiti’s growing confidence and composure was best illustrated in the Rongotai match. Tooman scored the winning try from a lineout drive as the hosts outscored the visitors three tries to two.
Mark Tooman was surprised by Rongotai’s complacency. He was quoted in the Kapiti Observer as saying:
“There was a lot of banter that Rongotai were going to kill us. Look who is laughing now.”
On Saturday a Haki Te Hauora Mather penalty seven minutes from time enabled Kapiti to defeat Porirua College 36-33.
“Teachers who never talked to us now do now,” Tooman reveals.
“Were not getting too far ahead of ourselves, but we are proud of what we have achieved so far and hope to continue surprising others.” Tooman concludes.
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