The St. Paul's Collegiate First XV festival has concluded in bright sunshine in Hamilton today with another four games.
Due to serious injuries and UC Championship commitments on Saturday, Christchurch Boys' High School and St. Bede's College reduced the length of their respective fixtures to 50 minutes.
Christchurch rebounded strongly from their defeat on Sunday to St. Kentigern College to convincingly account for De La Salle College 31-5.
The game was reduced to uncontested scrums because Christchurch was unable to field any front row reserves. The less torrid physical examination suited Christchurch who were able to play with width and stretch the larger De La Salle boys.
Christchurch's five tries were scored by left wing Ben Roberts, halfback Louie Chapman, tighthead prop Murphy Kupe and first-five Ryan Barnes who incidentally impressed with his flipping showcase at the official tournament dinner last night.
Barnes somersaulting and Christchurch's play was certainly more lively than their monotonous rendition of the school song at the same event.
For De La Salle tighthead Samson Sa'u made some jolting tackles, captain George Huch worked hard at No.8 and centre TJ Ane was occasionally threatening.
St. Bede's tussle with Sacred Heart College was anything but monotonous despite a low scoring 7-0 victory for the Auckland Catholics.
Fatongia Paea or 'Tiny Tupou' broke the stalemate midway through the second-half when he thrust through two St. Bede's defenders and reached out to touchdown.
Sacred Heart are being assisted in the coaching department by All Black and Auckland scrum guru Mike 'Sparkles' Casey. Tom McHugh, Sam Thomas, Daniel Tupou, Michael Tamoaieta and Sosefo Kautai, all New Zealand Schools or Under-20 reps, are just some of Casey's prodigies from Sacred Heart and Paea looks more than promising.
Sacred Heart enjoyed more territory and possession, but St. Bede's defense was dogged. They had a late chance to tie the game when wing Reuben Kolter chipped dead after a near length of the field break involving several players.
Others to standout were Terry Pongi who shifted from centre to wing for Sacred Heart. Te Aho Eketone-Whitu at No.8 and captain Caleb Allison at hooker thrived defensively for St. Bede's.
Napier Boys' High School and King's College produced the tightest contest of the day over a full 70 minutes. King's were victors by 19-14.
Initially Napier was forced to defend for much of the first-half and converted tries to No.8 Judda Turahui and second-five Meihana Grindlay had King's in complete control at 14-0.
The game turned when Napier second-five Leo Thompson snatched an intercept and dashed 60-meters before transferring to winger Nathan Giles in support.
Isa'ako Enosa scored again for King's to make it 19-7, before Napier was penalised twice agonisingly short of the King's goal line.
Napier eventually struck again when No.8 Lolani Faleiva crawled over through a ruck, but a break by Grindlay anchored Napier in their half for the remainder of the game.
King's blindside and captain Mills Sanarevi had a powerful game and winger Callum Douglas broke repeatedly.
For Napier Fasi Simati (3) and lock Jack Lochore (grandson of Sir Brian Lochore) were busy and bustling. Out wide Nikau McGregor looked to involve himself again.
Hosts St. Paul's Collegiate concluded the tourney with a rare traditional triumph over Gisborne BHS.
Gisborne started brightly when wing Michael Fox poached an 80-meter intercept, but St. Paul's was able to assert their authority through a superior lineout and some piercing bursts by burley centre Valynce TeWhare.
St. Paul's led 22-7 at halftime with openside Jock Yarndley collecting a brace from the back of rolling mauls. Yarndley and blindside Liam Allen were especially productive for St. Paul's. Allen was a frequent lineout choice.
Gisborne blindside Matenga Taihuka pulled one for the visitors, but when TeWhare ploughed through to make it 29-14, Gisborne's resistance was shot. Industrious tighthead George Dyer had the final say to make the score line 34-14 in the finish to St. Paul's.
The camp was embraced enthusiastically by all schools and there is already discussion about future expansion.
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