"They used language I can't really say," Xavier Numia recalls of the verbal spraythe St. Pats Town's First XV received at halftime of last season's Premier One semi-final against St. Pats Silverstream.
Down 20-8 (four tries to one) Town faced defeat to Silverstream for the second consecutive week and elimination in the semi-finals for the fourth year in a row.
"The forwards were sleepy in the first-half of that game. We needed to get busy, fix our set-piece and want it more," Numia remembers.
From a lineout move the big prop scored the first try of the second-half and Town rallied to win 23-20. It was their first victory on Silverstream's home ground since 1997.
"Stream are always hard to beat. We haven't won the traditional since 2010. They are our traditional rivals. They always have a tough pack and good backs," Numia says.
Tomorrow on Land Rover First XV Rugby Town hosts Stream at Evans Bay Park. Stream have won 59 of the 84 traditional encounters, but Town are second on the table with a 5-1 record in contrast with Stream who are fourth with a 3-3 record.
"It will be a tough game. We have a few injuries and they will be up for it," Numia believes.
Town Centre Billy Proctor is out for the season and Numia himself is in doubt with a slight niggle.
Town is not unfamiliar with adversity. Last year they weren't expected to topple National Champions Scots College in the Wellington final. Procter scored two tries and Numia shined, outplaying Alex Fidow as Town caused a 19-8 upset. It was the sixth year in a row that the top-ranked team after the round robin didn't win the decider.
"It was a great final. We wanted to do it for our brother Jerry Collins who passed away. Billy is an important player, but we have lots of good players like Kevin Fauatea, Tom Horan, El Nino Peniamina and SiaPaese. It's a team game," Numia stresses.
Town lost to Wellington College 20-16 in their first traditional of the season, but have scored 267 points in their last five games.
"We took a lot from the Col game. We have improved our set-piece and combinations," Numia believes.
Numia comes from a sprinting background and until two years ago was a midfield back. His raw strength combined with usual speed saw him selected for the New Zealand Secondary Schools team that demolished Australia 32-8 in Brisbane. During the school holidays he scored a try in the Hurricanes U18's 64-20 win over the Crusaders U18's. Numia is hungry for more success.
"Both NZ Schools and the Hurricanes was such a good experience. I was surprised to make both of them, but I learned so much. I want to do the best that I can," Numia concludes.
St. Pats Town against St. Pats Silverstream kicks-off at 12:30pm on Land Rover First XV Rugby.
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