Rugby Reports from 25th/26th July 2020

Match reports from 1st XV, U14B and U15B

1st XV v Mt Roskill

St Paul’s went into the match a bit down after Wednesday’s league result against MAGS. The team knew they had to reset their mindset quickly and set a goal of fixing the pre-season result against Mt Roskill. 

It started well with St Paul's dominating possession and territory. The forwards led by solid running from No.8 Heneli, No.6 Armani, Props David and (later Reuben) plus brilliant work from Sio. In disrupting the Roskill line out, set up position on the right flank, for the first try through the hands to our powerful centre, Vaka, scoring on the left wing.

St Paul’s dominance was strong throughout the first half and were unlucky not to score more tries from turning defence into counter attack, especially through some deep kicking from Willy at fullback and good chasing by the wingers. 

Another infringement saw Angelo knock over a penalty near the Roskill 22m to give SPL an 8-0 lead. For all the good work, the infringements at ruck time began to cause us problems and the ref pinged our defence many times for not rolling away, not releasing or linespeed. This eventually gave Roskill some position to knock over a penalty to close the gap. 8-3.

The team’s scramble defence was called upon a few times as Roskill applied pressure and eventually they were awarded another easy penalty. 8-6. Angelo replied to give us the lead 11-6.

Heading into the 2nd half. The boys were confident at halftime knowing that we had to adjust to the ref and limit our mistakes. As the half opened, there was a promising move down the left  from our exciting open side flanker Jeremiah. At full pace, Jeremiah kicked ahead past the last defender but couldn’t quite regather before the line, but a great effort nonetheless. This seemed to set the tone for the boys in the 2nd half. With SPL hot on attack, changes were made and unfortunately the impact of those changes resulted in a decisive turnaround with Roskill somehow scoring down the other end from a loose carry and turnover. This locked the scores at 11-11.

After some initial confusion under pressure, St Paul’s were constantly having to kick themselves out of trouble. However, the opportunities were opening up as St Paul’s finished stronger and Roskill began looking shaky at the back. Inside Roskill’s 22m, a dart at the line saw Angelo slip 2nd five Taane a lovely short ball to score what would have been the match winner to the left of the posts. However, the ref ruled it a forward pass, though many spectators saw it differently.

From that point, promising sorties into the Roskill half were sadly undone by discipline issues at ruck time and a bit of fisty cuffs at an ensuing line out nearly spoilt the night. Thankfully our discipline held and we quickly got back to playing the game.

With only minutes left on the clock, Roskill were awarded  a long range penalty. A chance to steal the lead. After the kick thankfully missed, St Paul’s won back possession and went hot on attack.

The ball was spun to the short side, however a panicked infield kick ricocheted off the opposition and the ref blew for time to everyone’s surprise and Roskill’s relief. No doubt, with greater patience the boys may have been able to setup more phase play for a nail biting finish, but hindsight is a great thing.

Though we did not win, it wasn’t a loss, the crowd were entertained with a thrilling match and the boys were left wondering “what if?”

But from the coaches perspective, we’ll learn from our decisions and it’s good that the hard work from the team is showing. We will learn from this result about how to close out matches like that in the future.

On a final note, The team and management, would like to thank the school and our supporters for being there and being behind us.

We’ll also be training hard to ensure we fix the areas what we need to improve for the Avondale College challenge this weekend.

Confortare Esto Vir.

U14B v Auckland Grammar Blue

Good first game for the U14B team, 19 all against Auckland Grammar Blue. The boys have pulled together well from their first few games and are starting to get there set plays in motion:

3 tries scores only 1 converted

1 to Renzo

2 to Lochlan

U15B v Kelston

The U 15s kicked off their season with a convincing win against Kelston Boys High School 79-0. The team was lead by outstanding No 8 Jeriko Talisau who scored two tries on the day. The backs scored some outstanding length of the field tries with backs Quinanne Mafoe and Sio Kali ripping the Kelston backline apart. Teiti Sikahele showed his class in the midfield throughout the game and was punishing on defence. The team played with a lot of commitment through the whole game and showed a lot of humility in victory. We look forward to them building on this win as they face Otahuhu College away this week.

  Mr Michael Jarvis
Transition Dean / HOD Physical Education / House Systems Co-ordinator / Rugby Administrator