Sports News week ending 25th June 2021

Rugby, Capping and Basketball...

Game: St Paul’s 1st XV vs Howick College, Saturday 19th June 

The top of the table clash between Howick College and St Paul’s was played in fine but muddy conditions.

St Paul’s striking the first blow after four minutes when Sio Kali was put away down the left-hand short side to score. 5-0 SPL

This came off some excellent forward play with impressive No.8, Maselino Va'auli, starting the charge, and a quick shift by Delano Atai to Mark Tautele then hooker Jont'e Timmo-Collins, who drew and passed perfectly to Sio in space.

Howick struck back five minutes later with a converted try out wide after a scrambled line clearance was mis-cued infield. 5-7 HOWICK.

Mistakes allowed Howick to spend time in the SPL half, though SPL enjoyed long periods dominating territory.

Just when SPL had Howick stretched out wide, the Howick halfback intercepted a poorly timed pass and ran 50m, only to be chased down short of the line by Jono Fifita, who was doing an amazing job defensively out wide.

Moments later Sio Kali showed blistering pace and great evasiveness crossing for his second try down the left short side again. 10-7 SPL.

From the restart, SPL made its way upfield again with good momentum provided by the forwards.

Howick infringed 25m out for Willy to slot home a penalty and stretching the lead to 13-7. With three minutes of added time, Howick made a number of attacks on the SPL line, earning a penalty to close the half at 13-10 down.

The second half was a complete turn around. From the dropped ball off the kick off, SPL never really threatened as the Howick No.10 took control with a precise and long kicking game. As SPL’s setpiece struggled to win its own ball and discipline slipped, chances to attack dried up and St Paul’s was on the back foot most of the half. The result, a disappointing 13-38 victory to competition leaders Howick College.

Still, there were many positives to come out of the match with Willy and Jessiah gaining their caps, and the performances of AJ Jones, Tama Puletiuatoa, Jont'e Timmo-Collins and Maselino Va’auli growing in confidence each week. Plus, debuts this season for 2nd XV players Lucky Kali and Kaiya Mareva.

The effort was there lads - it is just a bump in a long road, and remember, it's a marathon, not a sprint race.

Now we know what we need to work on and will take those lessons forward for the battle against Macleans this weekend.

William Piliu (captain) and Jessiah Tanoa'i were capped on Friday 18th June after playing eight 1st XV games for the college.

The cap was presented by our acting Headmaster Laurence Calteux to the young men's families who then placed it on the players heads.

Huge congratulations must go to these young men in their dedication and passion towards 1st XV Rugby at this school.

Well done Gentlemen. 

A big thank you to the Edge Radio for choosing St Paul's College to host the Celebrity Basketball game, in aid of Youth line on Friday 18th June.

The opportunity for some of our 1st V players to play alongside some of New Zealand biggest celebrities was great fun, and all the money raised went to a fantastic cause. 

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