- By Adam Julian / Photos by Mike Lewis Pictures
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St Patrick’s College Silverstream have prolonged their vice-grip on the Old Boys Cup defeating St Patrick’s College, Wellington 18-12 in the 86th annual traditional in Upper Hutt this afternoon.
Silverstream haven’t lost the Old Boys Cup since 2010, and any match against Town since 2015, but made hard work of their success in pleasantly sunny conditions.
The opening points of the match could only be described as rousing. Silverstream first-five Tom Mannix kicked a 20-metre penalty in his first match in two years after a serious neck injury.
Mannix was replaced late in the first-half by Keanu Kotuhi with starting halfback Xavier Jacobs shifting to ten.
Town would stun the hosts with the first try – an incident of daylight robbery. A Silverstream defender shadowed the ball towards the sideline misjudging the location of the paint, smothered in mud. The idle ball was kicked ahead by opportunistic wing Anthony Fale and fullback Daniel Tafili outpaced all-comers to the try line.
Silverstream enjoyed an ascendency in scrums and lineouts, but their handling was often clumsy. It took 35 minutes for a try to be scored. Fullback Kobe Joe-Vulu received a pass from No.8 Toby Crosby after an overlap formed on the right edge following a bustling surge inside the Town 22 by centre Tony Solomona. The conversion attempt by Jacobs hit both the crossbar and upright and still failed to tumble over. The halftime score was 8-7 to Silverstream.
Riding momentum replacement wing Joshua Burns crossed for Silverstream’s second try to extend the margin to 13-7. Stable ball was secured and greater numbers created with good passing and timing.
Silverstream found inroads on the left side of the Town defence and when Joe-Vulu secured a second from close range the floodgates threatened to open at 18-7
Instead with a new thrower, Silverstream’s lineout malfunctioned and Town rallied. Reserve back Jack Sua was full of energy while loosehead Salesa Seumanufagai resembled a bull in a China shop. It would be second-five Junior Telea that closed the deficit to 18-12 receiving a gift from Burgess.
Silverstream’s scrum deserves a pat on the back. Openside Sam Morgan was mostly disciplined and clinical at the breakdown, but execution of basic skills will have to be sharper to challenge Premiership leaders Scots College and Wellington College.
Town have suffered their third loss of the season, and though capable of a championship tilt, need to strive even harder for consistency.
Silverstream leads the history of the Old Boys Cup match 62-19 with a handful of draws since the inaugural fixture in 1931. The referee was Thomas Roache assisted by Scott MacLean and Jury Teniteni-Smeaton.