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Mettrick and St Pat’s Town primed for re-match in Saturday’s First XV Final 

“I definitely think they will be coming from us after our traditional win over them a few weeks ago, but I have every faith in our team that we can pull through, keep our discipline and repeat that in the final,” St Pat’s Town second five Francis Mettrick told the Huddy Hui on Wednesday night.

Coming back from the July school holidays, Town beat Silverstream 19-13 at home at Evans Bay Park, prevailing in this fixture for the first time since 2010.

“The boys really put in the effort in preparing for that game and we just went into it as thinking this was our last chance to beat these guys and make history. We had a dinner and talk the night before about belief and how that would play a massive role in the game and running on to the field having the whole school backing us the entire game was an amazing feeling.”

Watch the full interview on the Huddy Hui at the link above, also including Chiefs and Tasman Mako midfielder Alex Nankivell.

St Pat’s Town play top qualifier and joint defending champions St Pat’s Silverstream in the Wellington First XV Premiership Final at Jerry Collins Stadium on Saturday at 4.15pm.

Town earned their berth in the final with a last-gasp 24-23 win over Wellington College at home at Evans Bay Park in last Saturday’s semi-final.

St Pat’s Town were trailing 5-20 at halftime against Wellington College. What was said at the oranges?

“At halftime we had a big talk with our coaches and part of that talk was the realisation that we had put in so much hard work into the season, and we didn’t want it to get taken away from us in this one game,” Mettrick explained.

“Some of the older boys knew that because it was out last year playing First XV together this could possibly be our last game. We really didn’t want that to happen, so we knuckled down and got the result.”

What was the reaction when you saw your lock Ben Higgs go over and score at the end?

“Our locks Ben and Charlie Pothan have been putting in a lot of hard work, so when Ben put the ball down and the referee blew his whistle I just felt elated. In the previous years that I have been in the team we had been knocked out at the semi-final stage and it was just an amazing feeling to make the final this year.”

Mettrick lines up his man in Town’s 19-13 win three weeks ago.

The Town First XV had a tough start to the season, struggling in the Hurricanes Festival series against the Super 8 schools and then losing to Wellington College in their season opener on the last Wednesday of May. How did Town grow into their season to eventually finish second?

“After that first loss to Wellington College we got together and realised that we weren’t going to let that one game dictate the rest of our season. So we made a few adjustments and tweaks, always looking to constantly improve.”

Town then went on to draw 15-15 with three-time defending champions Scots College in round five.

“In previous years we had been knocked out by Scots in the semi-finals or had lost to them in regular season matches, so to draw that game gave the boys a lot of confidence within themselves and the team.”

Mettrick first played for the First XV in 2020 in year 11, alongside some other key players taking the field tomorrow such as No. 8 Jeremiah Collins, blindside and captain Jordan Chapman

Francis Mettrick scores tries against Wellington College in each of their 2021 and 2021 competition matches.

Mettrick also praised the Town coaching team of Head Coach Ross Bond, and assistants Willie Leota, Bernie Upton, Andrew Bell and Charlie Gubb, plus long-time manager Mike Berry, who bring plenty of experience.

Mettrick’s family also has a strong connection to St Pat’s Town,

“My dad played for the St Pat’s Town First XV, from year 10 all the way through, my older brother played for the Second XV but a back injury curtailed his rugby career and my cousin, Xavier English, played flanker and captained the team.”

Mettrick has been playing second five much of this season, where he will play in Saturday’s final. But he is also home at fullback.

“I prefer fullback, it allows more freedom to roam – but I am happy to play anywhere on the field.”

From either 12 or 15, he gets perhaps the best view of anyone of how his forwards are competing in games, and there is no tougher pack in Wellington First XV than St Pat’s Silverstream’s.

“We had a few questions around our forward pack at the start of the year, but the coaches have helped them out a lot and we have a really well-connected set of forwards now who have saved us backs from a few games.”

Mettrick, who lives on the Kapiti Coast, started playing rugby at the Paraparaumu Junior Rugby Club and attended Kapiti College in year 9 before transferring to Town.

Wellington First XV Premiership – last 10 winners:

2021: Silverstream and Scots shared

2020: Scots College

2019: Scots College

2018: Silverstream won

2017: Silverstream won

2016: Wellington College

2015: St Pat’s Town

2014: Scots College

2013: Wellington College

2012: St Pat’s Silverstream

Premiership First XV – recapping the last 10 School Finals

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