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Wellington First XV Finals – a decade of glory

St Pat’s Silverstream celebrate with their supporters after winning their seventh Premiership title last year. PHOTO: Andy McArthur. 

Scots College and St Pat’s Silverstream meet in this Sunday’s 2023 Premiership First XV final at Jerry Collins Stadium. Recapping the last 10 finals, 2013-22, below.

2022: St Pat’s Silverstream (28) v St Pat’s Town (14)

St Pat’s Silverstream overpowered St Pat’s Town to win their seventh Premiership title. Following a 19-13 defeat in the traditional fixture only three weeks earlier, Silverstream’s forwards were imperious throughout, dictating possession and territory and suffocating Town into submission in horrid conditions at Jerry Collins Stadium.Italian flanker Luca Bellucci scored the first try of the final to give St Pat’s Town a 7-0 lead.  Silverstream kept their composure and halfback Ollie Cuff was instrumental in Silverstream’s success, missing just one shot at goal, kicking well in general play and his all-round leadership outstanding, as Silverstream shot to 20-7 lead by halftime. Cuff opened the second half scoring with a penalty to make it 23-7, ahead of the match-winning moment with second five Emmanuel Solomona crashing through the defence and unleashing a skip pass for head boy Seejay Harawira to score in the corner. Silverstream would go onto beat Feilding High School in the Hurricanes regional semi-final 16-12 before drawing to Napier Boys’ High School 17-17 in the decider. Silverstream missed the National Top Four by virtue of not scoring the first try.

Silverstream celebrate their win in the wet last year.

2021: St Pat’s Silverstream (36) and Scots College (36) shared title

There was a six-week build-up to the 2021 Premiership final, from the semi-finals to the final at Wellington Stadium on the last weekend of September. The result was after an outrageous finish. With three minutes remaining, Silverstream was down 36-24 having conceded 29 unanswered points. Silverstream No.8 Toby Crosby crashed over under the sticks to make it 36-29, but the conversion was charged down.  The siren sounded as Scots made the last kick-off. Silverstream bludgeoned through Scots defence down the western sideline and replacement lock Brandyon Soi produced his own acrobatics lunging over a pile of strewn bodies and slam dunking the ball over the whitewash. First-five Tom Mannix, just returned from the sinbin, chipped the conversion sweetly down the middle from 15-metres in 25-metres out.

Silverstream leapt to an early lead, helped by this try above by Toby Crosby who burst through on a 50 metre run with his first carry.

2020: Scots College (24) v St Pat’s Silverstream (21)

Scots College defended their Wellington Premiership First XV crown and joined Wellington College (2004-09) in winning three straight titles. On a blustery September afternoon in front of healthy contingent of supporters from both sides, Scots’ dominant set-piece and extra pace out wide paved the way for their win. They leapt to an early two-try lead that saw them leap to an early two-try lead and then relinquish it early in the second half, only to re-capture it and hold off their rivals to the end.

Current Wellington Lions flanker Sione Halalilo was on the wing in the 2020 final for Scots – above he scores off a scrum to put Scots 19-18. Silverstream re-took the lead with a penalty, but Scots had the final say and won 24-21.

2019: Scots College (20) v St Pat’s Silverstream (15) 

Scots College won the Wellington First XV Premiership for the second time, pipping St Patrick’s College, Silverstream 20-15 at Jerry Collins Stadium.  The match started in pouring rain and Silverstream leapt to a 10-0 lead before conceding three tries in the last 15 minutes of the first-half to trail 17-10 at the interval. Despite relentless attack inside the Scots 22 for much of the second half, Silverstream failed to defend their title.

Ethan Webster-Nonu scoring a big try in the 2018 final, which was the difference on the scoreboard in the 2019 final.

2018: St Pat’s Silverstream (29) v St Pat’s Town (22)

St Pat’s Silverstream became the first team since Wellington College in 2009 to successfully defend the Premier 1 championship – beating St Pat’s Town in a bruising and gripping decider at Jerry Collins Stadium. The match was a total contrast to their previous meeting a month ago which Silverstream won 52-10. Silverstream lock Neyla Masima was the Player of the Match, scoring a hat-trick of tries and winning most of his team’s lineout ball.

Captain Iona Apineru scores one of the most popular tries of the afternoon against St Pat’s Town – the last time they met in a Premiership final.

2017: St Pat’s Silverstream (17) v Wellington College (11)

Silverstream won their first Premiership title since 2012 with a come-from-behind win over Wellington College. Silverstream kept Wellington College scoreless in the second half as they turned an 11-7 halftime deficit into a 17-11 win at Porirua Park. Right-wing Todd Svenson scored the match-winning try with 16 minutes to go, before resolute Stream defence – aided by a strong wind at their backs – helped them see out the win. Midfielder Kienan Higgins was the Player of the Match.

Silverstream players, including Player of the Match Kienan Higgins (centre) and Josh Southall celebrate Todd Swenson’s match-winning try in 2017. Below, ‘Silvy’ – a proud mascot.


2016: Wellington College (12) v St Pat’s Town (9)

Another try-less final (see 2013 below). Tense and willing throughout, neither team conceded ground and the final was won on penalties. Wellington College fullback Reece Plumtree was the Player of the Match for this fearless defence and for his kicking, including the winner below on fulltime:



2015: St Pat’s Town (19) v Scots College (8)

St. Pat’s Town won the Premiership title for the first time since 1995, upsetting top of the table Scots College, 19-8 in the final at Porirua Park. Feverish defence was the key ingredient for Town. Scots enjoyed at least two thirds of possession, but except for a Peter Umaga-Jensen try in the 58th minute from a 20-metre Malo Manuao pass, Scots could not inflict scoreboard damage. Centre Billy Proctor scored two tries for Town. For Scots it was their first defeat in 14 Premier One games and just their second loss in the last 32 games. Below: Billy Proctor (Town) and Peter Umaga-Jensen (Scots) score tries


2014: Scots College (21) v St Pat’s Silverstream (18)

Scots College won their first title after withstanding a gallant challenge from St Patrick’s Silverstream. It was 3-3 at halftime, but Scots came out and scored two tries, including one to wing Malo Tuitama running off the shoulder of Player of the Match and first five TJ Va’a (pictured below) to go 18-3 up. Silverstream then roared back to level 18-18 and it took a last-play Va’a penalty to win the game.


2013: Wellington College (25) beat St Pat’s Silverstream (22)

In a knife-edge final in front of a packed and raucous grandstand , Wellington College first five-eighth Pakai Turia was the hero of the day, landing his sixth straight penalty with about 10 minutes to go to give his side victory. He also added the conversion of his side’s only try of the match, to No. 8 Nelson Asofa-Solomona (pictured below), that was scored in the first half. Turia’s 20-point haul earned him the Player of the Match award.


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