Last year’s Wellington Condor 7s Open Boys and Open Girls winners, Scots College and St Mary’s College. Photos: Andy McArthur.
The annual Wellington region Condors 7s qualifying tournament is again being played at Naenae College on Labour Day Monday (23 October).
Confirmed teams and draw to come, but in the meantime a look back and some of the big moments and big players from recent Condor 7s tournaments (featuring the Open Boys and Girls tournaments) that Club Rugby has covered.
2022: The Condors returned to Naenae College after a year off in 2021 because of Covid, with entries disappointing with five Boys teams and three Girls sides in the Open divisions and seven in the Boys U15 tournament. Scots College won the Open Boys Christian Cullen Cup title with a Cup final 22-21 win over defending champions from 2020, St Pat’s Silverstream. St Mary’s College maintained their steely grip on the Open Girls Kat Simpkins Cup, beating Scots College 24-5 in their final. Scots won the Open Boys final courtesy of a three-try burst by bustling playmaker Ieti Campbell who latched on a short kick and chase just before halftime to keep his team in the hunt at 14-12 down. Campbell then went back-to-back in the second half, finishing off a 45-second team movement to take the lead at 17-14 and then grabbing a short intercept try moments later to put his side up 22-14.
St Mary’s 2022 Open Girls winners.
Ieti Campbell shuts the gate on the 2022 Open Boys Final with this try,
2020: St Pat’s Silverstream returned to the Condors after a year’s absence to win the title, while St Mary’s won their sixth straight Girls title. Silverstream won the the Christian Cullen Cup with a 17-14 win over St Pat’s Town in their final and St Mary’s College retained the Kat Simpkins Cup with a 22-12 win over first time finalists Sacred Heart College. The Boys Cup final was a tense affair, with Silverstream clinging on to the last play against a resurgent St Pat’s Town who stretched them out wide but came up just short of the line. This was Silverstream’s first Christian Cullen Cup win since 2014 and their second overall. Both semi-finals were nail-biters too, Silverstream called upon both Riley Higgins and Peter Lakai to score tries to pip Scots 26-22, while the late Tom Walsh scored an individual chip and chase try to see Town edge Wellington College 14-7. St Mary’s beat Sacred Heart 22-12 breaking an earlier 12-12 deadlock. Sacred Heart had beaten Aotea College 22-19 with a try on fulltime to Sanna Aumua.
Above: 2020 Open Boys winners St Pat’s Silverstream
Below: A couple of Instagram highlights from the 2020 tournament.
2019: Scots College (Open Boys) and St Mary’s College (Open Girls) emerged as the 2019 Wellington Condor 7s champions. Scots College defended the Christian Cullen Cup for a three-peat of titles with a 31-7 win over St Pat’s Town in their final and St Mary’s College retained the Kat Simpkins Cup for a five-peat with a 26-10 win over Queen Margaret College. For Scots, Roderick Solo was the Tournament MVP, his pace and fast footwork helping them beat Town in the decider. The Boys tournament was also notable for the absences of both Wellington College and St Pat’s Silverstream. The Girls division was competitive, with St Mary’s beating QMC in their final and reversing a loss to them in pool play. Sacred Heart College were also in the mix.
QMC scoring another try in the 2019 tournament.
2018: Scots College defended the Christian Cullen Cup with a comfortable 26-10 win in the Cup final over St Pat’s Silverstream. Jaylen Tuapola, Roderick Solo (2) and Epe Sailo crossed the strip to settle the contest quickly. Riley Higgins and Ryan Amer scored consolation tries for the Streamers. St Mary’s beat Hutt Valley High School 46-0 in the Girls Cup final, with Dhys Falefaga scoring a hat-trick to atone for a red card earlier in the competition. Earlier, two quick tries from Renee Savai’inaea was the catalyst for their 25-7 victory over Wainuiomata High School in the semi-final.
Renee Savai’inaea – two tries in the 2018 Open Girls semi-final.
Scots College – showing their form with two tries in 2018 final.
2017: Scots College required a last minute converted try to Jaylen Tuapola to foil underdog finalists Rongotai College. Scots had accounted for Rongotai 40-7 in Pool Play, but Rongotai soaring in confidence, after upsetting Wellington College 14-12 in the quarter-finals and St Pat’s Town 31-7 in the semi-finals, almost caused a third straight boilover. Scots went on to finish second at the National tournament in Auckland.
Beaten 2017 finalists Rongotai College
2016: St Pat’s Town went back-to-back, beating St Pat’s Silverstream 19-7 in the Cup final. Town lead 12-0 at halftime, but an Albert Polu try for Silverstream closed the gap. Xavier Numia scored the winner at the end. Silverstream had beaten Scots 10-5 in an epic extra-time semi-final. St Mary’s defended their title and won the inaugural Kat Whata-Simpkins Trophy, beating Aotea College 42-5 in their final. A 100-metre breakout try to Dhys Faleafaga was the play of the final that was closer than the scoreline suggests. St Mary’s went on to win the national tournament in Auckland.
St Mary’s College 2016 winners – this team went on to become National Champions six weeks later.
2015: Two first time winners. St Pat’s Town became the first team to win both the Christian Cullen Cup (7’s) and Premiership Trophy (15s), in the same year. Town beat Scots 26-15 in the Cup semi-final and the Asafo Aumua-led Silverstream 34-17 in the final. For Town, Keelan Whitman, Willie Schutz, Xavier Numia and Billy Proctor were all key players. The Ardie Savea-coached St Mary’s College were first time winners, Monica Tagoai a leading player for them. They beat Wainuiomata High School 29-14 in their final.
St Pat’s Town 2015 winners
Asafo Aumua scores a try in the 2015 final.
2014: This was a thriller of a final between two schools stacked with future well known professional and club rugby players. St Pats Silverstream rallied from 14-0 down and scored a last-minute try to defeat two-time defending champions Scots College 17-14. For Scots, Malo Manao scored the first try sprinting 65-metres and then Manao and Thomas Umaga-Jensen linked to put TJ Va’a under the posts. Silverstream’s Salesi Rayasi hit back early in the second-half, followed by a 50-metre burst by Lester Maulolo that the deficit to two points. Scots tried to hold possession and won four penalties in a row to advance the play into Silverstream’s half. Silverstream’s defence was tenacious and eventually Asafo Aumua and Daniel Schrijvers combined to win a tackle turnover. As the hooter sounded Silverstream commenced the last attack. Schrijvers dodged and weaved 20-metres to get the ball into the Scots half and then a quick recycle resulted in an overlap down the right-wing side and NZ Schools lock Lui Okeamoa-Luamanu crashed over to win the game for Silverstream.
Lester Maulolo runs in a key try against Silverstream in the 2014 final.
2013: Scots College beat the Wes Goosen-led Wellington College 24-17 in their Cup semi-final and then Chase Tiatia’s St Pat’s Silverstream 31-12 in the Cup final to defend their title from 2012. Scots College pulled clear of St Pat’s Silverstream in the second half of the final with three unanswered tries and 19 points after Silverstream’s Josh Robertson-Weepu had scored in the corner at the start of the half to lock scores up at 12-12. Scots College captain and playmaker Malo Tuitama was the star of the final, scoring two first half tries including a 70-metre runaway from a turnover. Wellington East Girls’ College beat St Catherine’s College 10-0 in the girls’ Cup final.
Scots College race away to score in the 2013 final against St Pat’s Silverstream.