The Hutt Valley High School U15 team. Photo Andy McArthur.
- By Steven White
Scots College (Open Boys), St Mary’s College (Open Girls and U15s Girls) and Hutt Valley High School (U15s Boys) are the 2023 Wellington region Condor 7s champions.
Both Scots and St Mary’s retained their respective Christian Cullen Cup and Kat Whata-Simpkins Cup U18s grade titles on a sun-drenched afternoon at Naenae College.
Scots College beat St Pat’s Silverstream in their final and St Mary’s defeated Sacred Heart College 43-0 in their decider. All four of these teams qualify for the National Condors tournament at its new home of Mt Maunganui in December.
Perhaps the biggest story of the day was HVHS’s U15s win, their first of this tournament. HVHS were unbeaten all day and beat last year’s winners Wellington College 31-15 in their final for the inaugural Roderick Solo Cup.
HVHS raced to a 19-0 lead, which was pulled back to 19-5 by halftime. Wellington College closed the gap up to 19-15 with two quick tries early in the second spell, but HVHS’s courageous defence that was a feature of their play all day came to the fore and when halfback Gus Neilson scored his second try of the final they were up 26-15. A try on fulltime sealed their win.
The HVHS side had earlier beaten Scots College 41-12, Mana College 28-12 then as the noon hour ticked over they defeated last year’s winners Wellington College 19-14 in a precursor to the final that was to come. The HVHS U15s raced to a 21-0 lead over St Pat’s Silverstream in their semi-final and went on to win that 40-10.
The other Boys U15s semi-final was a thriller and was heartbreak for St Bernard’s College. SBC led Wellington College 14-0 and then 14-5 at halftime. But Wellington College came back to win 15-14 with a late try to Ben Faitala.
The St Mary’s U15s were also strong all day and they went on to beat Wellington East Girls’ College 15-5 in their final, after it was 5-5 at halftime.
In the Boys Cup Final, Scots College beat St Pat’s Silverstream 31-15, but not after Silverstream had reeled in a two-try deficit (Pyrenees Boyle-Tiatia two tries for Scots) with tries to Thompson Tukapua and Ollie Cuff to make it 14-14 at halftime.
Boyle-Tiatia scored his hat-trick just after the interval, and Jake Lawson scored a fourth to put them up 28-14. Silverstream scored the last try to make the final score 28-19 to Scots.
The Boys Cup quarter-finals saw two one-sided results on the number one field and two closer games on the far field.
On No. 1, St Pat’s Silverstream led Hutt Valley High School four tries to nil at halftime and went on to win 36-5, ahead of Scots College defeating home school Naenae College 54-5.
On the other field, Wellington College pulled clear of the Silverstream B side just before halftime with two runaway Jacob Kennedy tries, and went on win 24-10.
Mana College defeated Rongotai College in the next match, with Otis Baker particularly dangerous.
The Boys Cup semi-finals resulted in Silverstream pulling away from Wellington College (7-7 at halftime) to beat Wellington College 33-7 and Scots lay on four tries to beat Mana College 24-0.
Rongotai College defeated the Silverstream B team 26-22 to win the Bowl Final.
The St Mary’s Open Girls team breezed through their pool matches with a succession of victories. They beat St Catherine’s 52-0 in their Cup semi-final. Beaten finalists Sacred Heart College beat Taita College 36-0 in the other.
The Girls Cup final was initially evenly contested, before Justine McGregor broke through for the first try. They scored again soon after to make it 12-0.
Playmaker and our Girls tournament MVP Litia Bulicakau then won a turnover and set McGregor up again, before making a big run and setting up their next try, their match-winner, that doubled their lead to 24-0.
St Mary’s scored three more tries to close their day, their final try coming off a one-on-one turnover by their youngest player, Ana Kerr.
The Sevens season continues this weekend with the Sir Gordon Tietjens tournament at Palmerston North on Saturday and Sunday.