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Silverstream edge New Plymouth, Tawa hold off Mana in school matches today

St Pat’s Silverstream loosehead prop Heath Tuifao scores in his First XVs tight win over New Plymouth Boys’ High School today. 

  • By Adam Julian and Steven White
  • Photos by Andy McArthur

There were three school matches today. Accounts of two follow under the subheadings.

Liam kicks Silverstream to a Slight victory 

In a game of slight margins, St Patrick’s College Silverstream fullback Liam Slight emerged as a hero when he kicked a last-play penalty to sink New Plymouth Boys’ High School 31-30.

The annual McDonald Shield clash had six lead changes the last of which was Slight knocking over a fourth penalty goal from directly in front 15m out.

New Plymouth had taken the lead moments early when hooker Shawn Matuku rumbled over for his third try from a ruthlessly efficient lineout.

Ahead 30-28 all New Plymouth had to do, was secure the restart and escort the ball to touch. Instead, the visitors fumbled and Silverstream summoned a final burst of energy. Elijah Solomona made a barnstorming run inside the New Plymouth 22. The retreating defence was caught offside presenting Slight a chance to write a headline.

Ironically Hurricanes midfield back Riley Higgins presented Silverstream with their match jerseys. He missed a kick to win the corresponding fixture in his time at Silverstream.

There was an early hint it would be an unusual afternoon when Silverstream winger Ashton Steere bobbled the ball over the try line after two minutes. Imperious lock Sam Thompson busted down the embankment touchline and supplied for Steere who botched a routine finish. Steere is a regular starter and an otherwise brave and dependable player.

Silverstream found plenty of early holes and prop Noah Krijnen muscled over from the next attacking foray. Thompson Tukapua converted, and it was 7-0.

New Plymouth responded through their lineout, the combative Matuku finding the paint.

Silverstream hooker Jericho Wharehinga is busy and uncompromising. He resembled a pinball when he ricocheted from New Plymouth’s grasp for Silverstream’s second try.

The breakdown battle was volatile with both teams lacking discipline. Each side would struggle through periods of sustained penalties which explained the turbulent scoreboard.

Referee Ethan Jefferson was back out in the middle after suffering health pro a fortnight earlier. Honourably he kept his cool in a furnace.

New Plymouth scored ten successive points to flip a deficit into a lead. Matuku was unstoppable from close range – second-five Jake Wiseman on target with a conversion and a penalty.

Silverstream regrouped and three Slight three penalties pushed the Catholics 21-13 ahead.

Luke Goodman is one to note. The New Plymouth blindside in the pink headgear played an absolute blinder tackling aggressively, running with gusto, and winning most of the Tigers lineout possession. His try closed the gap to 21-18 and then New Plymouth took the lead following a 40m burst by Jake White. Tukapua denied New Plymouth’s No.8, but when Matuku was on hand two rucks later New Plymouth reclaimed the lead, 25-21.

Heath Tuifao was similarly prodigious in his pink headgear for Silverstream. The loosehead prop made a slashing break near halfway to carry Silverstream into the New Plymouth 22. White was yellow carded and Tuifao scored to restore Silverstream’s advantage.

Reserve halfback Harry Ferve added spark and intellect with clever kicks from the bench. New Plymouth hit the post twice from kicks. They were desperately unlucky to lose.

Silverstream v New Plymouth Head to Head

Played: 92

Silverstream Won: 34

New Plymouth Won: 54

Draws: 4


Tawa College ease to Beard Trophy  defence

Tawa College successfully defended the Beard Trophy in their second challenge of the year late this afternoon at a windy Lyndhurst Park, defeating Mana College 74-0.

Tawa scored 12 tries and kicked seven conversions. They scored five tries in the first half and led 29-0 at halftime and ran clear comfortably under lights in the second.

This was a match between a competitive Premiership side (that plays Silverstream this coming Saturday) against one that is Premier 3 this year, and it ran to form. Tawa laid a solid platform through their forwards, in particular through captain and hooker Malachi Suniula and both busy locks Finn Fraser and Lucas Broadley. Tawa’s backs were far too slick and opened up Mana more as the game unfolded, adhering to their gameplan of keeping ball in hand and less kicking. Mana didn’t help themselves by making several unforced kicking errors that played into Tawa’s hands.

For Tawa, fullback Eden Govind, centre Akaata Ruaporo and replacement back Lucas Jones (the last two of the match) each scored two tries, while year 10 right wing Kobie Barlow-Roberts, halfback Torin Duncan, lock Broadley, hooker Suniula, left wing Labront Muldrock-Tolai and second-five Malachi Osman were the try-scorers.

The next Beard Trophy defence against Bishop Viard College is not until the end of June. The winner of that plays Aotea College in the fourth and final match of the year.

This game also doubled as a Wellington Co-ed Cup match. There was another Co-ed Cup game being played at the same time at Porirua College that saw visitors Paraparaumu College make the trip south and win the match 36-24.

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