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Wellington College topple St Pat’s Silverstream, wins for Wairarapa, Taita and St Pat’s Town


There were four First XV matches in the Wellington region today, headlined by the blockbuster St Pat’s Silverstream – Wellington College fixture that was won by Wellington College 27-24. More on this match under the sub-heading below.

That Silverstream – Wellington College was one of two contests to start the fourth round of the Premiership. The other in Masterton saw Wairarapa College beat Tawa College 34-19.

In two non-competition traditionals, St Pat’s Town’s First XV beat St John’s College, Hastings, 57-7 and Taita College defeated Fielding school Hato Paora College 31-25 at home in Lower Hutt, after Hato Paora led 13-12 at halftime.

The St St Pat’s Town and St John’s College First XVs after their match today. St Pat’s Town won 57-7.

Sims Sings Name into Ken Gray Cup Folklore 

  • By Adam Julian

In a match that defied reason, it was only logical the winning moment should occur most unusually.

Wellington College and St Patrick’s College, Silverstream were tied 24-apiece with two minutes remaining when Wellington had a scrum 35m away from the hosts line.

Wellington carried vigorously to midfield as first-five Archie Sims retreated as far from possible from obstruction.

Dropped goals are so rare in New Zealand today that there were none kicked in the Premiership last year and only one in the entire 2023 NPC.

With clinical precision and apparently still time, Sims dispatched the winning goal through the posts like he’d been doing it his entire life. Wellington coach and All Blacks Rugby World Cup winner Piri Weepu quipped to Club Rugby afterward, “The kid has never practiced.” Only Piri could be that calmly laconic.

In terms of gravitas, the dropped goal might not be as famous as the one Bryn Gatland kicked to win Hamilton Boys’ High School the National Top Four final in 2013, but in capital city folklore it will endure with glee, sadness and embellishment. Sims also accomplished the unique feature of scoring all four ways (penalty, try, 3 conversions, dropped goal).

Archie Sims scores his try – he also accomplished the unique feature of scoring all four ways (penalty, try, 3 conversions, dropped goal). Photo: Andy McArthur.

But wait, there’s more. Wellington failed to regain the re-start and Silverstream earned a penalty. The lineout formed five shy of the Wellington line as the Silverstream spectators stampeded down the embankment. Suddenly the 16th man became 122nd.

Rumours abounded NCEA credits were available for fans who joined the maul. Wellington’s Head Prefect, ironically surnamed Church, prevented that prospect.  Ollie’s hand ((it could have been Jack Robinson’s) palmed the throw of Jericho Wharehinga. Silverstream scrambled. Pile up followed by pile up. Voices hoarse, bones throbbing, Wellington hung on to win the Ken Gray Memorial Cup on Silverstream soil for the first time since 2016.

The opening 10 minutes featured more kicking than the football next door—cagey respect. Sims had the first say with a penalty but when Silverstream built forward momentum prop Noah Krijnen bullied his way to the paint.

Silverstream would incur the wrath of referee Jamie Fairmaid throughout. Sims caught Silverstream daydreaming from a quick tap and converted his touchdown to make it 10-7.

Silverstream No.8 Elijah Solomona was rampant but regrettably, a wayward shoulder collected the head of Wellington blindside Lafaele Lupo and Solomona was red-carded.

Lupo could have seen a blue card but was permitted to carry on. Then with no regard for self-preservation, lock Laifone Kamoto hurdled over a mass of bodies in an acrobatic leap.

Down a man and 17-7, disarray could have ensued for Silverstream. Instead, the Catholics rallied and improperly scored 17 unanswered points. Hooker Jericho Wharehinga slithered underneath another pile-up like a slug in a drainpipe. Lock Samuel Thompson took a taller route to the posts striding clear after a fisty charge and offload by openside Drew Berg-McLean .

Headed for the tryline. Photo: Andy McArthur.

Wellington’s bench provided much-needed imputes. Lorenz Markel Strickland-Rere is burly and offers punch in midfield. Replacement forwards Seb Hopkins, Te Aria Mani and Julius Toimata were engaged and energetic. Hopkins scored a try from a rolling maul with seven minutes to spare. After missing a regulation penalty shot, Sims was clutch from the sideline.

Dan Hawes, Harry Law, Church, and Z’kdeus Schwalger are the spine of a Wellington pack becoming increasingly resolute.

Silverstream has the raw power to bother anybody but conceding more than 20 penalties is a major narrative in their downfall.

It was an even and thrilling encounter that could have a sequel in the Premiership finals later in the season.

Wellington College has won the Ken Gray Cup 34 times. Silverstream 52 with seven draws.

Live Premiership points table – Wednesday afternoon:


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3 thoughts on “Wellington College topple St Pat’s Silverstream, wins for Wairarapa, Taita and St Pat’s Town

  1. Are we sure on that final score?
    I had Wgtn Col winning 30-24 after being down 24-20 and ahead 24-27 but as there was no obvious scoreboard that may be wrong.

  2. Yes, I realise now that I thought WC got that late penalty to go to 27 -24 and so, I guess, I didn’t appreciate the field goal as much as I should have. Too effort.

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