Dunstan through, St Kevin’s pipped despite winning

Dunstan High School lost yet won, while St Kevin’s College won but came up just short in the final day of pool play in the Otago Premier Schools competition on Saturday.

Going into the last round, four teams had already qualified for the premiership section: Otago Boys’ High School first XV, John McGlashan College, Waitaki Boys’ High School and Mount Aspiring College.

Any number of teams could have clinched the last two spots.

King’s High School did its job when it beat Taieri College 35-3 in Mosgiel, while Dunstan High School squeezed through despite losing 31-29 to South Otago High School in Balclutha.

Dunstan picked up two bonus points in the loss, for finishing within seven points and scoring four tries.

In Oamaru, St Kevin’s College put on a top display to beat Waitaki Boys’ High School in the Oamaru derby, winning 26-24 with openside flanker Paea Fifita helping himself to four tries.

Both Dunstan and St Kevin’s finished on 17 points but Dunstan got through  with a better points differential.

Dunstan was leading for much of the game but South Otago scored right at the end of the game to go ahead.

Both teams scored five tries each but South Otago landed an extra conversion.

St Kevin’s College coach Robbie Breen said his side had played well to beat Waitaki Boy’s but it was a hollow victory.

He felt his side deserved to be in the top six and lost out after Otago Boys’ High School first XV defaulted to Mount Aspiring College last month as Otago Boys’ went to Brisbane to play in the curtain-raiser to the match between the Highlanders and Reds.

The side from Wanaka was given five competition points for its game against Otago Boys’ High School first XV.

Breen said it was gutting for his side.

"It is a tough pill to swallow. Everyone knows Mount Aspiring earned 14 points and then were given five points by Otago Boys’. It is pretty frustrating," he said.

"But we’ve got to move on. We’ve got an interschool against St Bede’s this week and then other games."

In the other game played, John McGlashan College beat Mount Aspiring College 37-0 in Wanaka. Kavanagh defaulted to Otago Boys’ High School first XV, while Otago Boys’ second XV had already beaten King’s High School second XV earlier in the season.

The top six will play in the premiership for the Otago Daily Times Cup, while the bottom six will play in the championship for the Ritchies Cup.

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