Trophy back in St Kevin’s College hands

A jubilant St Kevin’s College First XV celebrates its annual interschool win over Waitaki Boys’...
A jubilant St Kevin’s College First XV celebrates its annual interschool win over Waitaki Boys’ High School at Whitestone Contracting Stadium in Oamaru yesterday. Photo: Daniel Birchfield
St Kevin’s College made it two from two in interschool rugby when it beat Waitaki Boys 19-12 in a thriller at Whitestone Contracting Stadium  in Oamaru yesterday.

It allowed St Kevin’s to reclaim the "Peanut", the Leo O’Malley Trophy, for the first time since 2015.St Kevin’s started impressively, and took control with some surging drives from big No8 Samuel Babiau.

In the seventh minute, St Kevin’s attacked from an Eli Winders take 5m from the opposition line and Babiau charged across for a try which fullback Ben McCarthy converted.

Six minutes later, centre Jerome Misiloi - who was outstanding on defence - finished off a break by McCarthy, who converted the try to take the side to a 14-0 lead.

Waitaki Boys’ finally broke the opposition defence when St Kevin’s was forced to carry the ball back over the goal line, and from the ensuing scrum, centre Bryden Skinner brushed aside tacklers to score the first of his two tries.

Four minutes before halftime, Skinner narrowed the gap. St Kevin’s failed to find touch, Skinner broke over halfway and kicked ahead, and his superior pace won the race to the ball for the try, making it 14-12 to St Kevin’s at the break.

Waitaki lost Skinner to injury in the second half, and St Kevin’s promptly went further ahead.

The St Kevin’s forward pack drove to the Waitaki line and hammered away before a change of direction created space for replacement prop Xavier Kahukura-Davis to reach out for an unconverted try.

The final quarter  produced some exciting play, but powerful defence from both sides kept their lines intact.St Kevin’s forwards Babiau, Winders and lock Tama Wooldridge were outstanding, while McCarthy was always enterprising on attack.

For Waitaki, Joseph Siale showed some good touches on the wing, and first five-eighth Mason James directed play intelligently.

- By Terry O'Neill


First XV
The scores

St Kevin’s College    19

Tama Wooldridge, Jerome Misiloi, Xavier Kahukura-Davis tries; Ben McCarthy 2 con

Waitaki Boys’ High School    12

Bryden Skinner 2 tries; Mason James con

Halftime: St Kevin’s 14-12.

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