Hero photograph
Photo by Mark Ealey

1st XV vs Nelson College

Mark Ealey —

First Trustbank Cup Defence

This game was transferred to Sydenham Park due to the very sorry state of our number one field. This meant we lost the Sky TV live telecast of the game but it was more important to play on a reasonably fit pitch. The team was impressed to see senior 1st XV coach Daniel Winchester’s name on a plaque next to the number twelve in the Number One changing room. Sydenham Premier players who earn their 50 game blazer are recognised in this way.

Unfortunately, our team did not play with a great deal of composure in the first half. We made many unforced errors and allowed Nelson to dominate possession and territory. We were probably a little lucky to have the lead at half time through two Ben Trillo penalties.

Half time: 6-5 to SBC

In the second half, we allowed Nelson into our red zone twice in the 1st 15 minutes and they muscled themselves over. Andre Sula did some muscling of his own and scored our sole try. Ben Trillo’s conversion and third penalty kept us in the game and with 3 minutes to go we were leading 16-15. Unfortunately, we conceded a penalty try which gave Nelson the win.

Full time 22-16 to Nelson Boys’

Try: Andre Sula. Conversion: Ben Trillo. Penalties: Ben Trillo 3.

The Billy Harmon MVP award was presented Andre Sula. Andre was ever-present on the field and made huge contributions in both tight and loose play.

The Origin Award went to centre Alex Schupbach who has steadily improved after securing a starting position. Unfortunately Alex had to leave the field due to injury late in the game.

Two players earned their caps in this game: 1st 5/8 Flynn Bainbridge had a very robust defensive game today and centre Alex Schupbach played strongly again showing some resilient defence against the dangerous Nelson mid-field.

Next Saturday sees the 1st XV play Rangiora High School at home in what should be a significantly easier game. In all likelihood, our team will face St Thomas’ away in the semi-finals.