by Andrew Constable

1st XV rugby team attend Kia Tu Rugby Camp

St Paul's once again hosted the third Kia Tu Rugby Camp and saw our 1st XV playing Palmerston North Boys' High School in their traditional fixture winning 38-17 and regaining the Quadrangular Trophy. Six other 1st XV teams attended from Sacred Heart College, Napier Boys’ High School, Dilworth School, Tauranga Boys’ College and Westlake Boys’ High School.

Malachi Wrampling, Joel Cox and Lincoln Winter made their 1st XV starting debuts with seven others coming off the bench to achieve this same accolade. Solid set piece and some determined running by Havila Molia, Temple Beauchamp, Charlie Walsh and Henry Brown set up this very good win against a much bigger team.

An early try to PNBHS through early pressure from the kick-off had us down 7 nil. A quality turnover from Joel Cox at the breakdown created our first opportunity in attack. A lineout drive saw Charlie Walsh the recipient of our first try of the season following great work by the forwards. Converted by team Captain, Tepaea Cook-Savage made it 7 all. PNBHS struck back with a penalty to lead 7-10.

Another attacking lineout and forwards applying pressure saw Henry Brown making a line break then off load to support player Havila Molia who scored untouched to lead at half time 14-10.

Good field position early on gave us the first try of the half following 10+ phases with Matthew Johnson finishing with some great footwork making it 19-10. Having our fair share of position and the ability to keep the ball created a 50m try by Temple Beauchamp showing footwork and speed to complete this great solo effort. Tepaea converted to make it 26-10. Straight from the kick off, the confidence shown through KBA (keep ball alive) saw two great off loads from Lincoln Winter and Nick Karton releasing Lachie Crean for his first touch to run 40m to score and increase our dominance to 31-10. Consistent pressure created an opportunity for Tepaea to dot down and convert our last try. A late try in the last play of game by PNBHS completed a great first up performance by this young group winning convincingly 38-17.

A few injuries from the first game meant a reshuffle and three other players were potentially making their debut off the bench. Tauranga Boys’ College started well and applied huge pressure at our breakdown and were physically dominant, getting many turnovers and penalties. An early opportunity for us to attack off the lineout drive was clinical with Campbell Robb scoring to put us ahead 5 nil. Tauranga Boys applied pressure with direct forward play and our boys struggled to maintain our solid defence, which saw the opposition scoring two tries in the first half making it 5-12 at half time.

The second half focus was to compete at the breakdown and maintain possession. Once again our young forwards were exposed to the direct nature of their forwards, with Tauranga Boys' High School going ahead 24-5. To our credit we had plenty of opportunities with lineout drives and scrum options hard on their line. However we came up empty-handed through some good defence and poor execution. A late try to Tauranga Boys' when we tried to run the ball from behind our own try line made the final score 5-31.

Some great learnings for the whole squad and coaching staff to help in our preparations for the forthcoming CNI season. Big thanks to our trainer Ange Walker, camp manager Mr Wayne Robb and physio Tomas who looked after the boys with recovery, treatment and nutritional needs superbly, as well as to coaches Mr Cody Price and Mr Paul Hodder.