St Paul's first XV rugby team and winners of the CNI Rugby Competition 2021 by Light and Motion Photography

They've done it again!

St Paul's first XV rugby team have had their fourth consecutive win in the Central North Island Rugby competition.

After a successful win in the semi-final against St John’s last week, the St Paul's boys had successfully booked themselves a ticket in the final. A 2.15pm kick-off at Owen Delany Park saw the boys up against Whanganui Collegiate in the final in an ‘all or nothing scenario’. 

Playing into a strong headwind in the first half, St Paul's were able to string a great first attacking phase which was converted into a try with Toby Robb scoring nine minutes in. Whanganui soon struck back making the most of a lack of defensive discipline, with a penalty to take the score to 7-3. Two great tries were scored in quick succession in the 26th and 29th minute by Anaru and Jae which gave St Paul's a nice lead of 21-3, heading into the second half. 

Despite turning with the wind in the second half, St Paul’s Collegiate School had to work hard against a Whanganui defence that often caused our boys to make silly errors and give away unnecessary penalties. An excellent try to Malachai off an outstanding 50 meter carry with 10 minutes to go meant that St Paul's was able to stretch the lead out to 26-3. Shortly following this, Wanganui were able to get a try of their own however it would be too little too late for them. Jae Broomfield added his magic scoring a try under the sticks in the last play to seal the deal taking the score to 33-10.

This is a truly amazing result for St Paul's 1st XV, making history as the first team ever to win the CNI competition four times in a row. A fitting testament to the hard work that has been put in since the start of the year. A more than ideal game performance was produced by the St Paul’s boys winning in convincing fashion. Big ups to all the boys involved in the game, even those who didn’t take the field in the final.

A championship like this cannot be won without the support of amazing coaching and management. So a huge thank you to the coaching staff who helped make this opportunity possible. Also a HUGE thank you to those who came down to support especially the Tihoi boys.

Matt Waddell