Win emo­tional for Au­mua BIGTRUCK, SMALLPRICE.

The all newldv T60 is here!

The Wellingtonian - - Front Page - LIAM HYS­LOP

Chris Au­mua will al­ways hold one cru­cial piece of brag­ging rights over his older brother, Asafo.

The St Pa­trick’s Col­lege, Sil­ver­stream winger claimed a Wel­tec Pre­mier­ship win­ners medal on Sun­day when his side beat Welling­ton Col­lege 17-11 in the Welling­ton pre­mier high school rugby fi­nal at Porirua Park.

It was some­thing Asafo Au­mua was un­able to do dur­ing three years in the Stream first XV.

The 20-year-old does have an Un­der-20 World Cup win­ner’s medal to his name, but Chris Au­mua said he wouldn’t let his older brother for­get their com­par­a­tive records at Stream.

‘‘I’ll prob­a­bly rub it in his face when I get home,’’ he said with a laugh af­ter Sun­day’s win - Asafo Au­mua missed watch­ing Stream win their first ti­tle since 2012 as he was play­ing for Welling­ton against Manawatu in Palmer­ston North.

The tight and tense fi­nal was not re­ally a game for the backs, but Au­mua was able to make his pres­ence felt in the first half with a try of the high­est or­der - his 10th of the sea­son.

Watch­ing it live did not re­ally do it jus­tice. It was only when re­view­ing it later that Au­mua’s bril­liance truly shone.

He re­ceived the sec­ond pass off the back of a scrum, about 25 me­tres from the Welling­ton line. He beat one de­fender by chang­ing the an­gle of his run, then an­other with a sharp right-foot step. A would-be cover de­fender fell off him, then the full­back was beaten with a left-foot step. Fi­nally, he car­ried two de­fend­ers across the line to score.

That was mid­way through the first half with his team down 6-0 and look­ing ner­vous on at­tack. Au­mua said he had one thought in his mind as he waited for the scrum to be set.

‘‘I wanted to get a try to spark things up ... it worked.’’

Stream went on to keep Welling­ton score­less in the sec­ond half to over­turn an 11-7 deficit, cue­ing emo­tional cel­e­bra­tions from the play­ers and their school­mates. It left Au­mua stunned and in tears.

‘‘I can’t ex­plain it. It’s been a while, the boys have worked so hard through­out the sea­son to get the win.

‘‘I’m just emo­tional, I just want to cry. See­ing the school run­ning onto the field, I just cried with my fam­ily and friends.’’

Stream’s first-five and cap­tain, Har­ri­son Boyle, was sim­i­larly taken aback.

Most of the back­line were year 13s, in­clud­ing Boyle and Au­mua, so this was their last shot at glory.

’’A big group of this team were play­ing to­gether in un­der-14s. The back­line has been pretty much the same since then. We’ve got a lot of year 12s in our for­ward pack so they’ll all be back next year, but this was it for a lot of us.’’

This year’s win was a long over­due re­turn to form for Stream.

They con­tested six-straight fi­nals up un­til 2015, when they lost in the semi­fi­nals to St Pat’s Town. Last year saw a shock exit to Ron­go­tai Col­lege in the quar­ter­fi­nals.

And even though they made six fi­nals, they lost four of them, in­clud­ing three heart-wrench­ing de­feats by three and two-point mar­gins.

Boyle said the team was mo­ti­vated to right the wrongs of those losses.

‘‘We’ve got a lot of pride in our rugby. Peo­ple say we’re un­der­achiev­ers or chok­ers and that sort of just mo­ti­vated us even more to come here and get the job done.

‘‘The boys stepped through our school gates want­ing to achieve this. We’ve watched so many Stream teams fall at the last hur­dle, so to get out there and fin­ish the job is an amaz­ing feel­ing.’’

The job is not over just yet though. Stream take their un­de­feated 11-0 Wel­tec Pre­mier­ship record into the Hur­ri­canes re­gion semi­fi­nal, as they host tra­di­tional ri­vals Palmer­ston North Boys’ High School this week­end.

They should take plenty of con­fi­dence into that match, not only from their fi­nal win, but the fact they scored a record 71-0 win over Palmer­ston North on June 28.

Welling­ton Col­lege face a dif­fi­cult away trip in the other semi­fi­nal as they take on Hast­ings Boys’ High School - the un­de­feated cham­pi­ons of the Su­per 8 com­pe­ti­tion.

St Pat’s Sil­ver­stream winger Chris Au­mua car­ries two Welling­ton Col­lege de­fend­ers to the try­line on Sun­day. PHOTO: CAMERON BUR­NELL/STUFF

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.