De­fence an­chors Stream vic­tory

Upper Hutt Leader - - SPORT - LIAM HYSLOP

St Pa­trick’s Col­lege, Sil­ver­stream have won their first WelTec Premier­ship ti­tle since 2012 with a come-from-be­hind win over Welling­ton Col­lege.

Stream kept Welling­ton score­less in the sec­ond half as they turned an 11-7 half­time deficit into a 17-11 win at Porirua Park on Sun­day af­ter­noon.

Right-wing Todd Sven­son scored the match-win­ning try with 16 min­utes to go, be­fore res­o­lute Stream de­fence - aided by a strong wind at their backs - helped them see out the win.

Man-of-the-match Kienan Hig­gins was one of many play­ers over­come with emo­tion af­ter the fi­nal whis­tle as they were swamped by an ec­static mob of their school-mates.

‘‘I’m just lost for words. To ac­tu­ally do it, I’m speech­less. We’ve been dream­ing of this since year nine, it’s crazy,’’ Hig­gins said.

The first half set the tone for what was a tight and tense fi­nal. Stream’s vaunted back­line showed signs of nerves as they dropped a num­ber of passes early on.

A pair of Joshua Mor­gan Ranui penal­ties had Welling­ton up 6-0, be­fore Stream fi­nally got some­thing to click in the 17th minute.

Play­ing into the wind, they opted for a scrum from a penalty in­side the Welling­ton 22 - as they did through­out a first half in which they dom­i­nated pos­ses­sion. Livewire winger Chris Au­mua - the brother of New Zealand un­der-20s star Asafo Au­mua - was put into space from the scrum set move, be­fore show­ing some neat foot­work to step the Welling­ton full­back and go over near the posts.

But Welling­ton hit right back, No 8 Naitoa Ah Kuoi, crash­ing over with a pick-and-go.

Two key mo­ments went against Welling­ton in the sec­ond half. First, Ranui was forced off with what ap­peared to be a con­cus­sion. Then, loose for­ward Mel­len­ni­umma-Ger­rad Leota was sin­binned for a break­down in­fringe­ment in the 46th minute.

While he was off, Stream scored their two sec­ond-half tries.

The first saw Hig­gins beat a man on a scrum set piece, be­fore putting in cen­tre Al­bert Polu in the cor­ner. That was Polu’s 15th try of the sea­son.

Welling­ton put the kick­off out on the full when play re­sumed. From the re­sult­ing scrum first­five and cap­tain Har­ri­son Boyle ghosted through the Welling­ton de­fence to al­most score him­self, be­fore the ball was re­cy­cled to Sven­son to carry three de­fend­ers across the line for the try.

It was a much-de­served win for Stream, who com­pleted the WelTec Premier­ship un­de­feated.

Boyle said the fi­nal was crazy but al­ways be­lieved they would get there in the end.

He paid trib­ute to the work of Hig­gins and Polu out­side him, while cred­it­ing the work of his for­ward pack.

Stream now have a Hur­ri­canes re­gional semi­fi­nal at home to Palmer­ston North Boys’ High School next week­end.


St Pa­trick’s Col­lege, Sil­ver­stream cel­e­brate their win over Welling­ton Col­lege on Sun­day.

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