1st XV v St Patrick’s College, Silverstream – Wednesday 2 September
The 1st XV played its 85th annual encounter against St Patrick’s College, Silverstream on Wednesday on a fairly wet and cold Winter’s day. After the train wreck that was the Polson Banner Exchange, the 1st XV were looking to reset and defend the Wallace Cup.
The game started well for the home side with an early penalty after some encouraging play in the opposition 22. This was cancelled out by a lineout drive try after some errors allowed Stream to get into our 22. We replied with another penalty and begun to get an edge at scrum time and territorially. Unfortunately, the hard work was undone and again Stream made a rare foray into our half, coming away with a converted try and taking a 12-6 lead into the half.
The pattern was emerging of Palmy Boys’ playing a lot of rugby in the right parts of the field but showing poor execution defensively which was allowing their counterparts easy chances to score.
The second half showed renewed energy around defending our try line. After absorbing early pressure, we set up camp in the Stream 22 and stayed there for the last 25 minutes of the second half, looking for the go ahead points. St Pat’s were outstanding defensively and were proving to be a hard nut to crack, especially with the slippery conditions making handling difficult. Some of our decision making was also questionable, but the intent to get over the line was certainly evident. Finally, in the last minute of play, we crossed in the corner for a try to make it 11-12, kick to come. From the sideline, the difficult conversion was landed, the lead was retaken and we only needed to field the kickoff safely – something that had proven to be difficult for us thus far. Luckily, the opposition kicker didn’t get the ball the required 10 metres and it was game over.
A testing encounter and one the team can take heart in as we travel away to play Rotorua Boys’ High School this weekend for the coveted an elusive Moascar Cup.
Try: Jack Trotter
Conversion: Curtis Heaphy
Penalties: Curtis Heaphy x 2