St Kevin’s College First XV fell to a disappointing 40-14 loss in its pre-season tie against St Edmund’s College at Murray Field yesterday.
St Kevin’s is hosting a six-team pre-season tournament which includes Shirley Boys’ High School, Dunstan High School, St Andrew’s College, St Thomas of Canterbury College and St Edmund’s, before the Otago-wide First XV competition begins on Anzac Day.
St Edmund’s Jacob Powley failed to open the scoring early on. The inside centre steered his kick wide from a penalty three minutes into the contest.
The Canberra outfit dominated possession from the outset, as the home side struggled to find momentum.
The continued pressure eventually paid off as prop Ben Gordon displayed a surprising turn of pace to touch down for the visitors.
Powley was unable to capitalise form the conversion, as his kick sailed wide of the posts for the second time.
St Edmund’s continued pressure then led to a mazy run from wing Joshua Wells, who touched down for the visitors’ second try. Powley found his range this time, slotting the conversion for a 12-0 lead.
St Kevin’s began to find its way back in to the clash with some strong possession play.
Power-house prop Paea Palaa then forced his way over the line to open the scoring for SKC and halfback Brady Kingan converted for a 12-7 score line.
SKC struck again moments later, through wing Simon Lilicama and Kingan converted once more to hand his side the lead for the first time, but the two point advantage was short-lived
Halfback Charlie Shephard returned fire and Wells then took on kicking duties to convert the try, following an injury to Jacob Powley, for a 19-14 score at the interval.
St Edmund’s began the second period as it had the first, with plenty of ball.
Fullback Caleb Malisauskas emulated Wells with a speedy run of his own to touch down under the posts.
Wells slotted the conversion with ease and the Australian side extended its advantage to 26-14.
Wells then crossed the line and converted, before touching down again under the posts, for his third and St Edmund’s sixth try of the contest.
Wells converted to complete a personal points haul of 21 points as his team took a well-deserved victory.
St Kevin’s coach Justin Fowler praised St Edmund’s for its impressive performance and insisted there was plenty of work to do before the opening round of the Otago-wide competition against old enemy Waitaki Boys’ High School.
“Overall, pretty disappointed with the performance.
“We were very flat and went away from our structures,” he said.
“I thought St Edmund’s played very well and they exploited a number of our mistakes to score points.
“Our handling was poor and this led to a number of turnovers and we started falling off tackles.
“There is certainly a lot we need to work on before our competition kicks off against Waitaki on Anzac Day.”
In the day’s early fixture, Shirley Boys’ downed Dunstan High 26-10.
St Kevin’s will take on Shirley Boys’ at 11am today at Murray Field.
By James Ford
PHOTO: JAMES FORD – Simon Lilicama touches down for St Kevin’s College.