Following a minute’s silence, St Kevin’s College earned local bragging rights on Saturday with a 32-17 victory over Waitaki Boys’ High School in the opening round of the Otago-wide First XV competition at Milner Park.
Former-prop-turned-flanker William Sunderland opened the scoring with a try inside five minutes to settle the nerves of the visitors but halfback Brady Kingan was unable to pick up the extras from the conversion.
St Kevin’s looked the more physical of the two sides and had plenty of possession, forcing errors from Waitaki.
Simon Lilicama, who arrived from Fiji in February, provided SKC with a stealthy attacking threat. The wing was unfazed by his new surroundings and caused Waitaki plenty of problems with his explosive pace in an exciting display.
The continued pressure paid off as Sunderland crashed over the line for his and SKC’s second try of the encounter with 10 minutes on the clock.
Kingan was on target this time to give his side a 12-0 lead.
Waitaki began to find some rhythm and their determination was rewarded 25 minutes into the game with a try from No 8 Josh Hayward.
First five-eighth Llewellyn Johnson was on target from the conversion and struck again moments later from a penalty to bring his side within two points at 12-10.
SKC began to retain plenty of ball, as they had in the opening 15 minutes, and continued to out-muscle Waitaki for tight-head prop Kelepi Funaki to bundle over the line for his side’s third try.
Kingan was on target from the conversion on the stroke of half-time and the two teams headed to the sheds with St Kevin’s holding a 19-10 lead.
St Kevin’s started the second half as the first had ended with Kingan on target again, this time from a penalty.
SKC began to dictate play, as they had done for much of the first period, eventually breaking through Waitaki’s defence with imposing prop Paea Palaa.
Kingan duly kicked the conversion before adding a penalty to his haul eight minutes later to give SKC a commanding 32-10 lead.
Waitaki regrouped and began to pressure the away side again in a determined spell, resulting in a penalty try being awarded due to SKC players’ failure to retreat the full 10m from a penalty.
Johnson kicked the last points of the contest as his side fell to a disappointing loss but the Waitaki faithful will take some positives from the tie.
Skipper Josh Hayward was in fine form while openside flanker Sailosi Vea produced an accomplished display.
In round two, WBHS will travel south to take on division newcomers Taieri College while St Kevin’s welcome Kavanagh College to Murray Field.
Waitaki Boys’ High School 17 (J.Hayward 1, penalty tries; L.Johnson 2 cons,1 pen
St Kevin’s College 32 ( W. Sunderland 2, K. Funaki 1, P.Palaa 1 tries; B. Kingan 3 con, 2 pen)
Half Time – 19-10 SKC.
OTAGO SECONDARY SCHOOLS RUGBY RESULTS
Round one: Otago Boys High 2nd XV 34 vs Kavanagh College 10; John McGlashan College 63 vs Dunstan High School 7; South Otago 45 vs Mt Aspiring 0; King’s High School 48 vs Taieri College 13.
By James Ford