Waitaki Boys’ High School produced a 29-25 victory over Taieri High School in Mosgiel on Saturday while St Kevin’s were downed 21-20 by Kavanagh College at Murrayfield in a thrilling encounter.
Kavanagh were without powerhouse prop Neo Chaiamnuay and fullback Miguel Santos through injury. St Kevin’s had the better of the early exchanges and opened the scoring in the fifth minute through Fijian Simon Lilicama – the wing injured his ankle in the process, bringing a premature end to his match, while halfback Brady Kingan was unable to collect the extras from an awkward angle.
Outside centre Connor Newlands then punished the visitors for some sloppy handling to touch down under the posts for St Kevin’s second try of the afternoon.
This time Kingan had no problem slotting the conversion to give the home side a 12-0 lead.
Kavanagh began to gather some momentum and enjoyed plenty of possession before prop Cam Wallace opened his side’s account with a try in the 30th minute.
Halfback Tim King was on target from the conversion for a 12-7 score line.
Kavanagh continued to build on their momentum and outside centre Sunia Makasini, in what was an exceptional individual display, crossed the line for his side’s second try four minutes later.
St Kevin’s stole the lead back on the stroke of halftime through wing Josh Mullaly, who touched down in the corner. Kingan steered his conversion wide but SKC held a 17-14 advantage at the interval.
St Kevin’s began the second half as they had the first, with plenty of ball, but could not capitalise on the sustained attack as Kavanagh’s robust defence stood firm.
Kavanagh’s strong defensive display seemed to breed confidence throughout the team and skipper Makasini’s hard running and explosive speed continued to trouble SKC.
The away side’s persistence eventually paid off with less that two minutes to play as first five-eighth Liam Lavelle-Pool stormed over the line to the delight of the animated Kavanagh spectators.
King held his nerve to slot the conversion with the last kick off the contest as referee Christopher O’Malley blew the final whistle.
Waitaki earned their first win of the campaign in an exciting battle with Taieri. Wing George McLennan and first five Llewellyn Johnson touched down in the first half as WBHS took A 10-3 halftime lead.
Taieri produced a determined performance in the second half but could not prevent centre Vanaki Laveni scoring Waitaki’s third try of the clash.
The home side responded strongly and held an 18-17 lead midway through the second period but Waitaki’s replacements contributed well with Mason Kinzett and Steven Marsh strengthening the defence.
Slick hands from the WBHS backs late in the game saw replacements Scott Paton and Steven Marsh score, while Johnston duly collected the conversions for a 29-25 Waitaki victory.
Round three will see Waitaki host King’s High School while St Kevin’s are Balclutha-bound to lock horns with South Otago High School.
Otago Secondary School’s Rugby Competition round two: Otago Boys’ High School Second XV 29 vs King’s High School 26; Dunstan High School 40 vs Mt Aspiring College 33; Kavanagh College 21 vs St Kevin’s College 20; Waitaki Boys’ High School 29 vs Taieri 25; South Otago High School 24 vs John McGlashan College 20.
By James Ford
PHOTO: JAMES FORD – St Kevin’s inside centre Josh Macauley with wing Simon Lilicama in support on Saturday.