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Metro Division 1 - Final
A masterful second-half performance into the wind has secured High School Old Boys their second Cup-Trophy double in the past four years, after they beat University 15-10 in the Metro Division One Final at Rugby Park on Sunday.
University were seeking their first title in more than 20 years, but instead Old Boys notched up their sixth in the past 11 years.
With the strong southerly behind them in the first half, Old Boys were out to a 15-0 lead after tries to wings Steve Gee and Josh Taylor in the first quarter.
University kept them scoreless to the break and were right in the game after racking up 10 points in the opening minutes of the second half, when they had a one-man advantage thanks to a yellow card. After an all-in forward shove started by replacement prop James Kora, lock Matt Moulds was propelled over the line for their first try. Fullback Jamie Verran converted the try and kicked a penalty just minutes later.
Having earlier missed a handy penalty goal attempt, the students turned down two kickable penalty chances as the clock counted down.
The decision to chance their arm did not pay off, and Old Boys dominated possession in the final 10 minutes, despite being trapped in their own half.
Old Boys captain Peter Chaplin said after the match that keeping the ball in hand as they battled the wind was crucial. “We’ve done it in the last few games, just sealing it off at the end and shutting down all other options,” he said.
“We started at eight minutes (to go) and went all the way down to 23 seconds.”
Peter said he had been confident the half-time lead was defendable. “They had the momentum after the first 10 (in the second half), and we just needed to get that back, get our hands on the ball and start dominating again.”
He was full of praise for Old Boys’ two first-year coaches, former All Blacks Aaron Mauger and Reuben Thorne. “They’ve offered good ideas and certainly they’ve committed to themselves to the role 100 per cent,” Peter said.
The Plate final on Saturday was won comfortably by Sydenham, with two late tries to Lincoln University giving the 41-27 scoreline some respectability.
The Bowl final went to Marist Albion who established a 12-point half-time lead against Linwood despite playing into the breeze, and protected it easily in the second spell.
Check out the weekly editorial on Metro Division One rugby, which is published under the Metro tab of the CRFU website each Sunday around 3pm.
Visit www.crfu.co.nz/main/index.cfm/1,649,0,40,html/Game-Day to have a read.
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