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St Andrew's vs St Thomas’ May 8th - Match Report
On an extremely firm ground in ideal conditions with a cold southwest breeze, the teams held an early exchange of the ball as players settled, with ball in hand and kicking for field position. A beautifully placed kick by St Thomas’ led to a 5 metre lineout for STAC. Unfortunately the throw was not straight resulting in a scrum for the home side. A quick pass to the number 10, Petelo allowed him through a gap and under the posts for an early try 4 mins in to the game. The conversion by Petelo gave St Thomas’ the lead.
Good pressure was then applied by STAC passing the ball around and going to ground, stringing phases together. A penalty taken quickly by Martin Solofua and off loaded to Ben Ward on the left wing allowed Ben in for STAC’s first points of the game. The conversion by Richie Mo’unga from out wide brought the score to 7 all.
A strong run by Jackson Taylor up the middle lead to a fine backs display, but unfortunately the try on the right wing to Hector Roose-Clarke was denied due to a forward pass.
The St Thomas’ scrum was dominant with a weight advantage but their failure to convert opportunities allowed STAC too much ball.
Matt Brabazon scored the next try through several phases of play with ruck and maul. Mo’unga’s conversion attempt rebounded off the post, the score now 12-7 to STAC.
Play see-sawed at both ends but St Thomas’ didn’t take advantage, giving away penalties when within scoring distance which were cleared for STAC by Mo’unga’s strong boot.
Following a good run by STAC down the right wing, Harry Jones managed to score off a 5 metre scrum with another successful conversion by Mo’unga.
After half time, both teams used the boot to good advantage. Martin Solofua made a strong run, gaining 50 metres for STAC from near their own line keeping his team out of danger. Once again a St Thomas error allowed more points on the board for Mo’unga when he made a fine kick from the 10m line with the breeze at his back.
The vocal STAC supporters were well entertained by a flying tackle from Captain James Fairbairn on an unsuspecting Petelo in the mid field. Soon after a chip and chase by Fairbairn looked promising but he was pulled up for a forward pass when he was unable to gather the ball cleanly. Another successful penalty shot put STAC further in the lead 25 – 7.
A St Thomas’ pass to mid air was collected up by Mo’unga who ran in for a try beneath the posts from half way. Kicking his own conversion put the score at 32 – 7.
A bruising tackle on Mo’unga gave him an opportunity for a well deserved spell and a back line shuffle sees Martin Solofua give a good run up the centre, feeding Connor McKay on the outside for a try, coming round between the posts, converted by Solofua.
The final scoring opportunity went to St Thomas’ when STAC gave away a penalty on their own line. No. 3 Vete charged over the line for a try which was not converted, leaving the final score at 39 – 12 to St Andrews College.
Player of the day points go to Martin Solofua, James Fairbairn and Player of the Day to Jackson Taylor.
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