Tuitama leads Scots in 105-10 drubbing of HIBS
Tuitama leads Scots in 105-10 drubbing
Premier one centuries have always been treasured but are usually scored with a bat rather than a ball.
The Scots College first XV scored a ton with a difference when beating Hutt International 105-10 last weekend.
Scots, who led 60-3 at halftime, scored 17 tries against a HIBS side that beat Wellington College in the opening round of the competition and got within 12 points of St Pat's Silverstream in the second round.
But Scots appeared to break their resistance, as well as the defensive line, in achieving an extraordinary tally.
It is the first three-figure score in the top college grade for at least several years.
The Scots onslaught was led by their dynamic centre Malo Tuitama, who scored five tries to bring his total for the premier competition to 16, from seven games. Tuitama was also the leading try scorer last year.
Scots have a potent backline and have scored 349 points, from seven games, and earned a bonus point in every match, including their loss to Silverstream. They have scored at least 25 points in each game and topped 45 four times.
They now head the points table but Silverstream have a game in hand and will be the top qualifiers if they beat St Pat's Town in their traditional on July 23, which is the final round-robin game.
In any event, Scots and Silverstream will have a bye for the quarterfinals, on July 26.
Town will finish third and meet St Bernard's in the quarterfinals, while Wellington College will take on HIBS.
Town, who missed a top four spot last year, added to a good season with a 30-10 win over the previously unbeaten Francis Douglas College, in a traditional in New Plymouth last week.
Wellington College have lost three games in premier one but have still finished fourth and will be odds-on to make the semifinals.
They capped a busy but confidence-boosting week with a 42-17 win over Rongotai last Saturday.
That followed a 12th successive quad title for the school, achieved with a 5-0 win in tough conditions over Nelson College in the final, at Whanganui.
''It was a fantastic week,'' coach Lincoln Rawles said.
''The team stepped up as a group. We had a lot of niggling injuries and a few boys had to come up from the second XV.''
The quad final was made more difficult by a strong wind and a muddy pitch, with Nelson having the wind in the first half.
''We didn't get out of our half in the first half and Nelson only made a couple of forays out of their half [when facing the wind],'' Rawles said.
''About 80 per cent of the game was played in one quarter of the field.''
Wellington held out against sustained pressure from Nelson in the first half and then scored soon after halftime, before being forced to defend again in the closing 10 minutes.
''The team will have gained a huge amount of confidence after playing Nelson, who were significantly bigger up front,'' Rawles said.
''It was a really big effort and we defended well and were disciplined. Nelson has some crazy stats in terms of phases but lost possession each time, through either a penalty or a turnover.''
Halfback Kemara Hauiti-Parapara and talented first five-eighth Piri Paraone were key performers for Wellington during the week, while prop Tristan Fuli, hooker Jimmy Hewitt and the versatile Sitiveni Paongo, who switched between the front row and No 8, were among the standouts in the pack.
''Kemara's leadership from the base of the scrum was pivotal to our success over the last four games, particularly against Nelson,'' Rawles said.
- The Dominion Post
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