Scots through to schools rugby final
Scots College are through to the national secondary schools rugby final after an unexpected but comprehensive win over Auckland Grammar in Rotorua today.
The Wellington school dominated the second half when beating the Auckland champions 39-22, a win that also give Scots possession of the Moascar Cup, the schools equivalent of the Ranfurly Shield.
Scots will meet defending champions Hamilton Boys' High School in the final, at 2.55pm on Sunday. Hamilton made the final by beating Christchurch Boys' 20-19 yesterday.
Scots are the first Wellington school to hold the Moascar Cup since St Pat's Silverstream, in 1974, and will be just the third Wellington side to contest the national top four final.
No Wellington team has ever won the national title, which dates back to 1982, and only Wellington College have made the final previously, in 1995 and 2000.
Scots went into yesterday's semifinal as underdogs, against an Auckland Grammar side who had won 19 of their 21 previous games this year and had beaten St Kentigern in the final of the highly competitive Auckland competition.
However Scots were thoroughly deserving winners, scoring five tries as their slick backline constantly tested the Grammar defence.
In addition, the Scots pack more than held their own, providing plenty of good ball for the backs and setting up a try with a rolling maul, while prop Alex Fidow was named player of the match.
However, Grammar usually made an impression when inside the Scots 22 and the score was 18-17 to Scots at halftime and 25-22 to Scots with about 20 minutes to go, before Scots took control of the match.
Scots skipper and first five-eighth TJ Va'a scored 19 points and probably sealed a place in the national secondary schools team with a dominant display, while Thomas Umaga-Jensen was another constant threat in midfield.
Malo Tuitama, who had only arrived back from Samoa, where he had been attending a funeral, late on Thursday night, played on the wing, rather than at centre, and picked up two tries.
Scots, who are coached by Earl Va'a, have now won 11 games in succession. They beat St Pat's Silverstream 21-18 in the Wellington final and earned a top four spot by beating Gisborne Boys' 57-22 and Palmerston North Boys' 34-17.
The Dominion Post