Blue and White, 1996, On The State Of Rugby At The College: “It would be fair to say that rugby at the college is in something of a trough, and it will rise out of that only when the challenge of physical preparation and mental toughness is fully confronted by the players at 1st XV level.”
From 1992-1997 rugby at St Patrick’s College, Silverstream was in the doldrums. A horror run saw the First XV suffer many humiliating defeats. An urgent solution was required, in 1996 Father Mark Walls returned. Could Walls repeat the success he enjoyed in the eighties?
Horror Run: 1992-1997
College Games Played: 36
College Games Won: 9
College Games Lost: 26
College Games Drawn: 1
College Games Points For: 419
College Games Points Against: 817
Record Defeat v New Plymouth Boys’ High School: 0-70, 1992
Record Defeat v Palmerston North Boys’ High School: 0-55, 1996
Record Defeat v Wellington College: 5-43, 1992
Record Defeat v St Patrick’s College, Wellington: 9-27
Record Defeat v St Bede’s College: 3-36, 1992
1999. The Team
Head Coaches: Father Mark Walls, Jim Laing
Captain: Tim Fairbrother
The Players: Nicholas Kirton, Joel Blyde, Daniel Boyes, Simon Coffey, Matthew Egan, Benjamin Focas, Daniel Gordon, Phillip Huxford, Anthony Maher, Michael Neilson, Laurence O’Reilly, Jon Patterson, Joseph Ritchie, Hayden Roche, Malcolm Sanson, James Sellars, Caleb Stephenson, Kiki Stowers, Peniasi Tokaece, Bernard Upton, Thomas Waldrom, Hayden Wilson.
Points For: 634
Points Against: 170
Average Score: 26-7
Top Points Scorer: Nicholas Kirton, 193
Top Try Scorers: Thomas Waldrom, 15, Caleb Stephenson, 15
Wellington Under 21 First Division
In 1999 Silverstream became the first and only Wellington School to win the Wellington Under 21 First Division Championship. An amazing feat against much older players, Silverstream believed the school competition provided inadequate physical preparation for the big interschool fixtures against Palmerston North and New Plymouth, who played in similar competitions. Below is a photo of Caleb Stevenson who scored the winning try in the final.
- Wellington, 44-0
- Tawa, 36-5
- Oriental Rongotai, 32-3
- Hutt Old Boys Marist, 31-0
- Harlequins, 36-7
- Upper Hutt, 15-0
- Wests, 22-8
- Marist St Pats, 7-15
- Wests, 29-3
- Marist St Pats, 11-8
- Oriental Rongotai, 17-8
- Petone, 20-10
- Marist St Pats (Semi Final), 31-10
- Petone, 21-8
Notes On The Under 21 Grade
- The competition started with the biggest win of the season, 44-0 against Wellington. Ben Focas and Thomas Waldrom each scored two tries.
- Simon Coffey scored two tries in the narrow and crucial 17-8 win against Oriental Rongotai.
- Marist St Pats was the only side to beat Silverstream in the Under 21 competition, Daniel Gordon scored the only try in that game for Silverstream. In the semi final Silverstream beat Marist St Pats and Gordon scored two tries.
- In 1998 Silverstream become the first school to reach the final of the grade where they were beaten by Petone, 16-21. In 1999 they met Petone again. In the led up game Silverstream won by 20-10, Caleb Stephenson, Anthony Maher and Daniel Gordon scored tries. In the final, tries to Thomas Waldrom and Caleb Stephenson, in addition to three penalties and a conversion to Nicholas Kirton sealed Silverstream victory. Nicholas Kirton later represented the New Zealand Under 19′s.
v Francis Douglas Memorial College – Won: 38-22
The pre-season saw a first ever meeting with Francis Douglas Memorial College in New Plymouth. Francis Douglas was an outstanding team in 1999 that eventually won 21 of their 25 games and featured future All Black Conrad Smith. However future English international Thomas Waldrom was the star of this game. Waldrom scored three tries for Silverstream in a hard-earned victory.
v New Plymouth Boys’ High School – Won: 20-0
Played at the Gully, Silverstream won the McDonald Shield for the first time with record victory. Nick Kirton, Benjamin Focas and Kiki Stowers scored tries in a near complete performance.
v Rongotai College – Won: 29-7
A first win against Rongotai College since 1994 was achieved at Rongotai with a dominant display. The game was even to start with, scores tied seven all after 12 minutes. However Silverstream’s greater pace was a decisive factor and the visitors eventually outscored the home team by four tries to one. Wingers, Simon Coffey and Caleb Stephenson each scored two tries.
v Wellington College – Lost: 0-16
Wellington College reached the National Top 4 in 1999 and pressured Silverstream relentlessly in the first half to earn a deserved eight point lead at the break. In the second half, Silverstream had a prolonged assault on the Wellington goal line but “handling was well below the usual standard” and Wellington prevailed. It was the second year in a row that Wellington had kept Silverstream scoreless.
v St Pats Town – Won: 32-10
A try near halftime by Caleb Stephenson changed the course of the game. Before Stephenson’s five pointer Silverstream had been doing a lot of defending and had conceded a length of the filed try. In the second half, Town failed to recover from the setback and conceded tries to Thomas Waldrom, Jon Patterson and Laurence O’Reilly.
v St Bede’s College – Won: 43-0
A totally dominant performance saw Silverstream record their largest victory since 1938 against St Bede’s. James Sellers was outstanding and scored two of Silverstream’s seven tries. Tim Fairbrother (Above) later played for Wellington, the Hurricanes and the Force.
v Palmerston North Boys’ High School – Won: 10-5
An early break by Matt Egan put Silverstream on attack and Joe Ritchie drove over for a try. A conversion and a penalty by Nicholas Kirton made it 10-0 at halftime. Silverstream spent most of the second half defending , a late lineout steal by Matt Egan, defending the Silverstream goal line, enough to hang on for victory.
Acknowledgments: Blue and White, Hurricanes.com, Father Mark Walls for his interview time and support, Libby Kirton.