Isaiah Malaulau scores a late try. Photo: Evan Barnes/Shuttersport.

After 15 defences, Nelson loses Moascar Cup

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After two years and 15 defences, Nelson College has lost the Moascar Cup.

One of the longest reigns in modern history came to an end on Saturday as a clinical Christchurch Boys side defeated the holders 22-12.

Nelson were out-muscled up front and out-gunned out wide by the country’s second biggest All Black factory, defending UC champions and the inaugural winners of the historic trophy.

Nelson manager Peter Grigg says they were beaten by a better side.

“I guess there is only one certainty when you win trophies like that, you’re going to lose it someday.”

Skipper Anton Segner was visibly dejected following the loss.

“Very disappointing but credit to Christchurch, they were the better team and simply outplayed us.”

Anton says the ball handling skills of the Christchurch backs blew his side off the park. “We always knew that was going to be their strength and we just weren’t able to match it with them.”

The sides both laid down spine-tingling challenges prior to kick off, with the Nelson Supporters Club in full voice.

The visitors opened the scoring through fullback Max Hughes after a slick blindside move in just the tenth minute.

Nelson were dominated at the breakdown, blown off their own ball, leading to a second for Christchurch.

The challenges began to string some beautiful offloads together, running riot through the Nelson defence.

Segner looked to have finally opened Nelson’s account late in the first, only to be called back for a forward pass as unforced errors were costing the holders dearly.

Nelson struggled to get out of their own half in the second as Ollie Lewis stretched the lead to 15 with a regulation penalty.

Conor Rhind finally cracked Christchurch’s resolute defence for Nelson’s opening try, however the response from the visitors was immediate and emphatic, David Nee coasting his way over from the back of the scrum to seal the Moascar’s fate.

Prop Isaiah Malaulau scored a stunning late consolation for the home side, but the result had long been assured.

Joey Scott and Levi Carew made the most of their limited opportunities with ball in hand while lock Taya Brown shone in a forward pack that spent the majority of the match on the back foot.

Christchurch captain Louie Chapman says Nelson deserved to hold the coveted cup as long as they did.

“We knew coming up here would be no easy feat, we know the history behind it and how tough it was going to be, so it’s a really proud moment.”

The Moascar Cup has been the most prestigious prize in college rugby since World War One.

The cup was first contested in 1920, when Palmerston Boys met Christchurch Boys at Athletic Park in Wellington.

Christchurch won the match by one “force down.”

Nelson won the prestigious prize in June 2016 with an 18-3 win over holders Timaru Boys High School. The side went on to defend the cup 15 times, three defences in 2016, seven in 2017 and five this year.

Most reigns:
Palmerston North BHS (8 reigns) – 1928, 1930-32, 1936-37, 1944,1948-1950, 1972, 1975, 1985.

Longest recent reign:
Otahuhu College (3 Years) – 1997-99.