Nelson College will not defend the UC Championship but finished its campaign in style with a stunning upset over the table topping St Andrews today.
Nelson saved its best performance until the end, running in six tries to take maximum points from its final outing.
Skipper Charlie Perkins says it was the perfect way to end the tournament as they now look towards Quad which it hosts in two weeks time.
“It feels incredible, super proud of all the boys, it was just an outstanding effort.”
After dropping five games, to slip out of top four contention, Charlie says the win shows they are capable to match it with the top sides.
“Such a good way to salute off our year 13’s and after a bit of a disappointing season it feels really good to knock the leaders off.”
It had been a long week for the side playing three games and narrowly going down to Timaru Boys.
“It was a quick turnaround and tough loss on Tuesday but we thought we could get a bit of redemption today.”
Almost everything came off for the young Nelson side in a superb 70-minute display.
Hooker Dylan Irvine was immense and scored Nelson’s first inside ten minutes.
St Andrews replied through Torian Barnes but Irvine made another strong bust up the middle before Grant threw a beautiful skip pass to Jayden Waharoa to send the winger away for his side’s second.
Nelson then made it three on the back of a copybook rolling maul as Irvine went in again.
The hosts were dominating the competition favorites across the park, Cooper Grant and Nic Sauria putting in classy displays at 10 and 15.
A Keetan Fry charge down set Nelson right back on attack as Hunter Leppien went over for a fourth as Nelson surged to a 26-7 lead.
St Andrews managed to pull one back just before the break but the half well and truly belonged to Nelson.
However, St Andrews came back strongly in the second.
Captain Jamie Carr struck first for the visitors after oranges before Jack Forrest brought St Andrews within two.
Nelson refused to relent though and number eight Netani Baleisomosomo stretched the margin back to nine as the Fijian was too strong off the back of the scrum.
As the clock ticked away on St Andrews, replacement Hunter Griffith ran in Nelson’s sixth try to seal the stunning 38-24 victory.
Nelson 38 (Irvine 2, Waharoa, Leppien, Baleisomosomo, Griffith, tries, Grant 4 cons)
St Andrews 24 (Mongomery Barnes, Carr, tries, Harding 1 con, Ravula 1 cons)