Nelson College ended its season in style after taking out the prestigious Quadrangular tournament last week.
Nelson defeated Christ’s College in a topsy-turvy encounter in which the hosts ran in five tries to four to defend its crown.
Down 15-14 at halftime, Nelson rallied in the second to shutout the Christchurch side and farewell its year 13s in ideal fashion.
Jacob Kingi Neha-Manihera was immense for Nelson at number eight, Tuterangi Stone-Williams ensured clean possession at lineouts while Ollie Inch and Keaton Fry muscled up in midfield.
Will Thornalley played his best game of the season at halfback and was backed up by the astute Cooper Grant at ten.
Captain Charlie Perkins was ecstatic following the final whistle.
“I’m just stunned, just incredibly proud of the boys, we had a bit of a rough season and to finish it off beating the winners of the UC (St Andrews) and then win quad in the 150th year is just incredible.”
Charlie says the message to the side even when trailing at halftime was to win every race.
“We really came out with that focus and it showed.”
The industrious openside says it was the perfect way to cap his time at college.
“Last game on front field, it means a lot.”
Charlie opened the scoring with a determined run to the line showing incredible leg drive with assistance from Ollie Inch.
Having made a superb break moments earlier, winger Sean Rutherford-Bradford strolled over for Christ’s first points.
It didn’t take long for Nelson to respond as try-scoring machine Netani Baleisomosomo bulldozed his way over from close range.
Christ’s then went back to back as flanker Cormac Dods got his side back within four before Nathan McKenzie scored in the corner to give Christ’s the lead for the first time.
Further compounding issues for Nelson, Hunter Leppien was sent to the sin bin for cynical play.
Nic Sauria looked to reclaim the lead just before the break but the fleet-footed fullback spilled the ball over the line as Christ’s took the advantage on to half-time.
A Keaton Fry charge down set Nelson right back on attack to kick off the second.
Cooper Grant would eventually take a shot at goal but a ricochet off the uprights gave Nelson a chance for more points.
Kingi Neha-Manihera put the hosts back in front as he powered over on the back of a quick tap.
Nelson began to take control and Hunter Griffith’s try put his side further ahead at 26-15.
Christ’s fought bravely until the end, but it wasn’t enough as Inch sealed the victory with Nelson’s fifth try.
A late consolation for Fiti Sa flattered the scoreline for Christ’s but they had been well and truly outplayed by a hungrier Nelson outfit.
Scorers: Nelson 33 (Perkins, Baleisomosomo, Neha-Manihera, Griffith, Inch, tries, Grant 4 cons) Christ’s 22 (Rutherford-Bradford, Dods, McKenzie, Sa, tries, Shearer 1 cons)