Focus on the game

07 Jun 2017

It has been a long time coming, but the College 1st XV has finally done it – beating Christchurch Boys’ High School in the schools’ annual and highly competitive rugby fixture. The tight 16–15 score made victory all the sweeter.

College 1st XV captain and centre Isaiah Punivai says it was an “absolutely amazing” feeling to win, but he was always confident the team was capable. “We were in a good space leading up to the game. Our focus at training wasn’t on the history or on our traditional rivalry, the key message was if we play to our game plan, we can win.”

Although behind for much of the game, when fullback Levi Emery came through and scored the all-important match winning try, the boys fought hard to maintain their position. “I’m extremely proud of the way the team played,” says Isaiah. “They played with heart and with pride for their school, and it really showed in the strong defence in the last minutes of the game.”

It might be one of the most high-profile matches of the season, but it is simply another game in the UC Championship and Isaiah believes momentum is still building for the College team. “There’s already a great sense of belief and trust within the team. My job is to remind the boys that if we work together and play to our strengths, there’s no telling what we can accomplish.”

The match took place at CBHS on Thursday 1 June. Executive Principal Garth Wynne presented Isaiah, representing the 1st XV, with the winner’s cup – the Jock Hobbs Memorial Trophy – at assembly on Tuesday 6 June.