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St Andrew's College 1st XV fall short to Nelson College in Super Rugby curtain raiser

Tommy Flavill
Stac Haka
St Andrew's College Haka  Scots College Wellington

Nelson College comes out on top beating the current title holders 29-24 in the curtain-raiser for the Super Rugby Aotearoa final on Saturday.

Nelson College recovered from a slow start to beat the defending UC Champions in a hard-fought see-sawing game at Orangetheory Stadium on Saturday.

It was a close first half with both teams scoring before Nelson closed out the half with a last-minute try from hooker, Dylan Irvine.

St Andrew's (StAC) showcased more of their young talent in the second half with a dominant performance from NZ Secondary school flanker Torian Barnes.

StAC eventually fell six points shy of victory with a last-minute interception try from winger Jackson Foster.

"It's frustrating for us, we didn't hit the marker in terms of what we were trying to achieve," said head coach Ian Robinson.

The two sides have a fierce history in the game with both schools producing All Blacks such as Richie Mo'unga and David Havili.

Nelson College ended a 12-year drought to win the UC Championship in 2019 before StAC stole the cup the following year for the first time in the school's history.  


This is the second year in a row StAC's rugby talent has been put on display in Orangetheory Stadium after they beat Christchurch Boy's High 24-19 at the grounds last year.

St Andrew's captain, Will Stodart, said "the experience gives the boys an extra push to work hard and gives them a taste of what it would be like to play professional footy".

While the young side has lost the first game of the competition, they have their sights set on going back to back to win the UC Championship.

"We will only get better from here, we're excited about what we'll able to achieve going forward," Robinson said.

He said the game would build character and game development for the young players which would help them for future matches.

The team has just come off the annual Quad Tournament in Wellington where they took on North Island teams Saint Kentigern College, losing 45-21 and beating Lindisfarne College 33-8.

While StAC gained a bonus point from Saturday's game they move to 8th in the UC Rugby Championship standings.

St Andrew's College will face Roncali-Aoraki Combined in Timaru this weekend.