Ories ties with Scots COllege Rugby
Scots College Rugby has made great strides since 2007 when under current Poneke Premier player, Daly Meiklejohn's captaincy they qualified for the Premier Two semi final.
Under the guidance of head coach, former Oriental Rongotai Premier coach Dave Meaclem, a comprehensive 5 year plan was drawn up to take Scots rugby to a place where it had never been.
Ranked 23rd in Wellington in 2007. The 2012 season sees them pushing for a top 4 spot and automatic
Scots College 1st XV
qualification for the Mick Williment Trophy round in 2013.
2008 saw Scots once again qualify for the premier two semis. However 2009 climaxed with a finals appearance and saw the introduction of a number of year 11 students who went on to record 50 starts for the Strathmore based side in 2011.
This gave the side the maturity that it needed to push up to the next level, qualifying for the elite grade in 2010 through the new grading system. The 1st XV scored a memorable 19 - 17 victory over power house Wellington College.A result that preceded Old Boy Victor Vito's All Black debut that night.
The result is regarded as the biggest upset in College Sport history and generated news around the globe - the power of social media meant that the result was known by NZ troops in Afghanistan 10 minutes after the game had concluded.
One of those year 11 players, Jackson Garden-Bachop is the side's captain in 2012 and he has recently been named in the Hurricanes Schools U18's along with No.8 Henry Stowers, who had big boots to fill following the departure of 50 game veteran Cade Umaga who took up an U20 contract with the Melbourne Storm league side.
During the 5 year plan a number of quality coaches have been involved. All Black Stephen Bachop, Mo Mackey, Grant Kereama and outside expertise saw former Lions Head Coach Andre Bell and Hurricanes Technical Advisor Richard Watt involved in the overall long term strategy as resource coaches.
Scots College rugby fields 6 teams with the U15 side playing in the very competitive first division. In 2011 the college undertook an ambitious 3 week tour with a 1st XV and Junior Development side to Chile, Uruguay and Argentina. The highlight being a 48-0 victory over the Uruguay U18 national side in Montevideo.
Mo Mackey who has been involved in rugby at the college since 2001 and was appointed Director of Rugby in 2011 to oversee and implement new strategies in the forthcoming years.
The rise in the fortunes of Scots College rugby can be attributed to some key factors. The vision of the Principal Mr Graeme Yule, the quality of coaching and implementation of a long term plan and the enthusiasm of the players, parents and the college community at large who have all been 100% aligned.
2007-11 coach Dave Meaclem was in charge for 100 games and has stepped down to work with the U15 team in 2012 passing the coaching note book to former Manu Samoan international Earl Va'a. This will ensure the quality of coaching is maintained and a new long term strategy is developed and driven.
Scots College Rugby 'from oblivion to the Big Time'
Ories ties with Rongotai College rugby
Rongotai College or 'RC' as it affectionately known has been a 'powerhouse' of Wellington Schools rugby since it's opening in 1928. For almost, if not all, of the college's 85 years RC has been in the top 4 of Wellington Colleges. Having played in the WRFU 'u19 open grade' until it came under the College Sport umbrella some 25 years ago there are no records that show that it has been outside the 'big 4'. That is until 2012 when RC had it's worst season on recent record, winning only 2 of it's 9 Premier matches and suffering a humilliating 5 - 45 loss to defending champions Wellington College in a Sky Sport televised fixture.
Ben Liua'ana; Co-Captain 2013
The 1950's were an era for great progress when it entered the WRFU u19 competition and in 1959 beat both Wellington College and St Pats Silverstream for the first time
In the seventies the First XV at Rongotai College proved themselves to be a Wellington powerhouse. Building on the success of the sixties, Rongotai in the seventies achieved a record number of wins in a season, their first victory in the Wellington Under 19 Championship and a record interschool victory against Nelson College.
The 80's and 90's were good periods for the school under the excellent coaching of Chris Wells (now Wellington College) and the 2 x Phil Jones (Taffy and Jonesy) which saw them make a number of appearances in the New Zealand top 4 competition.
The late 1990's and early 2000's were a rewarding time for RC as it started to produce players of real quality. From that era came the likes of World Cup winning All Black Ma'a Nonu, Super Rugby player and NZ 7's representative Roy Kinikinilau, Current Super Rugby representatives, Mark Reddish, Motu Matu'u and ITM Cup players Manu Leiataua (North Harbour) and Whetu Henry (Wellington).
In 2003 Rongotai won the Wellington College Sport Premier 1 title with a last minute victory over arch rivals Wellington College after beating them earlier in the 'traditional fixture'.
The late 2000's under the direction of Phil (Jonesy) Jones and Justin Gray saw the emergence of the Savea brothers, Julian and Ardie. Julian became the schools 8th All Black in 2012 and much of the teams workload was carried by these two players.
2013 sees former old boy and coach (2002-04) Dave Meaclem take charge of the RC's rugby fortunes again. This year will see them have to qualify for the Top 8 off the back off 3 grading fixtures, In what will be an uncomfortable position for one of Wellington's leading rugby schools.
Rongotai College consistently fields 7 teams 1st XV, 2nd XV, 3rd XV, U15, U14, U65kg & U55kg from a school of 650 pupils.
Rongotai College develops it's co-curricular activities around building excellence both on and off the field.
Rongotai College Rugby hopes to return to the top 4 sooner rather than later. The vision of the Principal Mr Kevin Carter and Sports Director Mr Ross Findlay will be instrumental in delivering the quality of coaching and implementation of a long term plan, couple that with the enthusiasm of the players, parents and the college community at large who will all be 100% aligned then who knows what the 'new broom' will deliver in the coming years.