In terms of secondary school sporting achievements, it would be difficult to trump winning the Maadi Cup.
However, Christ’s College first XV captain and lock Sam Darry says that will be the case if his side can defeat bitter rivals Christchurch Boys’ High School on Saturday.
In March Darry was part of the Christ’s eight that won the Maadi Cup, the pinnacle of high school rowing. Now he will captain the first XV in their first UC Championship final appearance since 2001.
“The way it’s come together playing Boys’ High, I honestly think it will be bigger. Rugby has always been my No 1 sport and to win in a final against Boys’ High at their home ground would be awesome,” said Darry.
“At the same time, the Maadi victory was amazing because a lot of hard work goes into that for one race.” Christ’s last won the first XV competition in 1996 when it had a much different format. If they can break the 22-year drought, Darry will join an exclusive club of players who have won the competition and the Maadi Cup.
Christ’s set up the dream final against CBHS after a nail-biting 24-23 semi-final win over St Bede’s College at Upper. For Darry, it was a case of getting the monkey off their back after stumbling at the semi-final stage last year and in 2016.
Now the attention is on CBHS. When the two sides met in May, Christ’s were defeated 16-32 on their home turf. “Once we lost, we wanted to get another crack at them because we don’t think we put our best foot forward in that game. But here we are – we get another chance so hopefully, we can redeem ourselves.”
The final will be Darry’s 52nd appearance for the first XV – he is the third Christ’s player in the last 20 years to play more than 50 games. The others were Damian McKenzie and Carl Manu.
The match kicks off at noon at CBHS.