Hastings prop Isi Qaranivalu offloads in the tackle of Hamilton lock Tama Hodgson in the Super 8 schools match in Hastings. Defending champions Hamilton remained unbeaten with a 26-21 win. Photo / Ian Cooper
IC06082022super8rugby Hastings prop Isi Qaranivalu offloads in the tackle of Hamilton lock Tama Hodgson in the Super 8 schools match in Hastings. Defending champions Hamilton remained unbeaten with a 26-21 win. Photo / Ian Cooper
The Hastings Boys’ High School’s 1st XV hopes of meeting Hamilton BHS again in the Super 8 schools final ended with a loss to Hamilton in Hastings on Saturday.
With regular Super 8 champions Hamilton unbeaten and guaranteed to host the final in Hamilton on Saturday, Hastings fought back well from being down by 21 points, scoring their first try just at halftime and scoring twice more to level the game in the third quarter.
Hamilton scored once more to lead 26-21 but, despite numerous attacks deep in the visitors’ territory, along with a series of penalties, Hastings was unable to claim the late victory, the game ending on the Hamilton goal line after about eight minutes of extra hour.
With Napier Boys’ High School also out of the running, having missed what would have been a crucial four-tries bonus point in their last match win over New Plymouth BHS a week earlier, the final will be between Hamilton and Rotorua, who also won on Saturday.
The Hawke’s Bay schools remain in the running for the Hurricanes region schools title and a place in the national title playoffs.
Te Aute College regained the ascendancy in its annual Maori boys’ schools matches with Manawatū campus Hato Paora College, with a last-second penalty goal kicked by second five-eighths Fabian Hape to win the 1st XV match 18-15, adding a 61- 0 win in the Under 15s match.
The 1st XV’s win enabled the school to regain the Rew Castle Trophy, named after a former long-serving Te Aute teacher and first presented in 1997.
The matches at Te Aute College attracted good crowds of whanau and past pupils of the schools, which each have a roll of fewer than 100 pupils.
Te Aute co-coach Shane Foster said that despite the small size of the school “it was just like the big schools matches in the 1980s and 1990s … lots of people and lots of support”.
The rolls situation was highlighted in the Te Aute 1st XV, where at least three former forwards, including ex CHB College prop Hape, had been converted to midfield backs, and where the subs’ bench had five of those who had played in the Under 15s match.
Te Aute play Lindisfarne College on Wednesday targeting a place in the Hawke’s Bay schools competition playoffs.
Meanwhile, the Hawke’s Bay Tui had their second win in three NPC Farah Palmer Cup Championship division matches, by beating Northland 32-17 in Whangarei on Saturday, and the Central Hawke’s College sub-union senior men’s representative side were beaten 40-17 by NPC Heartland team Horowhenua Kapiti in the sides’ now-annual match, on Saturday in Levin.