The National Top Four First XV championship for the New Zealand Barbarians Cup kicked off today at Rotorua Boys High School.
The first top four competition was in 1982 and won by Mt Albert Grammar School. Since the inaugural tournament, it has become the pre-eminent event in secondary school rugby.
Defending champions, Scots College beat Otago Boys High School 35-27, and fresh off their unbeaten tour to South Africa, hosts Rotorua Boys High School squared-off against imposing St Kentigerns.
The Aucklanders have only lost 7 times in 4 years following speculation that these teams should have instead met in the final, it was always going to be a good match.
Two titans of schoolboy rugby colliding today at Rotorua Boys' High School.
However, it was Rotorua Boys' High School drawing first blood, through this eccentric try by number 8, Kaydis Hona.
It was the smothering defence of Raukura that was evident. The usually potent St Kentigern backline lacking fire in the first half.
Up 7-0 at the break, Rotorua BHS head coach, Ngarimu Simpkins urging his side on to finish the task at hand.
Raukura fullback, Isaac Te Aute with an impressive display of ball work.
It was tit for tat, and despite St Kentigerns valiant efforts, Rotorua BHS held on to win 7-5.
Isaac Te Aute says, “Words can’t explain how overwhelmed. We haven’t been to the final in 9 years so it’s good to finally get here and make the final.”
Rotorua Boys High School booking their place in their first national First XV final since 2006.
So with that, we now turn to Sunday, the final Scots College, from Wellington virsus Rotorua Boys' High School, with the winner heading away as the New Zealand representative at the Sanix World Rugby Youth Tournament in Fukuoka, Japan.