College Sport Media is dedicated to telling the story of successful young sportspeople in New Zealand
Hutt International Boys' School (HIBS) are the Trevor Rigby Cup First XI football champions for the first time. On Wednesday night at Memorial Park in Petone they upset Wellington College 3-1 in the final.
Wellington are a perennial powerhouse and appeared to be on course for yet another title. In their previous game against HIBS they scored a resounding 5-1 victory. They had outscored HIBS 45 goals to 28 across the course of the competition and boasted the two leading scorers in the region, Christian Martin and Luc Saker.
HIBS captain is Callum Martin. He admits there was some serious soul searching done after the previous thumping.
"We didn't turn up. For the final we decided we had to be more physical, get the ball in the air and use our set pieces to try and unsettle Wellington," he says.
"We played quite high defensively to try and shutdown the space and time their strikers had on the ball. "
The plan worked a treat. HIBS struck early and Wellington College never recovered. Martin describes the goal scoring action.
"Jack Millar opened the scoring in the third minute. He tucked a low cross into the right hand corner of the net. In the 35th minute Simon Belcher scored after a long throw and then Logan Archer scored in the second-half after a free kick."
Wellington would be kicking themselves. Martin claims HIBS had more passion and Wellington was surprised by their intensity.
There is plenty of intensity in the HIBS coaching department. The side is guided by Brendan McIntyre who took St. Pats Silverstream to the National final in 2011.
"Brendan is great. He is loud and passionate, but he knows how to get the best out of the boys," Martin says.
One player who has flourished is Ben Sears. He scored a team-high nine goals in 11 games, including the winner in the first game against Wellington College. Martin singles out the First XI cricketer for praise.
"Ben runs uncoordinated , but it kind of works for him. He is really strong on the ball and has a bullet shot."
HIBS will need to bring plenty of ammunition to the Nationals in two weeks. They are grouped with defending champions Sacred Heart College, Super 8 champions New Plymouth Boys' High School and Nelson College. Martin says a top eight finish is the goal. Last year HIBS was 19th.