After a long week in the sun, Christchurch Boys’ High School can once more lay claim to being the best cricket First XI in the country.
CBHS won their tenth Secondary School Boys' First XI Cup [formerly the Gillette Cup] title today after completing a 50-run win over home school Palmerston North Boys’ High School.
CBHS also won their second national finals tournament in succession and fifth in the past six years (interrupted by Hutt International Boys’ School prevailing in 2015).
Speaking to College Sport Media, captain Ben Hartland was delighted with the win, emphasising that it was a team effort.
“It wasn’t all smooth sailing, Palmy put up a great fight today and it just shows how much depth there is here,” he said.
Top order batsman Hartland was the leading run scorer throughout the week, scoring 346 runs and scoring 101 off 116 deliveries against Tauranga Boys’ College on Thursday and 91 off 123 balls against Palmerston North BHS today. Hartland and Louie Chapman put on 153 runs for the fourth wicket in a match-winning stand.
It was the group spirit that saw them win all five of their 50-over matches in the six-team round-robin format.
“It was a really good all-round effort. Today we batted well and Louie scored 81 and we put on a good partnership together [153 for the 3rd wicket]. In the field we created chances – we didn’t always take them but you can’t fault the effort of the boys over the five days.”
“It is half the job just to qualify to get up here, and then to go all the way and win. By day five it takes it out of you.”
Hartland himself won four out of five tosses. “I hadn’t won a toss to save my life before this week! I was on about four from 10 so it is nice to even that up a bit.”
Hartland stated the game against Auckland champions Rosmini College on Tuesday as a key victory in this tournament. This was the one toss he lost, but CBHS still posted 295 off their 50 overs and then bowled Rosmini out for 266. “We didn’t know much about them, and to post a big score and then come out and defend it, they are a very good side.”
Hartland said there would be no cricket tomorrow or for the near future. “It is supposed to be 36 degrees in Canterbury tomorrow, so we will celebrate this and go home and put our feet up for a while!”
Hartland has just finished year 13. There five out of 14 players coming back next year so the future bodes well for CBHS. Hartland himself is heading to the University of Canterbury to start an engineering degree in 2018.
Meanwhile, there was a thriller in one of the other two matches today, with Rosmini College and Otago Boys’ High School tying their contest.
Rosmini scored 286 off their 50 overs, with opener Zakk Finlay scoring 105 off just 95 cherries and Tom Bareham 84 off 81. Otago were in trouble at 35 for 3 before a recovery saw them keep pace with the required rate and they finished all square on 286 for 9 after 50 overs.
Tauranga Boys’ College defeated Hutt International Boys’ School by 2 wickets, chasing down 144 to win with 10 balls to spare.
With Hartland the leading run-scorer with 346 runs, Bareham was second with 280 and Chapman 208. Otago BHS’s Ben Lockrose and CBHS’s Charlie Sidey were the joint leading wicket takers with 11 scalps apiece.
CBHS road to the 2017 title
Round One Monday
CBHS 155-3 (B Hartland 58*, S Yorston 30*) beat Otago Boys’ High School 154 (M Cormack 60; J Mariu 5-36) by 7 wickets
Round Two Tuesday
CBHS 295-8 (B Hartland 68, L Chapman 41) beat Rosmini College (C Lowry 86; C Sidey 2-26) by 29 runs
Round 3 Wednesday
CBHS 241-8 (S Yorston 56, M Hay 51; M Kennerley 4-54) beat HIBS 128 (C Sidey 3-26) by 113 runs
Round 4 Thursday
CBHS 286-9 (B Hartland 101; I Singh 4-63) beat Tauranga Boys’ College 114 (O Lewis 3-10) by 171 runs
Round 5 Friday
CBHS 261-8 (B Hartland 91, L Chapman 81) beat Palmerston North Boys’ High School 211 (J Mariu 3-45) by 50 runs
Christchurch Boys’ High School have won the National cricket title four times in the last five years and with nine titles overall they have claimed the crown more times than any other school.
Christchurch Boys’ has produced some of New Zealand’s great cricketers including, Sir Richard Hadlee, Chris Martin and Corey Anderson. Fraser Sheat from last year’s First XI has already played first class cricket for Canterbury.
Christchurch has six returning players from last year’s championship winning team. This year the squad features nine Year 13 boys. Below the team last year.
Coach Mark Lane also coached the Christchurch First XI hockey team to the Rankin Cup final in September. Lane shares some insights into developing a winning culture.
“I believe consistency is the key to success. You have to start well and maintain a high level of performance to come out on top at the end of the week. The strength of our squad this year has been depth. We have had 14 players battling for 12 spaces. There is good competition in the squad and this means we have been able to demand a high level of commitment and performance from the boys.”
Coaches: Mark Lane and Matt Parr
Players: Ben Hartland (C), Ted Whelan, Henry Workman, Louie Chapman, Simon Yorston, Mitchell Hay, Jack Harris, Archie Redfern, Olly Lewis, Josh Mariu, Callum Cameron, Oscar Redfern, Will Smith, Charlie Sidey
Christchurch won the local Premier 1st XI one day competition last week beating St Andrews College in the final. To reach Nationals, there is a knockout competition in the Canterbury region where the top four teams are decided in Term one. In term four, Christchurch beat St Bede’s College and St Andrews College to reach the Nationals.
Ben Hartland – 1st XI hockey
Louie Chapman – 1st XV rugby
Simon Yorston – 1st XI hockey
Olly Lewis – 1st XV rugby
This profile is in association with the Association of Boys' Schools New Zealand. More details here
“We might not have the best players, but we always seem to make it work,” Zakk Finlay asserts when attempting to explain the success of Rosmini College sporting teams.
Despite being smaller than many of their rivals, Rosmini are the National basketball champions and local First XV rugby and First XI cricket title holders.
In April, Rosmini stunned Saint Kentigern College in the final of RH Marryatt Cup to qualify for the First XI National cricket finals in Palmerston North for the first time.
Rosmini haven’t shown that kind of form in the early part of this season, beaten heavily by Saint Kentigern College and Westlake Boys’ High School. Can Rosmini arrest their form slump?
“Absolutely. I think St Kent’s and Westlake we’re pretty determined to show they are better than us after what happened in April, and maybe they are, but we don’t care because we’re headed to Nationals. We hit some form on Saturday against King’s. We made 270-odd and have King’s 50 for 5 after day one of a two-dayer,” Finlay responds.
Finlay and Ryan Harrison have been absent from Rosmini’s roster. Both boys trialled for a place with the Auckland Under-19 team. The National Under-19 tournament is at the same time as the secondary schools finals. Harrison has been picked for Auckland while Finlay is a non-travelling reserve. Harrison’s non-attendance in the Manawatu will hurt Rosmini.
“Ryan’s our best bowler so not having him will be big, but we have a strong pace attack and a good off spinner. Bowling is our strength and I’m confident the boys can fire without Ryan,” Finlay says.
The Rosmini squad for the Auckland final was: Ryan Harrison, Zakk Finlay, Tom Barham, Niko Weerakoon, Seamus O’Reilly, Giles La Ville, Finn Delaney, Luke Buxton, George Brajkovich, Daniel Winter, Cameron Lowry, Jacob Edmonds and Daniel Windelburn.
The team is fully healthy. La Ville and Weerakoon are a particularly fine pair of bowlers, while Edmonds is often a source of big runs with the bat.
Finlay has recovered from a broken hand in the winter and believes Rosmini’s slow start to the summer is not entirely dissimilar to the fortunes of the First XV of which he was a member.
“At the start of the season we couldn’t win a scrum or a lineout, but if you looked at us at the end of the season, you wouldn’t have believed were the same team. The brotherhood is strong at Rosmini and were not going to Palmerston North to make up the numbers,” he warns.
Finlay has already played for the Takapuna Premier men’s team. In 2018, Finlay will shift to Wellington and intends to study commerce at Victoria University.
The National First XI cricket finals are in Palmerston North from December 4-8.
This article published in partnership with the Association of Boys' Schools New Zealand at absnz.org.nz/
Otago Boys’ High School was third at the National First XI cricket tournament last year and return to the 2017 finals in Palmerston North in the first week of December with a reasonably young team, compared to previous years. Six of the players return in 2018, but most have played some age-group representative cricket in recent years.
Otago BHS won the Gillette Cup in 1992 and 1993 and last year’s ranking was their highest finish in several years.
Otago BHS have had a top season thus far and should be very competitive in Palmerston North in December.
Coach: Tim Ford
Manager: Ken Rust
Players: Hunter Kindley (Captain), Max Chu (Vice-captain), Marc Cormack, Jacob Day, Thomas Harding, Charlie Holt, Tim Horton, Josh Kellett, Ben Lockrose, Jack Pryde, Michael Ruske, Tommy Wilson.
NZ Under-19 World Cup Training Squad: Hunter Kindley, Max Chu, Ben Lockrose.
Otago Under-19: Jack Pryde.
Otago Under-17: Thomas Harding, Charlie Holt, Josh Kellett, Tommy Wilson, Michael Ruske.
Manager Ken Rust has attended numerous tournaments and says as a rule Year 13 players dominate the Tournament. For Otago to win, the most experienced players have to perform consistently at their best over the five games.
Four of Otago’s Year 13s play for clubs in the Senior Men’s’ Dunedin Cricket Competition, the rest of the team play in the Second Grade Men’s’ Division.
Additionally Otago play three traditional two-day interschools all of which were won outright in 2017. Both games in the Zone Finals were won by more than 130 runs. The team had a convincing win against a strong Willows team last month.
Max Chu and Hunter Kindley were among the top four run scorers at last year’s tournament, with Ben Lockrose one of the top wicket-takers and Kindley the top all-rounder.
Max Chu and Jack Pryde hold a record from the 2015 tournament for the most runs scored for the 6th wicket.
That experience will be invaluable, especially in new conditions. Otago will be a fit and well-drilled unit in the field with most of the boys top all-round sportsman.
Pryde, Holt and Wilson are in the 1st XI hockey team. Josh Kellett, is the school’s top racquet player. Tim Horton will represent the school in the National Secondary Schools athletics championships prior to the tournament. Marc Cormack was captain of the 2nd XV rugby team. Kindley and Michael Ruske are in the 1st XI Basketball team and Max Chu is in the 1st XI Football team.
This profile is in partnership with the Association of Boys’ Schools of New Zealand
The National cricket finals will be held in Palmerston North in December. Six teams compete in 50-aside matches over five days to crown New Zealand’s top cricket school. Tauranga Boys’ College is one of the teams present at the 2017 edition of the tourney.
Coach: Charles Williams (Bay of Plenty Senior Coach)
Manager: Neil Howard (Former Bay of Plenty rep)
Squad: Mikaere Leef, Craig Baldry, Brad Howard, Andrew Mascall, Tas Carsons, Marcel Collett, Dominic Crombie, Rhys Mischewski, Ben Pomare, Finn Sears, Imanpreet Singh,Rhys Donaghy
Note: Tauranga had four Year 13’s and eight Year 12’s in the squad that won the qualifying tournament.
Leading Run Scorer: Marcel Collet
Leading Wicket Taker: Rhys Mischewski
Dual Codes: Andrew Mascall and Mikaere Leef are in the First XV rugby team.
Tauranga play in the Baywide Men’s’ Premier competition and have done so since the 1960’s. Tauranga tends to finish mid-table. The 2009 team notably won the competition.
This season Trent Boult has appeared for his club side in this competition. Other notable Bay of Plenty players involved are Kane Williamson, Daniel Flynn, Corey Anderson and Dean Brownlie, all of whom are Black Caps. Additionally Tauranga play a 50-over Super 8 competition in January and long-standing traditional fixtures.
Tauranga’s path to Nationals involves a week long qualifying tournament held in Hamilton. To qualify, Tauranga defeated Whangarei Boys’ High School, Hillcrest High School, St Paul’s Collegiate and Hamilton Boys’ High School. The win over St Paul’s was very notable on their home ground.
Kane Williamson (Black Caps Captain), Daniel Flynn, Brett Hampton, Bharat Poplima and Joe Carter are all playing first class cricket at present. Bay of Plenty hold the Hawke Cup and in the present reign 15 old boys have featured in the side. TBC won the Northern Districts qualifying competition in 2014 and 2015. All of the boys in this team therefore have played a finals tournament in Palmerston North before. Tauranga won the National cricket title in 2005,
The National Secondary Schools First XI cricket finals will be held in Palmerston North in December. Six teams compete in 50-aside matches over five days to crown New Zealand’s top cricket school. Palmerston North Boys’ High School is one of the teams present at the 2017 edition of the tourney.
Coach: Scott Davidson
Manager: Jack Siebert
Full Squad: Ben O’Connor – Captain; Thomas Walshe; Tom Tremain; Caleb Hansen; Bryn Wilson; Rishabh De; Ruben Love; James Stratton; Sam Russell; Cameron Harridge; Finn Martin; Jack Harris.
Note: Six players return from last year’s team. There are seven year 13’s and 5 year 12’s.
Leading Run Scorer: Caleb Hansen
Leading Wicket Taker: Ben O’Connor
Palmerston North play in the Manawatu Cricket Association Mens’ Premier 1 Division. They finished top of the table in the 50 over competition in 2016 and narrowly lost in the final. They finished the two-day competition mid-table this year and struggled in the T20. Additionally Palmerston North play a series of annual traditional exchanges and rate their home victory over Wellington’s, St Patrick’s College, Silverstream as a highlight.
Palmerston North’s pathway to Nationals involved knockout games against Horowhenua College and Rathkeale College which led to a Central Districts (CD) Quad where they beat Wanganui Collegiate and Nelson College to qualify for Nationals.
James Stratton, Ruben Love and Bryn Wilson are in the First XV rugby team. Tom Tremain, Thomas Walshe, Caleb Hansen and Ben O’Connor are in the First XI hockey squad.
Ross Taylor, George Worker and Adam Milne are all present Black Caps from the school. Dane Cleaver, Mitch Renwick, Bevan Small and Navin Patel are all playing for Central Districts. In the recent Chapple Cup, nine Palmerston North boys were in the Manawatu Team.
The wrath of Rachin Ravindra struck Wellington College again in the First XI Premier Youth cricket final on Saturday.
For the second consecutive year the gun batsman blasted a century (118) as Hutt International Boys’ School (HIBS) beat Wellington College by 158 runs to win through to National finals for the fourth time.
In the corresponding fixture last year, Ravindra smacked 112 off 111 balls as HIBS foiled the same opposition.
“It’s nice to succeed again, but it was a team effort. Wellington had some good bowlers and we had to work hard to get a good score and then bowl them out,” Ravindra modestly observers.
The final was originally scheduled to be staged in April, but inclement weather forced that meeting to be postponed. The Ngatitoa Domain was a makeshift venue with an artificial pitch due to a shortage of grounds
“The ball bounces like a tennis ball so it’s a little different than normal, but at the end of the day it’s still cricket.” Ravindra replied when quizzed on the challenge of batting on an unusual surface.
HIBS may face an even greater challenge than pitches at Nationals. It’s highly likely Ravindra will be absent from the 2015 champions roster because of a clash with the National Under-19 tournament.
The Under-19 tourney is due to be held at Lincoln University near Christchurch between December 4-12 and is the last warm-up before the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand in January. The school Nationals are being held at Fitzherbert Park, Palmerston North from December 4-8. Ravindra is a long-time Wellington representative. Which event will he play?
“It’s up to New Zealand cricket if I play for HIBS or for Wellington. I would like to play for both, but that might not be possible,” Ravindra responded.
HIBS could also lose Brett McBride and Jesse Tashkoff to the Wellington Under-19’s. Who will replace them?
“I’m not sure, but we have a strong squad and faith in everyone to perform,” Ravindra answered.
Which of the six schools would take the biggest hit?
“I expect all the teams to be strong anyway. The Nationals is always a competitive tournament,” Ravindra observes.
Ravindra’s shoulder is stronger than what it has been in the last 12 months. Twice Ravindra dislocated his shoulder forcing him to have surgery in the off-season. He was consigned to a sling for six weeks.
Ravindra has played 93 matches for HIBS and made 2730 runs at an average of 35.90. With the ball he has taken 173 wickets at 11.20.
Ravindra has played 10 matches previously for the New Zealand Under-19’s. He has taken 15 wickets at 23.80 and achieved a highest score of 77 against Pakistan in January 2016.
The Under-19 World Cup is scheduled to be held in New Zealand from 13 January to 3 February 2018. New Zealand tackles defending champions West Indies in the opening match at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui. Kenya and South Africa are the other countries grouped in the baby blacks pool.
“I have played for New Zealand before, and I hope to play again, but I am taking nothing for granted,” Ravindra concludes.
“We had shot, but I didn’t think we could win it,” admits Jack Parker, captain of the New Plymouth Boys’ High School Junior cricket team that won the National Junior title in Palmerston North last week.
It’s the first National cricket title won by the school and New Plymouth was unique because of their four-pronged spin attack of Jason McGrath, Liam Carr, Ethan Dower and Sebastian Lauderdale-Smith.
“We were really well prepared. We started training last year and had whiteboard sessions designed to help us understand how to get different batsmen out.” Parker reveals.
In slow Manawatu conditions, New Plymouth’s thorough planning reaped rich rewards. On the fifth and final day of the tourney, New Plymouth faced St Bede’s College with Hamilton Boys’ High School meeting Auckland Grammar School. If both teams won then the tournament winner was be judged on best net run rate as the New Plymouth v Hamilton match was washed out.
St. Bede’s were bowled out for 45 with Jason McGrath taking 6-22, and Jack Parker chiming in with 2-10. New Plymouth then made a mockery of the target, hitting the winning runs in just 6.1 overs as Sebastian Lauderdale-Smith raced through to 24 not out.
New Plymouth batted strongly in reaching 180 in 40 overs to beat Wellington College by 26 runs on Day One, but their bowling was the major source of stress for opponents.
On Day Two, King’s High School was skittled out for 70 as Ethan Dower took 5-14 and Jason McGrath 3-7 from eight overs.
A valuable lesson was learnt in the chase.
“I think we believed we had it won and got complacent. We lost too many wickets early and had to battle to win by two wickets.” Parker concedes.
Batting first on the same pitch against Auckland Grammar School, New Plymouth learned their lesson, making 174-9 off their 40 overs. Parker led from the front top scoring with 49.
New Plymouth pressured Grammar from the outset of their chase and Grammar faltered losing four wickets inside the first 15 overs as they fell 56 runs short. Dower was again the pick of the bowlers, taking 3-21.
“I am the type of captain who seeks guidance from others. This was a team effort. I think the future of cricket at this school is in good shape because a few of us are in the First XI already.” Parker enthuses.
“I would like to thank our coach Ben Sapwell-West. He is real positive. We run singles hard, back each other up in the field and try and enjoy each other’s company.” Parker concludes.
From sixth in Super 8 to top six in New Zealand. In less than three months the reversal of form by the Tauranga Boys’ College First XI cricket team has been nothing short of remarkable. Captain Mikaere Leef is at a loss to explain his teams’ revival.
“It’s pretty interesting. I have always thought we had a team that was capable of winning Super 8, but we didn’t play well. I guess there’s been a huge attitude change. We had to harden up.” Leef theorises.
It’s the first time since 2011 Tauranga have qualified for Nationals and to accomplish that feat they had to win four matches on the trot against stiff opposition in the Northern Districts qualifiers in Hamilton.
In the first game Whangarei Boys’ High School won the toss and elected to bat on an artificial wicket but were shot out for 46. Rhys Mischewski took a wicket with the first ball of the tournament and stole the show with 6/12. He was well backed up by Finn Sears who took 2/7 off six overs and Ben Pomare who took four catches. Leef also took a great catch at gully and Scott Ellerington’s pinpoint boundary throw accounted for the last batsman. Tauranga chased down the target with 38 overs to spare.
In the second game Hillcrest High School asked Tauranga to bat first and Tauranga responded with 232/6 in a match reduced to 45 overs. Leef top-scored with 67 and then took three wickets as Tauranga achieved a crushing 156-run victory. Mischewski was to the fore again with 3/5 off six overs.
“Our fielding was a big part of our success. We really lifted our intensity and accuracy there, took our catches and put a lot of pressure on the batsmen.” Leef believes.
St. Paul’s Collegiate upset Hamilton Boys’ High School and had beaten Tauranga in their previous outing meaning they presented a tough assignment at home. Tauranga produced their best performance of the season to achieve a surprise win.
Leef finally won a toss and decided to bat first. Tauranga posted a reasonable 217 with Marcel Collett again top scoring with 63, adding 50 for the first wicket with Leaf (20) and 84 with Dominic Crombie (46). St Paul’s was bundled out for 161. Tas Carsons (whose brother Paddy was a rep cricketer at Hamilton BHS) took 3/29 off ten overs and removed a key batsman with an excellent boundary catch. He was well supported by Iman Singh who dried up the runs with 2/21 off 10 overs. St Paul’s at one stage were 95/4 but collapsed to 126/9 and a last wicket partnership of 35 was of little consequence.
The weather was consequential in the final fixture against Hamilton Boys’ High School. Typically foggy conditions made batting tough, but at least initially Tauranga started well adding 72 for the first wicket with Finn Sears belting 51. However Tauranga staggered and limped 189 off 50 overs.
Hamilton needed to make the target in 42 overs due to run rate considerations to eliminate Tauranga and qualify for a sixth consecutive Nationals. Hamilton started slowly, but responsibly to reach 47-1 after 17 overs at the drinks break. What happened next was dramatic.
“A Marcel Collett direct hit run out the Hamilton opener short of his ground. It was a great bit of fielding and triggered a collapse.” Leef recalls.
After 25 overs Hamilton was suddenly 68/6. Craig Baldry finished his spell with 2/30 from 10 overs and run outs by Leef and Collett had Hamilton on the ropes, a position from which they never recovered. Another run out by Mascall and 2/6 by Brad Howard wrapped up the match for Tauranga.
Leef regards himself as a batsman who “bowls a little pace or off spin. His highest score is 116 against Aquinas College and he has taken “a couple of four wicket bags.” He was a member of the Bay Coastland Under-19 team that won the Northern Districts regional competition in 2015/16.
In the winter he plays rugby and basketball. In September the First XI will make an historic tour to South Africa for three weeks, ideal preparation for Nationals in September when Tauranga will be looking to win their second National title. The last was in 2005 when New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was part of the squad. He was player of the tournament the next year.
In 2013 there were only four cricket teams at Rosmini College. Today there are 14, which bucks the trend of falling participation numbers nationwide. Zakk Finlay attempts to explain why.
“We had a change of headmaster a couple of years ago and there was more support for the sport. There are a lot of great volunteers who love the game helping out and that’s created a whole lot of interest,” he says.
Almost the entire Rosmini First XI has been together for four years and recently in the Auckland Super 8 final they sent the city’s cricketing fraternity into a tailspin by defeating St. Kentigern College to earn a place at the National Finals in Christchurch in December.
“It was great to knock them off their pedestal. They had a lot of pressure on them to win because they are a big school and we’re just a team of battlers. They pumped us the first time we played them. We were bowled out for 96.” Finlay acclaims.
Typically Finlay is a pace bowler but a stress fracture has prevented him from bowling for eight months. He has been forced to improve his batting. His highest score for the First XI is 89, but a score half that tally proved vitally important for Rosmini in the Auckland decider.
Rosmini did well to dismiss St. Kentigern for 159 at the Eden Park Outer Oval. Auckland Under-17 rep Ryan Harrison claimed 3/11 off 6.2 overs and opening bowlers Giles La Ville and Niko Weerakoon both took two wickets. Weerakoon had taken four wickets in the semi-final win against Westlake Boys’ High School.
Rosmini’s chase for 160 faulted from the outset and at one stage they were 39/4.
“I didn’t expect all the recognised batsman to get out early so it was tough initially. I was dropped in the gully on 15, but I knew as one of the better batters I had to be responsible, but try and score at the same time.” Finlay recalls.
Rosmini was 30 short of the target when Finlay reached 44. What happened next?
“I thought we could win by the 38th over when we were about 50 runs short. That was a manageable run rate. After 116 balls I got a bit carried away and tried to hit a six, usually I like to get on with it, but I held out at the wrong time. It was pretty stupid,” Finlay rues.
Fortunately the tail kept their composure and La Ville hit the winning runs as Rosmini won the R H Marryatt Cup for the first time, an achievement Director of cricket Amita Weerakoon, who is leaving the role after four years, described as “the greatest day of Rosmini cricketing history”.
Rosmini’s first XI have been coached by Hamish Buxton and Paul Brajkovich during their breakout season and join Otago BHS, Tauranga BC and Palmerston North BHS as having so far qualified for the six-team National finals.
In the winter Finlay is a fullback in the First XV. Rosmini are seven times North Harbour champions and Finlay believes under the coaching of old boys George Stowers and Wayne Rooney, Rosmini will have a decent tilt at the title again.
“As usual we’re not the biggest team, but we’re really fit. Our season starts in three weeks against Birkenhead College. I am confident we will do well.”
Finlay says his favourite moment in rugby was when Rosmini beat Westlake Boys’ on Land Rover First XV rugby last year. Taine Waitte, now with the North Shore club, kicked all five penalties in an upset triumph against the eventual North Harbour champions.
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