Tauranga Boys’ College won the Super 8 First XI football title for the second time in three years last week in Napier.
Furthermore, they created history with the most comprehensive triumph any school has achieved in the tournament, stretching back to 1998.
Tauranga won all five matches and outscored opponents 33-2. In the final they defeated New Plymouth Boys’ High School (BHS) 3-0, despite captain Jordan Toy being restricted to limited minutes.
“I sprained my MCL two weeks before the tournament and it was doubtful I’d make it. Being my last year I was determined to be a part of the squad. It’s a credit to our coaches Mr Howard and Mr Bryant they allowed me to attend and support the boys,” Toy said.
Toy was more than a supporter. The New Zealand Secondary Schools representative, captain of the First XI the past two seasons, was often employed late in matches where his leadership helped seal victories.
“Every time I came on we were up, but I had to help claim the boys down. It is a long tournament and I wanted us to keep the ball instead of playing like headless chickens and wasting energy.
“I’m definitely pretty vocal because I think we’ve got such a good team.”
A disciplined Hastings BHS would hold Tauranga until halftime of the first group game. Alex Searle broke the deadlock ten minutes into the second half and Jonty Bidois added a second, a 2-0 win secured.
In the afternoon Gisborne BHS was expected to be a stiff challenge following a narrow defeat to Hamilton BHS. The final scoreline of 18-1 was truly remarkable. Liam Knight and Searle scored four apiece, with Vincent Phirun, Bidois and Ry McLeod all scoring hat tricks. Jack Pateman added one as well.
“Gisborne finished with eight players, but they were always positive, trying and smiling. Our center back had a bit of a mare which allowed them to score but that is a credit to Gisborne.
“I was pleased we didn’t take the foot of the throat,” Toy said.
Tauranga would have to be at their clinical best to account for Hamilton BHS. Tauranga confirmed their place at Nationals with victories over St John’s College (Hamilton), St Paul’s Collegiate, St Peter’s Cambridge and Rotorua Boys’ High School, but lost to Hamilton in a Waikato/Bay of Plenty qualifying series.
After 10 seconds Jonty Bidois had carved out the first chance and from then on it was one way traffic. Ball speed, accurate passing and neat finishing saw Bidois wrap up his hat trick before the half time break. Nathan Rostron and Liam Knight added further goals in the second half as Tauranga won 5-0.
Palmerston North BHS is the most successful side in Super 8 history, but after 15 minutes faced a 3-0 deficit with Phirun, Knight and Searle alluding the Palmy keeper.
“We talked about starting each game strong and putting the pressure on the opposition. If we started strongly, we could rotate players and force errors.”
New Plymouth BHS have been Super 8 finalists the past three seasons and Toy was weary.
“I knew it would be a tough final, they’ve got a lot of experience, but we approached it as a big game and came out strong. We didn’t want to give them a sniff.”
“Alex Searle opened the game with an early goal and did a bit of a black flip which got the boys fired up. After that I felt like we dommanited, though they did play some good football and create chances.”
Tauranga led 1-0 at halftime and goals to Searle and Bidois, who scored in every game in the tournament, secured an impressive 3-0 victory.
Toy is a pacey right winger familiar with silverware. In 2019 he helped Tauranga win the Super 8 for the first time since 2007 and he plays his club football for Tauranga City AFC helping them with the Under-17 Nationals in 2020 and the Under-19 equivalent in 2019.
The deputy head prefect is on the radar of the Phoenix.
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