The Rankin Cup, the Premier Secondary Schools' boys hockey event, will be staged at Lloyd Elsmore Park, Pakuranga, Auckland. The tournament has been extended from 24 teams to 32 teams.
Who are the contenders to win? These four schools' will be hard to beat.
Hamilton Boys' High School - In 2013 Hamilton stormed to their first Rankin Cup success winning 31 games on the trot and scoring a staggering 274 goals. They defended their title in 2014 beating Wairarapa College on penalty strokes. Hamilton competed the season with 22 wins, two draws and a one goal defeat to Palmerston North Boys' High School. In 2015 Hamilton have successfully defended the Midlands Intercity title and have performed strongly in their school exchanges. Players to watch include: Captain Ethan Martin, a New Zealand Under-18 rep and the Super 8 top goal scorer. Defender Te Hiraka Chase another New Zealand Under-18 rep and Zane Anderson who brings a lot of attacking flair.
Westlake Boys' High School - Westlake are the Auckland Super City champions after beating King's College 3-2 in the final on Wednesday night. They have played 24 games this season and enjoyed 22 wins, one defeat and a draw. They are the current holders of the Bartholomew Cup after beating St Pauls Collegiate two weekends ago. Westlake have two players in the Future Blacksticks squad, Mitchell Ottow (captain) and Benji Edwards (VC). They are supported by JP Rossouw and Keegan Russell. All four boys represented North Harbour at the National Under-21 tournament. Westlake won the Rankin Cup in 2008 and since 2000 have produced the following Blacksticks: Steve Edwards, Joseph Bartholomew Nick Wilson, James Coughlan, Cory Bennett.
Palmerston North Boys' High School - In the last decade Palmerston North has had five top three finishes at the Rankin Cup and enter the 2015 tournament with a strong team, the last for veteran coach Bruce Kensington. Kensington played in the Rankin Cup final as a schoolboy and has guided Palmerston North to eight Super 8 titles, including the 2015 crown where they beat Hamilton Boys' High School 2-1 in the final. Players to watch in white include goalie Angus Griffin, New Zealand age-group rep Hayden Phillips and Captain Greg Bates.
King's College - The Runners up in the Auckland competition have won the Rankin Cup in six times; they defeated Westlake in two of those finals. King's has a strong squad stacked with Auckland reps and Zander Fraser and Daniel Easton who are New Zealand Under-18 representatives. The side is well led by Captain Max Rasmussen and despite losing the Auckland final on Wednesday to Westlake, they are the only team to have beaten Westlake this year. Since 2000 King's have produced the following Black Sticks: Michael Gunn, Ken Robinson, Cain Fleming, Simon Child, Marcus Child, Devon Manchester and Jared Panchia.
Others To Watch: Wairarapa College who made the Rankin final last year. Wellington champions, Hutt International Boys' School. Wellington College who have finished fourth at Rankin in the last two years. India Shield winners Scots College and St. Andrew's College from Christchurch appear to be the strongest of the South Island schools.
Historic Tally Of Wins
Auckland Grammar School: 23
Christchurch Boys’ High School:17
King’s College: 6
Wellington College: 5
Shirley Boys’ High School: 5
Taumarunui District High School: 4
Palmerston North Boys’ High School: 3
Wanganui Collegiate School: 2
Wanganui Technical College: 2
Nelson College: 2
Gisborne Boys’ High School: 2
Stratford High School: 2
Longbay College: 2
St. Andrew’s College: 2
Gisborne Boys’ High School: 2
Cashmere High School: 1
Hamilton Boys’ High School: 2
Wairarapa College: 1
Christchurch West High School: 1
Burnside High School: 1
Westlake Boys’ High School: 1
Note: The Bartholomew Cup is the equivalent of schoolboy hockey's Ranfurly Shield
For More Details Check: http://www.hockeynz.co.nz/Events/Full-Events-Listing/2015-secondary-school-tournaments
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