The Crusaders region Junior Knights Development Camp will run in Christchurch over the next four days, giving the top young players in the region the chance to train with high performance coaches, players and staff from the BNZ Crusaders, Canterbury and Tasman rugby unions.
Over 60 under-18s will be involved in the Development Camp, which will be based at St Andrew’s College from Sunday to Wednesday. They will take part in both on and off-field training across key development areas of physical development, nutrition, mental skills, technical skills, tactical knowledge and personal development. Players will put their learning into practice through some game-based scenarios on Tuesday night, and each player will also create an Individual Performance Plan to help set their focus over the next 12 months.
At the conclusion of the camp, a squad of 25 players will be named to face the Hurricanes Under 18 side in a curtain raiser to the BNZ Crusaders vs Hurricanes match at AMI Stadium on Saturday 16 July (curtain-raiser kick off will be 2:30pm).
There is also the opportunity for players to earn promotion to national honours, with New Zealand Schools selectors attending the camp with a view to selecting players for the NZ Schools and NZ Schools Barbarians teams who will play the Australian Schoolboys and Fijian Under 18 teams later in the year.
2016 Crusaders Junior Knights Development Camp Squad
Eden Beech – Motueka High School
Jacob Pepper-Edwards – Rangiora High School
Kyle Te Tai – Nelson College
Taine Hintz – Christ’s College
Perry Karati – Burnside High School
Sam Moli – Marlborough Boys’ College
Adam Reid – Christchurch Boys’ High School
Josh Archer – Shirley Boys’ High School
Shilo Klein – St Andrew’s College
Ewan Milnes – Christchurch Boys’ High School
Quinn Harrison-Jones – Marlborough Boys’ College
Tommy Allen – Murchison Area School
Thomas Edwards – Timaru Boys’ High School
Cullen Grace – Timaru Boys’ High School
Boris Van Bruchem – Shirley Boys’ High School
Zach Wilson – Christchurch Boys’ High School
Jackson Murray – Christchurch Boys’ High School
Jason Embling – Burnside High School
Kale Thatcher – Christ’s College
Sosefo Vaka – Nelson College
Cam Porter – Burnside High School
Harry Hall – Christchurch Boys’ High School
Devon Davis – Nelson College
Cam Russell – Burnside High School
Taine Cragg-Love – Marlborough Boys’ College
Ben Donkers – Christchurch Boys’ High School
Kaveni Balenacagi – Christ’s College
Brad Pool – Nelson College
Cruz Topai-Aveai – Shirley Boys’ High School
Jeremy Lordan – Waimea College
Louie Chapman – Christchurch Boys’ High School
Jack Grooby – Nelson College
Jack Shadbolt – Marlborough Boys’ College
James Coull – Christ’s College
Will Havili – Nelson College
Sam Gilbert – St Andrew’s College
Alex Harford – Christchurch Boys’ High School
Angus Gray – Christ’s College
Logan Bell – Shirley Boys’ High School
Dallas McLeod – Christ’s College
Isalei Pouvalu – St Andrew’s College
Nigel Satherley – Marlborough Boys’ College
Michael Stringer – Waimea College
Jakob Dabinett – Nelson College
Samson Seinafo – Shirley Boys’ High School
Reuben Cotter – St Bede’s College
Isaiah Punivai – Christ’s College
Leicester Faingaanuku – Nelson College
Mikaele Ravalawa – Burnside High School
Latham Kelly-Foleni – Christchurch Boys’ High School
Judah Gawith – High School Old Boys
Atu Manu – Christchurch Boys’ High School
Ngane Punivai – Christ’s College
Luke Glen – St Bede’s College
Rupena Parkinson – St Kentigern College (Tasman RU)
Wider Training Group
Patrick Thacker – Christ’s College
Caleb Allison – St Bede’s College
Sam Darry – Christ’s College
Matt McKellar – Christ’s College
Glen Beardsley – Shirley Boys’ High School
Sione Afemui – St Thomas of Canterbury College
Nethaniel Bolton – Shirley Boys’ High School
Ben Chippendale – Christchurch Boys’ High School
Simon Aiono – St Bede’s College
Unavailable due to injury:
Brad Wang – Christchurch Boys’ High School
Zach McKay – St Bede’s College
Llew Johnson – St Andrew’s College
Jaydn Holdaway – Marlborough Boys’ College
Unavailable for selection:
Maara Ave – Marlborough Boys College (representative cricket commitments)
Check out the Hurricanes U18 Squad here
Check out the Blues U18 Squad here
All the best to the best U18 rugby talent from the central North Island at this weeks development camp.
Chad Petersen (New Plymouth BHS)
George Dyer (St Paul’s Collegiate)
Matthew Kemp (Hamilton BHS)
Sy Waite (Rotorua BHS)
Austin Pepperal (Hamilton BHS)
Suetena Asomua (Wesley College)
Sione Afu (Tauranga BC)
Sosaia Fafale (Hamilton BHS)
Bradley Slater (New Plymouth BHS)
Sam Alsemgeest (Hamilton BHS)
Sam Cooper (St Paul’s Collegiate)
Raniera Whakataka (Rotorua BHS)
Louis Duffels - Des Forges (New Plymouth BHS)
Lachlan McWhannell (St Peter’s School)
Tupou Vaai (Wesley College)
Sam Porritt (St Paul’s Collegiate)
Josh Balme (St Paul’s Collegiate)
Sampeni Finau (Manurewa HS)
Tom Florence (New Plymouth BHS)
Jake Quinn (Rotorua BHS)
Kaylum Boshier (New Plymouth BHS)
Jacob Norris (St Peter’s School)
Viliame Tose (Rotorua BHS)
Patrick McCurran (Hamilton BHS)
Matt Leppard (Bethlehem College)
Ollie Norris (St Peter’s School)
Fuifatu Asomua (Wesley College)
Matthew Letoga (Tokoroa HS)
Du Plessis Kirifi (Alfriston College)
Xavier Roe (Hamilton BHS)
Te Ra Whata (Rotorua BHS)
Leroy Carter (Tauranga BC)
Connor Collins (St Paul’s Collegiate)
Nathaniel Smith (Taumaranui HS)
Mitchell Murphy (Thames HS)
Kaleb Trask (Rotorua BHS)
Raiki Willison (Hamilton BHS)
Rameka Poihipi (Hamilton BHS)
Fergus Burke (St Paul’s Collegiate)
Quinn Tupaea (Hamilton BHS)
Hayze Perham (Rotorua BHS)
Charlie Lawrence (Hamilton BHS)
Salesi Havea (New Plymouth BHS)
Matthew Guthrie (New Plymouth BHS)
Nakoa Marcroft (St John’s College)
Will Ngatai (Tauranga BC)
Morgan Harper (Hamilton BHS)
Kaniera Jones (Rotorua BHS)
Isi Falekaono (Wesley College)
Siave Seti (St John’s College)
Tom Yarrell (St Paul’s Collegiate)
Kieran Lee (Hamilton BHS)
Shaun Phillips (Francis Douglas Memorial College)
Jermal Weir (New Plymouth BHS)
Rewita Biddle (St Peter’s School)
Tala Potifara (Manurewa HS)
Unavailable due to injury:
Prince Lafaele (Wesley College), Cory Price (Taupo Nui A Tia)
The National First XV Top Four rugby tournament is one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the New Zealand Secondary Schools sport calendar. This year’s event is held from September 2-4 at the New Zealand Rugby Institute in Palmerston North. Mount Albert Grammar School in the Blues region and Hastings Boys’ High School in the Hurricanes regions have been frighteningly good so far, but will their form continue into Term Three? Here is a wrap of what has happened so far.
The 1A competition in Auckland has two rounds left. Mount Albert Grammar School are the only team guaranteed a place in the semi-finals and only need two more points to qualify top. MAGS have won all nine games and have conceded a mere three tries. MAGS have scored a four try bonus point in every game. Their smallest margin of victory is 31-12 over Aorere College in Round 3, while they thrashed the previously unbeaten Sacred Heart College 34-11 last Saturday.
St. Kent’s (36), Sacred Heart (34), St. Peter’s (32), King’s (31) and De La Salle (27) are the only other contenders for the semi-finals.
St. Peter’s and Sacred Heart should qualify given their remaining games are against bottom fives sides. St. Peter’s finish with Dilworth and Kelston BHS while Sacred Heart face Aorere College and Auckland Grammar School.
St. Kent’s and King’s have tough runs home with games against De La Salle College and MAGS looming. De La Salle could sneak in with two wins, but a single defeat will see them eliminated. Five doesn’t go into four so St. Kent’s and King’s may be forced to beat MAGS if they want a chance and other results don’t go their way.
Several players have impressed in 1A this season. Caleb Fa’alili (De La Salle College), Carlos Price (St. Kentigern College), Ajay Mua (Kings College), Caleb Clarke and Rob Cobb (MAGS) and Jack McHugh (Sacred Heart College) are just a few flourish and earn Blues Under-18 selection.
In North Harbour Westlake Boys’ High School and Rosmini College are comfortably on top. They have played each other twice this season. Westlake won the first game 20-15, but Rosmini halfback Connor Leather kicked five penalties to win their recent Land Rover First XV clash 15-13. Whangarei Boys’ High School have given a decent account of themselves in their debut North Harbour season. They are fourth and have beaten all of the sides below them convincingly.
Some players to impress in North Harbour include the Inisi brothers, Fine and Lotu from Westlake. Vincent Tuitupou from Rosmini College, Scott Gregory from Whangarei BHS and Christian Lio-Willie from Massey HS.
It’s unlikely the North Harbour will trouble the Auckland winner for a Top Four place.
Hamilton BHS (Waikato), Wesley College (Counties) and New Plymouth BHS (Taranaki) are already guaranteed to take part in the Chiefs qualifying series while defending National Champions Rotorua BHS have to play Tauranga Boys’ College to determine the Bay of Plenty representative. Rotorua should win that match. Their record is a respectful 13-4 and they beat Tauranga 24-18 in Super 8, Tauranga have only won three games in 2016.
Hamilton are second in Super 8, but aren’t guaranteed to defend their title. They will need to beat Gisborne BHS and possibly top of the table Hastings BHS, away from home, to reach the final. Hamilton have lost two games in Super 8 for the first time since 2011, but have a 13-3 record and possibly remain the strongest team in the area, despite losing to New Plymouth BHS who have dropped three Super 8 games.
In the Central North Island competition St. Paul’s Collegiate are approaching three years unbeaten and will likely face the winner of the St. Peter’s Cambridge v Feilding fixture in the final. With three rounds to play the top four is: Feilding HS (24), St. Paul’s Collegiate (23), St. Peter’s (18) and Wanganui (15). Feilding has played an extra game. The top two teams go straight through to the final.
In the newly conceived Waikato/Counties competition St. John’s College are a perfect 5/5 and stunned St. Paul’s Collegiate and St. Peter’s College, Auckland this year. Manurewa are second and should earn top billing for the Counties Nationals co-ed place.
Some players to impress in the Chiefs regions include: Will Ngatai (Tauranga BC), Kaleb Trask (Rotorua BHS), Tom Florence (New Plymouth BHS), Jackson Morgan (St Paul’s Collegiate), Nakoa Marcroft (St John’s College) and Patrick McCurran (Hamilton BHS).
Hastings Boys’ High School are clearly the best team in the Hurricanes region. They beat all top four sides in Wellington by more than 20 points, thrashed Rotorua BHS 39-12 and have a faultless record in Super 8, scoring four tries or more in every game. On form it would be a major shock if Hastings don’t make it to the National Top Four.
In Wellington the quarter final line-up has been resolved. Third placed Scots College will face sixth placed Wairarapa College while St. Pats Silverstream will host Rongotai College in the battle for fourth and fifth. The top two teams, Wellington College and St. Pats Town have earned that weekend off.
Wellington is an even competition. Wellington only beat Town by four points, Scots by six points and Silverstream by three points. Finishing first has been a poisoned chalice with the last six round robin winners losing the final.
There is some outstanding talent in the Hurricanes region including: Tyler Symon -Burke (Gisborne BHS), Tim Farrell (Napier BHS), Liam Bauckman (Hastings BHS), Folou Fakatava (Hastings BHS), Roy Maiava (Bishop Viard College) and Naitoa Ah Kuoi (Wellington College).
In the Otago schools competition John McGlashan College have scored 689 points in 11 games and should win the championship. They beat second-placed Waitaki BHS 52-5. The top two teams from the schools’ grade playoff against Otago BHS and Southland BHS for a top four place. Otago BHS and Southland BHS have played twice and shared victories. Otago beat Christchurch BHS 43-19 away from home which might suggest they are the slightly stronger team in the Highlanders region.
The UC Championship is set for an exciting climax. Christ’s College and Christchurch BHS should finish 1&2. However the Top Four is not clear as the table below illustrates.
Nelson have a bye to come, but the Moascar Cup holders host bottom placed sides Roncalli College and Lincoln HS in the last round so should get through. Shirley BHS will have to win at least one of their last three games against Christchurch BHS, Christ’s College and Waimea Combined to get through. Waimea’s remaining fixtures are also include matches against Rangiora High School and Timaru Boys’ High School. Even Marlborough Boys’ College could still make the semi’s, but that would require something of a miracle.
Players to standout in the UC Championship include Kale Thatcher (Christ’s College), Ben Donkers (Christ’s College), Will Havili (Nelson College), Logan Bell (Shirley Boys’ High School) and Thomas Edwards (Timaru Boys’ High School).
Gisborne Boys High School
yler Symon -Burke
Gabe Te Kani
Napier Boys High School
Hastings Boys High School
St Patrick’s College - Wellington
Naitoa Ah Kuoi
St Patrick’s College - Silverstream
Bishop Viard College
Wainuiomata High School
St Kentigern College
Te Ahiwaru Cirikidevita
Palmerston North Boys
Te Ariki Te Puni
Feilding High School
Freyburg High School
School Griffin Culver
Wanganui Collegiate School
What do Sione Asi (Otago BHS), Isi Tuivaga (Otago BHS), Ciarahn Matoe (King’s College), Paripari Parkinson (St. Kent’s), Ereatara Enari (St. Kent’s), Sean Paranihi (St. Kent’s), Brian Enari (St. Kent’s), Rupena Parkinson (St. Kent’s), Joey Te Huna (Sacred Heart College) and Otere Black (Hato Paora College) all share in common?
Aside from being among the elite talent in New Zealand First XV rugby (six of the boys have represented their country at Barbarians level or higher) all ten boys attended Tu Toa College in Palmerston North.
Asi has played 58 games for the Otago BHS First XV and has been contracted to Manawatu for two years. What would have happened if all ten players had stayed together at Tu Toa?
“Tu Toa was a very special place. It helped shape the person I am today. I will never forget my time with the brothers there. I guess we would have had a pretty good team, but the two brothers running the school fell out which meant it split. My circumstances changed which forced me to move on,” Asi says.
Asi attended St. Peter’s College in Palmerston North as a Year 9 before switching to Tua Toa in Year 10 where he debuted at First XV level. His parents moved to Oamaru which saw him enrol at Waitaki BHS and spend a season in their First XV. When his cousin Tui Katoa made the move to Otago BHS, Asi moved on with him.
Asi quickly forged a formidable reputation in Dunedin.The 130kg plus prop impressed with his mobility and scrummaging. Twice he earned selection for the New Zealand Barbarians and in 2015 he helped Otago BHS reach the National Top Four.
“The best thing about Otago Boys’ is the fact we set high standards and our coaches don’t allow us lose sight of that. It’s been awesome to be around great players like Sio Tomkinson (NZ Under-20’s),” Asi says.
Asi identities last season’s Highlanders final against Southland BHS as his favourite game.
“We won 32-20 and I scored a hat-trick. It was a great performance by the boys and the crowd and atmosphere was really big. The interschool games are all pretty special to be honest.”
Asi earned a provincial union contract with Manawatu for two years and from next season the deal will be upgraded to a full ITM cup contract. With professional rugby in sight why did Asi decide to return to school for a Year 14 season?
“I didn’t feel ready for the open road. My parents moved from Palmerston North back to Oamaru which meant I was without accommodation. My younger brother Tevita is in the First XV this year and it’s been great to play with him and hopefully act as a mentor.
“My love and passion for the hoops is huge. I think I can learn a lot by being a leader in this year’s team,” Asi explains.
Asi has played very little rugby in 2016. In a pre-season ten’s tournament he suffered a labral tear in the shoulder after making a tackle.
He played manfully in the drubbing suffered against Sacred Heart College, but then missed two months. He returned off the bench for the Land Rover First XV clash against Southland BHS which turned into a disaster for Otago BHS. Otago was beaten 32-19 and lost their 60-game unbeaten streak against Highlanders region schools.
“That was a tough afternoon. I think the boys got overawed by the occasion. We got tight and didn’t express ourselves. Full credit to Southland, they played well, “Asi says.
Otago have since accounted for Timaru BHS (41-6) Southland BHS in a colts rematch (35-12) and Christchurch BHS (43-19) since the TV setback. Asi made a big impact in the Christchurch game and believes Otago are approaching their best form. What does Otago need to do to be a contender at the National Top Four again?
“We have to win the pressure moments and be disciplined. Last year a couple of key moments went against us and we lost. We are learning to make better decisions under pressure,” Asi insists.
Asi is affectionately known as Panda. It was a name given to him by his cousin Tua who was known as gorilla. His father is a social worker and mother a nurse in Oamaru. Asi has attended four high schools and is grateful for the friends he has made in Dunedin.
“It’s been a bumpy road sometimes, but I am lucky to have built relationships with some great people. I would especially like to thank the Morrison and McDowell families as well as the hostel boys for what they have done for me,” Asi concludes.
Christ's College: 24 (Kale Thatcher, Kaveni Balenacagi tries; Reilly Cormack 4 pen, 1 con) Wellington College: 19 (Josh Morgan-Ranui, Ish Perkins, Reece Plumtree tries; Plumtree 2 con)
For the first time since 2002 Christ's College are the annual quadrangular champions after defeating Wellington College in a gripping decider in Christchurch today. Christ's playing in their first final since 2003 achieved just their second victory against Wellington since 1985. The last time Wellington lost consecutive finals was in 1991.
The lead changed hands four times as both teams produced an entertaining and tough spectacle. Christ's defense was non-existent in the opening minute. Wellington second-five Stone Warren-Robinson crashed through the midfield and created a try for fullback Josh Morgan-Ranui. Christ's had a lot of success pilfering kick offs and a steal allowed Christ's to work themselves into a position for a kickable penalty which fullback Reilly Cormack duly slotted, 5-3.
Christ's sought territory and Wellington centre Reece Plumtree was forced to make a hurried clearance from his goal line. The ball was charged down by Christ's No.8 Kale Thatcher who won the scramble for possession. There was some doubt about the legitimacy of the try with Wellington protesting its rewarding staunchly. Cormack converted and it was 10-5 to the hosts. Christ's centre and captain Ngane Punivai was a major influence on the match. He broke through the Wellington defense and looked certain to score until he was sliced down in a thrilling tackle by No.8 Junior Foaitua. Wellington was pinged four times for holding on at the ruck and lacked patience with ball in hand.
Cormack kicked two more penalties and it was 16-5 at halftime. Wellington attacked early in the second-half and Christ's were punished when a shallow clearance by Cormack was caught on the full by Morgan-Ranui. Morgan-Ranui linked with lock Naitoa Ah Kuoi who threw a 20-meter cut out pass to Plumtree who sailed into a hole and put winger Ish Perkins over the line. Plumtree converted and it was 16-12.
ellington took a 19-16 lead when first-five Toko Sopoaga dummied and dashed into a gap to create a converted try for Plumtree under the sticks. Wellington fumbled the kick-off and the assured kicking of Cormack allowed Christ's to level. Punivai is in his third year of First XV rugby and his second as Christ's captain. His leadership and class was obvious in the last ten minutes. With about five minutes left he made a 20-meter break and passed to blindside Kaveni Balenacagi on the wing for what proved to be the winning try. In the last play of the game he tackled Plumtree around the bootlaces in a textbook tackle as the latter threatened to slip away. Thatcher, lock Ben Chamberlain and loose head Taine Hintz, whose duel with Qualen Asi was immense, were huge contributors for Christ's.
Wellington's players were distraught at fulltime. To a man they plummeted to their knees. The delirious Christ's supporters who invaded the field on the echo of the referee's whistle were forced to hurdle the spent warriors. Today Christ's jumped over a major hurdle.
Meanwhile Nelson College finished third defeating Wanganui Collegiate 29-17. Nelson led 17-0 at halftime before Wanganui pulled it back to 22-12. Nelson scored again, but a tenacious Wanganui had the last say. It was a scrappy match that never soared to great heights. Nelson's tries were scored by Sosefo Vaka (2), William Havili, Leicester Faingaanuku and Zane Archer. Wanganui's tries were scored Cody Hemi, Luke Foster and James Davis.
The Blues are pleased to announce the 55 players who have been selected for the Blues Under 18 Development Squad and who will be attending the Blues Under 18 Development Squad camp at Mt Albert Grammar School and the Blues High Performance Centre next week.
The 55-player squad, which features players from 21 schools in the Blues region, has been selected from more than 240 nominees, including 120 players who attended the Blues Under 18 combines for Auckland 1B, 1C and Northland/North Harbour.
Penisoni Fineanganofo - Aorere College
Sione Havili - Auckland Grammar School
Finn Perkinson - Auckland Grammar School
Kaynan Siteine-Tua - Auckland Grammar School
Paora Allen - Te Kura Hourua o Whangare
Kafu Misiuata - De La Salle College
Caleb Fa’alili - De La Salle College
Lalomilo Lalomilo - De La Salle College
Simon-Peter Toleafoa - De La Salle College
Sione Livai - Kelston Boys High School
Sebastian Visini - Kelston Boys High School
Brady Rush - Kerikeri High School
Ciarahn Matoe - Kings College
Ajay Mua - Kings College
Junior Rotuva - Kings College
Jamie Spowart - Kings College
Godinet Tinei - Liston College
Anzelo Tuitavuki - Liston College
Paula Folau - Macleans College
Christian Lio-Willie - Massey High School
Mac Pisi - Massey High School
Nathan Va’atausili - Massey High School
Caleb Clarke - Mt Albert Grammar School
Rob Cobb - Mt Albert Grammar School
Niven Longopoa - Mt Albert Grammar School
Michael Palmer - Mt Albert Grammar School
Waimana Reidlinger – Kapa - Mt Albert Grammar School
Paul Roache - Mt Albert Grammar School
Salyn Tonu’u - Mt Albert Grammar School
John Cooper - Okaihau College
Spencer Fruean - Otahuhu College
Zak Martin - Rangitoto College
Matiu Spooner - Rangitoto College
Vincent Tuitupou - Rosmini College
Joseph Casey - Sacred Heart College
Jack McHugh - Sacred Heart College
Lemeki Namoa - Sacred Heart College
Hoskins Sotutu - Sacred Heart College
George Witans - Sacred Heart College
Tevita Mafileo - St Kentigern College
Tanielu - Tele’a - St Kentigern College
Sam Toloke - St Kentigern College
Aleks Dabek - St Peters College
AJ Lam - St Peters College
Harry Plummer - St Peters College
Cameron Suafoa - St Peters College
Rilloy Suesue - St Peters College
Roni Wright - Tamaki College
Finlay - Brewis - Westlake Boys High School
Jack Heighton - Westlake Boys High School
Fine Inisi - Westlake Boys High School
Lotu Inisi - Westlake Boys High School
Leon Thambiran - Westlake Boys High School
Scott Gregory - Whangarei Boys High School
First Published on theblues.co.nz
For the first time since 2003 Christ's College will contest the annual quadrangular final after scoring an impressive 41-11 victory over Moascar Cup holders Nelson College.
It's first time since 2004 Nelson will not feature in the final after they suffered their largest defeat to Christ's since a 39-3 hiding in 1977. This match also doubled as a UC Championship fixture.
Christ's will tackle Wellington College in the decider after Wellington battled to an 18-8 victory against a tenacious Wanganui Collegiate.
It was the closest match between those schools since the 2004 final which Wellington won 23-16.
Wellington College: 18 (La'au Finau, Junior Foaitua tries; Reece Plumtree 2 pen, 1 con) Wanganui Collegiate: 8 (Tom Matthews try; Cody Hemi 1 pen)
Wellington College is into the final for a 19th consecutive year after a far from convincing win against Wanganui Collegiate. Wellington started brightly enough when bulky second-five La'au Finau broke multiple tackles and burst away to score, but poor ball security and curious option taking would hinder Wellington for much of the game. Breaks by Finau and fullback Reece Plumtree should have led to further first-half tries, but the opportunities were squandered.
Wanganui was effective at isolating Wellington's runners and winning turnovers at the ruck. First-five Cody Rei kicked a 40-metre penalty to make it 5-3. Wanganui lost two try scoring chances in the first-half. Wing Harry Symes dropped a pin-point cross kick with just the try line ahead and fullback Tom Matthews shelled a pass from hooker Joe Hazelhurst while sprinting into the clear.
A Plumtree penalty edged Wellington ahead 8-3 at halftime.
Finau caused constant concern for the Wanganui defence and early in the second-half he broke again only for the last pass to drift astray. Plumtree then breached the Wanganui defence and put No.8 Junior Foaitua in for a try. Plumtree converted and a short while later added a penalty to make it 18-3.
Wanganui continued to hustle Wellington into mistakes and started to win a consistent supply of ball. Matthews scored a try to reduce the deficit to 18-8. Wanganui forced Wellington to defend for most of the final ten minutes, but was unable to add to their score despite a lofty penalty count in their favour.
For Wanganui Matthews and Hazelhurst (despite some wobbly throws) had strong games. Openside Angus Taylor and No.8 Finau Nimatasu were a pain for Wellington College as well. For Wellington lock Naitoa Ah Kuoi impressed, tighthead Qualen Asi was busy and Finau their biggest threat out wide.
Christ's College: 41 (Isaiah Punivai 2, Jayden Beckett, Ngane Punivai, Kale Thatcher, Reilly Cormack tries; Cormack 4 con, 1 pen) Nelson College: 11 (Karl Ratcliffe try; William Havili 2 pen)
Christ's College produced a clinical display to bank five UC Championship points and a rare place in the final. Christ's dominance was apparent from the outset. They led 22-6 at halftime and added three more tries in the second-half, before Nelson bagged a late consolation try.
Christ's forwards were quick to gain control in the set piece and their quick recycling of the ball allowed the backs to play with width and authority.
Wing Isaiah Punivai scored the first try after a break by No.8 Kale Thatcher. Thatcher was a dominant figure making several breaks, another of which led to his own try. Christ's scored a third try just before the break when second-five Dalls McLeod bulled his way through the Nelson midfield and went to ground just short of the Nelson line. A few rucks later and Punivai collected a double.
Nelson first-five William Havili kicked two long range penalties in the opening quarter to keep Nelson in touch, but when Ngane Punivai scored a 60-metre try at the start of the second-half Nelson's prospects of winning were well and truly dashed. Christ's cleared the bench and their last try was a clear illustration in the difference of class between the two sides today.
Angus Gray cross-kicked for fullback Reilly Cormack to catch and score unopposed. Nelson was well below their best, Christ's is a serious shot of winning on Wednesday. Other standouts for the hosts included lock Ben Chamberlain and hooker Jonathon Gemmell.
A national Under 18 Māori Rugby Development team has been selected, for the first time, to play a curtain raiser match before the Bay of Plenty Steamers v Auckland in round six of the Mitre 10 Cup next Sunday.
The team announced by Deputy Chairman of the New Zealand Māori Rugby Board Peter Goldsmith today, is made up of talented school age boys who have been part of New Zealand Rugby’s (NZR) E Tu Toa rugby development programme in 2016.
The side will play a Bay of Plenty Māori Te Waiariki U19 team at Rotorua International Stadium at 2pm on Sunday 25 September.
The National Māori Rugby U18 Development team will be coached by Rua Wanoa (Ngāti Porou), Reuben Parkinson (Te Whānau-ā-Apanui) and supported by Anthony Rehutai (Ngāti Porou), and Kahu Carey (Rangitāne/Ngāti Apa). The team will be managed by Mark Seymour (Ngāti Hikairo).
Goldsmith said the development of Māori rugby at the youth level was a big focus for the New Zealand Māori Rugby Board.
“We're dedicated to developing our future talent and this team provides an opportunity for young Māori who have missed out on the New Zealand Schools and New Zealand Barbarians Schools to be recognised.
“The boys in this team are outstanding rugby players and our goal is to keep them involved in the sport and striving to be better. This team gives them another opportunity to develop their skills and gain experience.”
He said the day will be a celebration of Māori rugby with national schools kapa haka champions Rau Kura performing. Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick will be presented with a taiaha (Te Roto) by NZR to formally recognise the awarding of the Māori All Blacks vs British and Irish Lions match to Rotorua, in 2017.
Date: Sunday, 25 September
Kick off: 2pm (prior to Bay of Plenty Steamers v Auckland in round six of the Mitre 10 Cup)
Venue: Rotorua International Stadium
About E Tu Toa
E Tu Toa rugby development camps are open to Māori rugby players of high school age around New Zealand and are run by NZR. The camps focus on tikanga and taha Māori. Young players are encouraged to continue to play rugby and become rangatira within their communities and for their whānau. It is also an opportunity for identifying and developing Māori rugby talent.
National Māori Rugby U18 Development team
Hamilton Boys' High School
Ngāti Pūkenga, Ngāpuhi/ Ngāti Porou
Gisborne Boys' High School
Ngā Ariki Kaipūtahi
Rotorua Boys' High School
Hastings Boys' High School
Ngāti Porou/ Tamatakutai
St Patrick’s College, Silverstream
Te Whakatōhea/ Rongowhakaata
Gisborne Boys' High School
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Gisborne Boys’ High School
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Gisborne Boys' High School
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