The recruiting of Fijian talent is a well established practice in New Zealand First XV rugby. The likes of Joe Rokocoko and Sitiveni Sivivatu have left an indelible mark on the game.
Within Fiji itself recruiting is less frequent, but that doesn’t apply to Sevu Reece at Hamilton Boys’ High School.
The New Zealand Secondary Schools’ representative bound for Waikato’s ITM side in 2016 was a highly sought after talent in Fiji, well before he shifted to New Zealand.
Reece attended Ratu Navula College from the Western division of the main island of Fiji, Viti Levu. In 2012 he was the captain of their under-16 team who won the national title in that age group.
Queen Victoria School (QVS) made overtures about attaining the services of Reece. QVS is one of the most prestigious rugby schools in Fiji. The choice to leave Ratu Navula was obvious.
“They were keen to have me and my parents thought it would be a better education so I left Ratu Navula,” Reece recalls.
“It’s a boarding school about five hours from where I lived. I really enjoyed my rugby there. I was the youngest in the team. It was a good season.”
Ironically Ratu Navula beat QVS in the 2013 final of the Deans Trophy. The Deans Trophy is the national championship of Fijian First XV rugby. QVS have won it 14 times, 2013 was the first victory for Ratu Navula.
Reece learned greater independence while away from home and soon relocated to a different country via Hamilton’s partnership with QVS – a relationship that helped produce Wallaby Henry Speight.
In his first season in Hamilton he was the leading points scorer and kicked the winning conversion in the final of the Sanix World Youth tournament in Japan, before injury struck ruling him out for the rest of the season.
“I broke my ankle in a game at Chiefs camp. It was a bad injury, Reece laments.
“I learned when you are injured you have to be patient and get the best recovery,”
In 2015 Reece hit the ground running. He helped Hamilton win their 10th Super 8 title in 11 years. Hamilton beat National Champions Rotorua Boys’ High School twice.
“Nobody at school expected us to win Super 8, so to do that was really good,” he says.
Reece played second-five, centre, wing and fullback. He prefers the wing because of the “greater space” and “less pressure.”
Reece was named in the Super 8 tournament team. He started three games for New Zealand Schools and says the highlight of the tour was beating Australia 32-8 in the test.
“We only beat the B side by one, but the main team by heaps. The B game was played at midday in 35 degree heat. The test was played at 6pm when it was cooler and we were hotter,” Reece laughs.
Reece will be one of Hamilton’s key players at the Condor Sevens in December. Hamilton won the Waikato Sevens title last Saturday and Reece warns the 2014 semi-finalists will have a strong team in 2015.
“Some of our big backs are moving into the forwards. We will have speed and mobility. Some players to watch for are Patrick McCurran, Rameka Poihipi, Samuel Toa and Patrick McCurran.”
College Sport Auckland have selected the top 4 rugby players in the region to be finalists in their annual sports awards which will be held on the 28th November. The Auckland 1A rugby competition has been declared by some to be the best schoolboys competition in the world, so the quality of players who have made the final cut are impressive. The finalists are Caleb Clarke (Mt Albert Grammar School), Dalton Papalii (Saint Kentigern College), To'o Vaega (Kelston Boys High School), Wiseguy Faiane (Auckland Grammar School).
On the 1st November 2015, College Sport Wellington will host their SPOTY awards to celebrate the success of local athletes. Unlike other regions, the finalists are kept under wraps till the night. However, a full list of nominations has been published to acknowledge all those who have been nominated in their chosen sport.
The list is impressive with NZ representatives and champions scattered throughout each category. Making the nomination list is a huge achievement. Below are the nominations for codes from AWD to Lawn Bowls.
ATHLETES WITH A DISABILITY
Girls: Brandy Collins (Bishop Viard), Amber-Maraea Crawford Lamb Platt (Hutt Valley), Santana Chapman (Kapiti), Erina Nanai (Newlands), Emma Flintoff (Onslow), Vanessa Joplin (St Oran’s), Amy Lewis (Wellington East), Libby Leikis (Wellington Girls’).
Boys: Sean Prendeville (Kapiti), Conor McCarthy (Naenae), Iopu
Stowers (Newlands), Ryan Davies (Onslow), Louis Edwards (Paraparaumu), KJ Dayal (Rongotai).
Girls: Monique Sears (Chilton), Taylor Green (Heretaunga), Phoebe McKnight (Hutt Valley), Lucy White (Kapiti), Rosi Lomani (Mana), Diana Oloapu (Naenae), Kushla Smith (Newlands), Alisha Gilchrist (Onslow), Amelie Prentice (Otaki), Zoey Gilmore (Paraparaumu), Jossie Tosime (Porirua), Phoebe van Boheemen (Queen Margaret), Emma Fulbrook (Samuel Marsden), Beth Jones (St Oran’s), Rose Lovell (Tawa), Sophie Dawson (Upper Hutt), Phoebe Edwards (Wellington East), Kelsey Forman (Wellington East), Izzy Hegan (Wellington Girls’).
Boys: Roy Maiava (Bishop Viard), Brandon Mudzekenyedzi (Heretaunga), Ben Power (HIBS), Finn Neely (Hutt Valley), Angus Baker (Kapiti), Zyrus Grace (Newlands), Seamus Kane (Onslow), Troy Harris (Otaki), Stefan Przychodzko (Paraparaumu), Pule Mamea (Porirua), Denny To’o (Rongotai), James Preston (Scots), Nicholas Smith (Silverstream), Alex Haye (St Pat’s Town), Elijah Uitime (Tawa), Keenan Fincham (Upper Hutt), Harry Delany (Wellington College).
Girls: Leigh Lauv (Chilton), Selena Te’o (Kapiti), Alyssa Ponte (Naenae), Melissa Chu-Fong (Newlands), Pingkan Polak (Onslow), Macaela Syman (Paraparaumu), Ylai Quirante (Tawa), Vanessa Cabug (Upper Hutt),
Chrissalina Sak (Wellington East), Lauren Phang (Wellington Girls’). Boys: Sam Latham (Aotea), Kris Singh (HIBS), Lik De Chun (Hutt Valley), Jeffrey Tong (Hutt Valley), Yu-Jen Chen (Kapiti), Jeremy Loo (Newlands), Caleb Syman (Paraparaumu), Sebastian Va’auli (Porirua), Henry Hollis (Rongotai), Baramey Kadeth (St Pat’s Town), James Hendrikx (Tawa), Jason Lockwood (Upper Hutt).
Girls: Sarah Talbot (Aotea), Grace Vaofusi (Hutt Valley), Amy Parker (Kapiti), April Taualapiu (Naenae), Dalen Pilitati (Newlands), Elena Orsman (Onslow), Gena-lee Lacoua (Paraparaumu), Karleigh Nansen (Porirua), Paris Lokotui (Queen Margaret), Terrelle Onesemo (St Mary’s), Rosemary Porter (St Oran’s), Kassandra-Jane Walker (Taita), Shaiah Te Paiho (Tawa), Parerima Wiki-Cummings (Tawa), Sarahcen Oliver (Upper Hutt), Tegan Graham (Wellington Girls’).
Boys: Alila Afutoto (Aotea), Gabriel Collier (Bishop Viard), Paora Dewes (Heretaunga), Sam Bray (HIBS), Jordan Hunt (Hutt Valley), Kaito Ohara (Kapiti), Tarewa Harris (Mana), Shaun Brown (Naenae),Corey Le’aupepe (Newlands), Shay Graham (Onslow), Elijah Tapine-Millar (Otaki), Ryan Evans (Paraparaumu), Partokey Lafaele (Porirua), Ravneet Dutt (Rongotai), Taane Samuel (Scots), Kenneth Tuffin (Silverstream), Puhi Samuel (St Pat’s Town), Jordan Teneti-Kainga (Taita), Rapata Wiki- Cummings (Tawa), Navajo Stirling
(Upper Hutt), Alexander Faifailoa (Wainuiomata)
Girls: Isla Day (Kapiti) Lucy Fleming (Otaki), Grace Saywell (Paraparaumu), Caitlin Georgantas (Upper Hutt), Martine Barnes (Wellington Girls’).
Boys: Jordan Lewis (HIBS), Ryan Gardner (Paraparaumu), George Jackson (Rongotai), Liam Sherlock (Scots), Eden Cruise (St Pat’s Town).
Girls: Dani Brearton (Chilton), Sara Thomas-Hall (Kapiti), Helen Piercy (Paraparaumu), Olivia Boivin (Sacred Heart), Emma Fulbrook (Samuel Marsden), Jess Kerr (Tawa), Melie Kerr (Tawa), Makaylah Mason-Jones (Tawa).
Boys: Jake Devine (Aotea), Jaedyn Eade (Heretaunga), Troy Johnson (HIBS), Rachin Ravindra (HIBS), Ben Kaveney-Gibb (Kapiti), Haydon Smith (Newlands), Daniel Pile (Onslow), Krunal Modi (Otaki), Jay Marshall (Paraparaumu), Tom Kibblewhite (Rongotai), Samuel von Hartitzsch (Silverstream), Zachary Donaldson (St Pat’s Town), Michael Fenton (Tawa).
CROSS COUNTRY/ROAD RACE
Girls: Ruby Heath (Chilton), Phoebe McKnight (Hutt Valley), Michaela Walker (Kapiti), Sophie Atkinson (Newlands), Verona Conroy (Onslow), Kayla Shipp (Paraparaumu), Phoebe van Boheemen (Queen Margaret), Imogen Skelton (Samuel Marsden), Grace Allan (St Oran’s), Sophie
Dawson (Upper Hutt), Kelsey Forman (Wellington East), Izzy Hegan (Wellington Girls’).
Boys: Henry Gautrey (HIBS), Richard Evans (Hutt Valley), Nicolas Cecioni (Kapiti), Seamus Kane (Onslow), Stefan Przychodzko (Paraparaumu), Thomas Newman (Rongotai), James Preston (Scots), Joshua Anderson (Silverstream), Rusi Jagose-Dickens (St Pat’s Town), Joel Carman (Wainuiomata).
Girls: Makenzie Lindsay-Connolly (Aotea), Jayme-Lee Hunter (Chilton), Mikaela Beynon-Hunt (Heretaunga), Bonnie Jansen (Hutt Valley), Natasha Polglase (Kapiti), Trinity McIntosh (Newlands), Francesca Grange (Onslow), Mahurangi Hakaraia (Otaki), Hannah Stroud (Paraparaumu), Kenzy Cooper (Queen Margaret), Ella Vincent-Hyde (Samuel Marsden), Aleida Powell (St Catherine’s), Hope Gilchrist (St Mary’s), Emma Main (St Oran’s), Kennedy Bryant (Upper Hutt), Natalie Olson (Wellington East), Maggie Jenkins (Wellington Girls’).
Boys: Jack Millar (HIBS), Mark Webber (Hutt Valley), Jarrod Stant (Kapiti), Jack Morrissey (Naenae), Kaleb McCarthy (Newlands), Noah Billingsley (Onslow), Matthew Braddock (Otaki), Kwame Norku (Paraparaumu), Fraser Norrington (Rongotai), Jack Belchambers (Scots), Tiahn Manuel (St Pat’s Town), Tom Scott (Tawa), Ethan Richards (Upper Hutt), Christian Martin (Wellington College), Owen Parker-Price (Wellington High),
Girls: Grace McRobie (Chilton), Sian Feeney (Hutt Valley), Sophie Armitage (Wellington Girls’). Boys: John Hlawn Ching (Bishop Viard), Jack Leitch (Paraparaumu), Fraser Norrington (Rongotai), Tiahn Manuel (St Pat’s Town), Nimish Gounder (Wainuiomata High), Luc Saker (Wellington College).
Girls: Glennie Hayward (Paraparaumu), Gabrielle Palado (Samuel Marsden).
Boys: Daniel Hillier (Aotea), Gus Mooney (Kapiti), Cooper Wattam (Paraparaumu), Sam Marsters (Rongotai), Aiden Blackler (St Pat’s Town), Brady Bernard (Tawa), Ryan Fahey (Wainuiomata High), David van Drimmelen (Wellington College).
Girls: Julia Gluyas (Samuel Marsden), Alexandra Mair (Samuel Marsden), Elizabeth Boyle (Wellington Girls’), Grace Herrick- Jones (Wellington Girls’).
Boys: Karl Brownlie (Rongotai), Ollie Whiteman (Scots), Antonino De Gregorio (St Pat’s Town).
Girls: Oakley Wilson-Rangihuna (Aotea), Nika Reichert (Chilton), Jessie Manning (Hutt Valley), Ashleigh Hill (Kapiti), Tylar Metekingi (Mana), Caitlin Joslin (Newlands), Casey Elliston (Onslow), Renee Lawton (Paraparaumu), Estelle Macadre (Queen Margaret), Kiriana Wairau-Hunter (Sacred Heart), Florence Marshall (Samuel Marsden),
Tara Hegarty (St Mary’s), Shannon English (St Oran’s), Sarah Pihema (Taita), Danielle Watson (Tawa), Olivia Dobbs (Upper Hutt), Paris Coleman (Wainuiomata High), Whena Munn (Wellington East).
Boys: Aniruddh Kirtikar (Heretaunga), Troy Johnson (HIBS), Allan Carson (Hutt Valley), Alex Rollander (Kapiti), Josh Bond (Naenae), Casey Norman (Newlands), Andrew McNaughtan (Onslow), Warwick West (Paraparaumu), Arnie Lowe (Rongotai), Sam Chandler (Scots), Josiah Wood (St Pat’s Town), Benjamin Gully (Tawa), Isaac Boon (Upper Hutt), Logen Stent (Wellington College).
Girls: Tannith Potgieter (Aotea). Boys: Finbar McGuigan (Aotea), Seamus Curtin (Aotea), Bradley Down (Onslow), Iosefa Lafaele (Porirua), Finn Fairbrother (Taita), Jack Walker (Taita), Liam McParland (Upper Hutt), Cameron Paterson- Hanson (Upper Hutt),
Girls: Tannith Potgieter (Aotea), Madison Hemson (Hutt Valley), Georgia Karsanidis (Hutt Valley), Amber Down (Onslow), Elisa Miville- Fogliani (Upper Hutt).
Boys: Seamus Curtin (Aotea), Finbar McGuigan (Aotea), Bradley Down (Onslow), David Miller (Upper Hutt).
The New Zealand Secondary Schools Rugby Union (NZSSRU) will make changes to its procedures relating to the eligibility of players in the wake of issues raised in a Top 4 play-off match in August.
In the match between New Plymouth Boys' High School 1st XV and the Rotorua Boys' High School 1st XV (RBHS) played on 28 August, two players were included on a signed team sheet for RBHS who were not eligible to play in the Top 4 competition.
An independent investigation by Peter Dale made a number of recommendations which have been adopted by NZSSRU for the 2016 season.
1.NZSRU seek the assistance of the New Zealand Secondary Schools Sports Council (NZSSSC) to make a comprehensive revision of the rules and regulations for the competition, with a focus on eligibility rules, timely disclosure of relevant documentation, complaints/disputes/non-compliance processes including sanctions available, and clarification of roles and responsibilities.
2.NZSRU develop a Complaints Procedure for schools and NZSRU to follow in the case of a protest or complaint or non-compliance by a participant in an NZSRU competition that involves independent “judicial” personnel.
3.NZSRU consider an Appeals Process for its Disputes Committee decisions.
5.NZSRU should liaise with New Zealand Rugby and Super Rugby Licensees or Provincial Unions to see if more administrative support can be made available for organising the Top 4 championship.
The NZSRU will approach the NZSSSC to encourage the council to adopt recommendations 4 & 6. They are;
4.NZSSSC review its communications processes when changing or clarifying rules.
6.NZSSSC should consider the merits of using the ENROL data system and seek the authority of Ministry of Education to have sole adjudicating use of such data in the matter of eligibility disputes in a sporting context. In this way the NZSSSC [which makes the eligibility rules] can provide an independent sign-off of the accuracy of eligibility information in respect of each match.
NZSSRU Chairman Garry Chronican reiterated that the breach of rules by RBHS was not deliberate and there would be no sanction.
“It’s important that we learn from this incident and put in place robust new rules so there’s no repeat of the issues we have just dealt with. We’re all passionate about the game and we can fully understand the depth of feelings this issue has aroused. We’re confident the new processes we’re putting in place will make the rules easier to understand and apply.”
The NZSSRU has decided that RBHS, as this year’s National 1st XV Championship winner, would now be invited to attend the 2016 Sanix World Rugby Youth Invitational Tournament in April next year.
The First XV at Tauranga Boys’ College have an international reputation and that’s recently been enhanced following a successful UK tour in the term three holidays.
It took over a year of fundraising to meet the costs of the tour and some of the methods used were unconventional explains openside flanker Caleb Walker.
“It took about 18 months to raise the money for the tour. We held a casino night where casino equipment was hired out and the funds went to the tour budget. We also raised money through horse racing and of course sausage sizzles,” he says.
Tauranga had a tough season finishing towards the bottom of Super 8, but Walker says the trip was a “once in a lifetime experience” and more than made up for some of the early season setbacks.
The tour started in England when the team arrived at Heathrow Airport. They played their first match against Dulwich College in southeast London.
Dulwich was founded in 1619 and has a fine rugby reputation. They have produced recent English prop Andrew Sheridan and 1884 All Black Henry Braddon.
Walker admits this was the toughest game on the English leg of the tour.
“It was played in the wet and Dulwich had good size. They hassled us into mistakes, but we toughed it out.”
Tauranga wasn’t tested by Carnbrook School, trouncing the Kent based outfit 54-17.
In their final English game they accounted for Ballyclare High School 19-10.
“England was awesome,” Walker says.
“We saw lots of sites like Big Ben and it was really fast and exciting.”
Ireland was the next stop on the tour. Tauranga scored a convincing 35-5 win against the Royal Belfast Academical Institution. Sir Donald Currie, shipping magnate and founder of the Currie Cup rugby union competition held in South Africa attended this school.
St Michael’s College in Dublin proved the only stumbling block of the tour. Tauranga was beaten 24-23. Walker recalls what happened.
“St. Michael’s are one of the top rugby schools in Ireland. They have a huge rivalry with Blackrock College who lots of people in Ireland told us produced Brian O’ Driscoll. The lead changed lots of times, but we conceded a try in the last minute.”
The tour concluded in Wales where the only opposition was thrashed 54-5.
The 48-strong touring party (a development team went well) watched the All Blacks beat Georgia 43-10 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
P.S. Interestingly the recent selection of Sam Cane as All Black Captain for the Rugby World Cup game against Namibia, following on from Kane Williamson’s captaincy of the Black Caps and Peter Burling, skipper of the America’s Cup crew meant Tauranga Boys’ had three old boy New Zealand captains.
Will Tucker dismissed St. Bede’s 2014 First XV season as “horrific".
For the first time since 2006 the school missed the semi-finals of the UC Championship and Tucker concedes things didn’t “click” and he still has no idea why.
This year was vastly different. St Bede’s won the UC Championship for the fifth time and for the first time since 2011.
At the beginning of the season every player had to address the team and identify something important to them. Tucker explains what he considers important.
“I talked about hard work and self-discipline. People say they work hard and are disciplined all the time when they aren’t. I challenged the team and myself to be more disciplined and to work harder,” he says.
Those sentiments paid off in a big way for Tucker. He earned selection for the Crusaders Knights and New Zealand Schools’ teams.
The New Zealand Schools’ toured Australia and won all three games. Tucker started the test match which New Zealand won 32-8 – their biggest win in the annual fixture since 1995 and their third in a row.
It was undoubtedly the highlight of the tour.
“We really clicked in that game. To have everything we worked towards come off was special,” Tucker says.
William is the younger brother of James Tucker who won the Bronze Boot award as New Zealand Schools’ best player in the 2012 test against Australia. James has kicked onto represent the New Zealand Under-20′s and has been a standout for Waikato in this season’s ITM Cup.
James is also a lock. In the ITM Cup he has made 41 lineout catches which is the third most in the competition. The willing and aggressive forward has also made 91 tackles and carried 67 times for a gain of 250 meters which ranks him in the top twenty of those categories.
On Friday Waikato won the Ranfurly Shield and accept for a short conversation on Saturday James hasn’t been seen since.
“It’s pretty inspiring to see James doing well. It drives me to try and do better than him. We have a pretty intense rivalry,” Will laughs.
Interestingly James who has struggled with injures hasn’t suffered any setbacks since growing a large beard. Is growing a beard and joining James in Hamilton a possibility in 2016?
“I am not sure. I am still figuring out what I will be doing next year. I want to do a trade and play rugby. I am not sure where that will be yet,” Will says.
In the immediate future he is focussed on cricket. He has been a member of the St. Bede’s First XI for four years.
A medium pace blower who confesses his batting is “modest”, Tucker has seen St. Bede’s improve markedly.
Earlier this year they beat Christchurch Boys’ High School for the first time in 17 years. Christchurch have won the last three national titles. Will discusses one of his finest hours at St. Bede’s.
“We won the toss and batted. We collapsed early which is typical in matches against Christchurch. Our keeper managed to get a few by batting fearlessly and that gave the remainder of the order confidence. We scrambled to about 200. We had them under the pump early and they never recovered. We bowled them out for 130-odd and won the game which was huge.”
Tucker claimed two wickets and hopes to snaffle a few more when St. Bede’s play Christ’s College in the Christchurch Gillette Cup semi-finals this Saturday. On the other side of the draw Christchurch plays St. Andrew’s College.
“It would be nice to get to the Gillette Cup, but it will be tough,” Will says.
The Tucker’s parents Brett and Juliet own a water bottling company. Several unions appear keen to bottle up another Tucker in 2016.
Josh McKay is quick on his feet and has reliable instincts.
In two seasons he scored 25 tries in the UC Championship for the Christchurch Boys’ High School First XV and earned selection for the New Zealand Secondary Schools.’
He started all four games in the 2015 campaign and produced two performances which were vital in keeping the team unbeaten.
Against the New Zealand Barbarians in Palmerston North, McKay scored the match-winning try.
New Zealand trailed the Barbarians 18-13 with two minutes to go, but McKay supported a break and dashed away for the deceive five-pointer.
Against the Australian Barbarians he scored all 23 points (2 tries, 2 conversions, 3 penalties) as New Zealand hung on for a slender victory.
New Zealand thrashed their international opponents Samoa (67-3) and Australia (32-8). Why did the so-called lesser sides present a significantly greater challenge?
“I’m not sure, but both teams were strong in their own right. The Australian Barbarians were pretty rounded. They were physical up front and had a couple of dangerous backs. The New Zealand Barbarians was the toughest game we had. They were among the leading players in the country,” McKay says.
The game, scheduled to kick off at 5.45pm local (8.45pm NZT) at Ballymore Stadium in Brisbane, is the final of a three-match international series for the team.
The New Zealand Schools team is:
1. Harrison Allan (St Andrew’s College)
2. Asafo Aumua (St Patrick’s College – Silverstream)
3. Alex Fidow (Scots College)
4. Isaia Walker-Leawere (Gisborne Boys’ High School)
5. William Tucker (St Bede’s College)
6. Dalton Papalii (St Kentigern College)
7. Slade McDowall (Otago Boys’ High School)
8. Marino Mikaele-Tu'u (Hastings Boys’ High School)
9. Tim Hogan (Otago Boys’ High School)
10. Wiseguy Faiane (Auckland Grammar School)
11. Sevuloni Reece (Hamilton Boys’ High School)
12. Thomas Umaga-Jensen (Scots College)
13. Peter Umaga-Jensen (Captain) (Scots College)*
14. To’o Junior (TJ) Vaega (Kelston Boys’ High School)
15. Joshua McKay (Christchurch Boys’ High School)
16. Flynn Thomas (Southland Boys’ High School)
17. Xavier Numia (St Patrick’s College – Wellington)
18. Takaji Young-Yen (King’s College)
19. Samuel Slade (Mt Albert Grammar School)
20. Liam Giltrap (Palmerston North Boys’ High School)
21. Kemara Hauiti-Parapara (Wellington College)
22. Caleb Clarke (Mt Albert Grammar School)
23. Joshua Buchan (Otago Boys’ High School)
* Scots College’s Peter Umaga-Jensen will captain the team.
New Zealand Schools v Australia Schools
Date: Tomorrow (Friday 2 October)
Venue: Ballymore Stadium, Brisbane
Time: 5.45pm local; 8.45pm NZT
New Zealand Schools had to hold off a fast-finishing Australian Barbarians Schools team to claim a 23-22 win in Brisbane on Monday afternoon. Out-scoring New Zealand Schools three tries to two, the Barbarians ensured the last 20 minutes of the game were a tightly-contested game. Neither side scored but New Zealand at least played the game hot on attack and denied the Barbarians side the opportunity they needed.
However, the effort was a wake-up call for New Zealand Schools ahead of Friday's international with Australia Schools, also in Brisbane.
New Zealand dominated the first half, but the home team came back strongly in the third quarter.
The Australian Barbarians had an issue at the breakdown, especially in the first half, and New Zealand Schools' goal-kicker Joshua McKay, from Christchurch Boys' High School landed three penalty goals while missing two others as New Zealand enjoyed a 16-7 lead at half-time.
With loose forwards, Slade McDowall of Otago Boys' High School, Liam Giltrap from Palmerston North Boys' and No.8 Marino Makaele-Tu'u in commanding touch they contested each and every breakdown with telling effect.
But it was McKay's individual skills that resulted in New Zealand's two tries.
The first came in the 24th minute when he ran onto the ball at speed and made the initial break before then eluding two other defenders en route to the line.
Then six minutes into the second half with the Australians reduced to 14 men after a professional foul by prop Harry Hoopert, McKay kicked to land in behind the Australian defence and then out-sprinted the covering defenders to make perfect use of the good bounce to score a spectacular try.
In the first half Australian Barbarians wing Kris Verevis made good use of a tap penalty option taken instead of a shot at goal and in partnership with first five-eighths Hamish Stewart he crossed in the corner.
The Australians lifted their game in the second half and two tries in four minutes brought them right back into the game.
First, in the 44th minute Sam Wallace scored from a maul close to the New Zealand line then Hoopert, who lifted his game after coming back onto the field, was on hand to drive over close to the goalposts for Australian Barbarians to get back to 19-23 when his Toowoomba Grammar School team-mate Stewart added the conversion.
Then after McKay blotted his copybook with an attempted left-foot clearance going awry and Australia getting a penalty in subsequent play Stewart was able to add the goal to get the margin back to one point.
Scorers: Australian Barbarians Schoolboys 22 (Kris Verevis, Sam Wallace, Harry Hoopert tries; Hamish Stewart 2 con, pen) New Zealand Schools 23 (Josh McKay 2 tries; 2 con, 3 pen); HT: 7-16
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