Then there were 50.
A group of the country’s leading players have been invited to attend the New Zealand Under 20 development camp in Palmerston North in December.
Players selected to attend the camp from 3-8 December are listed below.
Players unavailable for selection due to Super Rugby and Sevens commitments are: Etene Nanai-Seturo (Counties Manukau), Kaleb Trask (Bay of Plenty), Leicester Faingaanuku (Tasman), Billy Proctor (Wellington), Caleb Clarke (Auckland), Scott Gregory (Northland) and Jeriah Mua (Bay of Plenty)
The 50 players have been selected from the National Provincial Championship, the Jock Hobbs Memorial National Under 19 tournament and New Zealand Secondary Schools team.
After December’s camp players will return to their provincial unions with many set to be involved with Super Rugby development or age grade programmes.
Players will reassemble in March before a squad of up to 32 players will be selected to play in the Oceania Championship in Australia in April.
The final squad for the World Rugby U20 Championship, to be played in Argentina, will be named in May.
The New Zealand Secondary Schools extended their unbeaten run to 16 games in a row, but St Peter’s College, Auckland and the New Zealand Maori Under-18 teams produced huge upsets in their respective campaigns in another big year for rugby.
Our contenders are below for our third annual Champion of Champions series – vote in the poll - scroll down below.
Iona Apineru (St Patrick’s College, Silverstream) - The head prefect of St Pats Silverstream showed his leadership on the rugby field throughout 2018 helping Silverstream successfully defend their Premiership title and extend their unbeaten record in the local competition to 22 successive games. Apineru, a robust flanker, scored a vital try in the final and then earned selection for the New Zealand Schools’ where he was the vice-captain in the 26-12 win over Australia in Brisbane.
Louie Chapman (Christchurch Boys’ High School) - The diminutive halfback led Christchurch Boys’ High School to the National Top Four for the first time since 2014, passing 50 games for the First XV and impressing with his superior leadership. Christchurch defended the UC Championship and won the Moascar Cup for the first time since 2007. Chapman was selected for the New Zealand Secondary Schools’ team. Chapman was also a member of the Christchurch BHS First XI cricket team that won the national title.
Niko Jones (St Peter’s College) - The son of All Black great Sir Michael Jones showed dad’s talent runs in the family with a stellar 2018. Jones was captain of the First XV which won five knockout games in a row by a combined margin of eight points to capture the Auckland 1A and National Top Four titles. In the National final, St Peter’s was down by 0-21, but Niko set up two tries and scored one himself in a man of the match display. Jones was selected for the New Zealand Secondary Schools’ tour of Australia starting in the annual test against the Junior Wallabies, his kick creating the Kiwis second try.
Blair Murray (New Plymouth Boys’ High School) - The fleet-footed fullback suffered injury in the early part of the season, strongly returning at the Chiefs Under-18 trial to earn a place in the New Zealand Secondary Schools team. While in Australia, Murray was a standout player scoring two tries against the Australian Barbarians and then winning the Bronze Boot award as the best player in the annual Australian test match.
Terrell Peita (Mount Albert Grammar School) - The No.8 from the Te Rarawa Kaiwhare tribe was a standout in an otherwise disappointing MAGS First XV in 2018. MAGS only won three games in 1A, but Peita was so highly respected he was selected to captain the New Zealand Under-18 Maori team who stunned the Barbarians Schools in October and then toppled Fiji in a campaign that achieved well above initial expectations.
Who would be your Boys First XV Player of the Year? Vote in the poll below.
2017: Rivez Reihana (Saint Kentigern College)
2016: Brayden Iose (Palmerston North BHS)
2015: Josh Buchan (Otago Boys’ High School)
The Champion of Champion series is not intended to be a definitive list of the ‘best’ athletes in each code, rather it celebrates many of the leading athletes and teams in each that College Sport Media has followed this year. Preference has gone to those individuals/teams that CSM has interviewed and profiled in 2018. Got a story? Email email@example.com
Current and recent school players featured in the squads, from left: Niko Jones (St Peter's College), Rosie Kelly (Christchurch GHS), Lincoln McClutchie (Hastings BHS) and Renee Savai'inaea (St Mary's College). Photos: Andy McArthur.
Nationally ranked sprinters, provincial netballers, age-grade AFL stars, and New Zealand Secondary Schools rugby representatives are among the 96 players named to take part in the inaugural Red Bull Ignite7 event this November.
New Zealand Rugby (NZR) today unveiled the 48 men and 48 women who have been selected to take part in a new high-performance programme designed to uncover the next generation of sevens superstars.
More than 500 applicants from Invercargill to Kerikeri signed up for an event that will see three men and three women win the chance to train with the All Blacks and Black Ferns Sevens squads in 2019.
Among the women’s players selected are a pair better known for their provincial netball feats in Renee Savai'inaea and Mererangi Paul, former New Zealand Universities hockey player Grace Steinmetz, and Taranaki women’s senior basketball guard Iritana Hohaia.
The ranks of the men’s squads include 2017 New Zealand Under 18 AFL Player of the Year Carlos Donnell-Brown, New Zealand’s second fastest senior 400m runner Thomas Woods, former junior Warriors rugby league fullback Mark Graham, and 2018 New Zealand Secondary Schools loose forward Niko Jones.
NZR High Performance Sevens Manager Tony Philp said the selection process had provided a valuable and encouraging glimpse into New Zealand’s untapped pool of athletic talent.
“We were absolutely thrilled with the quality and variety of athletes who came forward and that made it a tough group to select,” Philp said. “It’s a very diverse group in terms of their backgrounds and sporting talents and it’s going to be interesting to see how quickly they can transfer those skills to sevens at the highest level.”
Philp and his team of selectors have split the players into eight squads (four men’s and four women’s) for the event, with Team Power, Team Surge, Team Inferno and Team Bolt competing for the inaugural Red Bull Ignite7 trophy.
The teams are:
Carlos Spencer was emphatic when stating the 2005 victory by the New Zealand Maori over the British and Irish Lions was the most satisfying game of rugby he ever played.
In a glittering career which included multiple domestic titles and 35 tests for the All Blacks, Spencer's Maori experience was a high point.
What’s unique about Maori rugby and is it relevant today?
An upset win by a National Maori Under-18 selection against the New Zealand Barbarian Schools at Jerry Collins Stadium, Porirua recently seems to suggest there is plenty of life left in Maori rugby.
Jack Gray (Ngāti Whakaue) started at fullback in the Barbarians game and shares some personal and collective sentiments before and during the Barbarians fixture.
“Leading into the game you could tell how much the boys had to play for and what it meant for Maori rugby and Maori in general. The coaches have been fighting to have a team for years so for us to win was pretty special. I’ve never been in a team where that’s been the case. It definitely felt like the game meant more to us than the Barbarians,” he said.
Gray’s late father Wayne Gray was a Maori All Black, but Jack concedes he had little prior knowledge of his heritage before selection.
“Maori hasn’t been a big part of my life so I was surprised to be picked. Getting up to do Hui Te Marama at 530am on frosty grass isn’t something I’ve experienced before. We learned a lot about our ancestors and how tough it was for them. A lot of them were sent to war and didn't come back. We’re lucky, when we go to war on the field we get to go home afterwards.”
Rua Wanoa is the current coach of the NZ Maori U18 team and reflects on the genesis of the age group concept.
“That 2005 Maori All Black victory over the British and Irish Lions was the high point of Maori rugby. The whole crowd stayed behind to applaud the Maori All Blacks afterwards and that doesn’t happen very often. Unfortunately things fell away after that. In 2010, Maori rugby celebrated the Rau Tau centenary and that was the catalyst to try and revive things again.”
The New Zealand Maori Board identified Maori youth as a group to target and a coherent plan to develop Maori talent took shape. Maori reps have two votes on the New Zealand Rugby Board.
Presently Provincial Union Maori age grade teams attend regional Maori tournaments. Players selected from these tournaments advance to attend Northern, Central and Southern regional under-18 camps in April. In July 40 players are chosen to attend National camp before finally being selected into the National team in September.
The U18 Maori team itself played their first game in 2016 in Rotorua against what was supposed to be a Bay of Plenty representative selection, but instead was a poorly selected and weak Bay of Plenty Maori outfit. The National Maori won a slaughter 103-0.
New Zealand Rugby appears to have an ambivalent relationship with the Maori. Funding and fixtures have increased, but this year’s Maori team news was absent in New Zealand Rugby’s official communication around the schoolboy international series.
The Maori it appears are in a constant battle to prove their worth. In 2017 a narrow defeat to the Barbarians was followed by a somewhat unconvincing 38-26 win against Tonga. Club Rugby reported:
“New Zealand will be relieved to win, but the real story is Tonga who have delighted and surprised their supporters with infectiously positive, organized and aggressive play. Tonga was assisted in the coaching department today by All Black Vaea Fifita while the Maori had at least half a dozen staff many of whom appeared to be doing little.”
It was clear standards had to be lifted in 2018. A theme built around the metaphors of Rangatira and Ariki-tanga was established for the camp. Essentially Rangatira is an individual of high rank and as high performance athletics each player looks to emulate the behaviours, traits and standards of a Rangatira. Ariki-tanga is about rising to an even higher level, Wanoa elaborates.
“Were all on the same waka which travels better with everyone in unison. If the coaches swear they do sit ups just like the players do. There were no phones in the dining room to encourage being together, little things like that which make us better all round. Were about respect and honour which are universal themes.”
Embracing Mauri was another key idea. A mauri is a material symbol of a life principle, a physical object used by an individual or social group expressing their essence. Each player shares what’s most important to them and together these forces are connected like a jigsaw for the good of a common cause.
The team’s headquarter at Mana College, Wellington were surrounded by imaginary of legendary Maori chiefs, activists, politicians and rugby players such as Sir Āpirana Ngata reinforcing the desire to rise to Ariki-tanga.
Loose forward Terrell Peita (Te Rarawa Kaiwhare) from Mount Albert Grammar School was an obvious choice for captain.
“I have always been around our culture and it’s customs. I was schooled at Te kura Kaupapa Māori o Puau Te Moana nui-a-kiwa when I was young and then went to Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Tonga o Hokianga a small local school in the heart of Whirinaki. It wasn’t until I moved back to Auckland I started learning more about my mainstream side,” Peita reveals.
Maori rugby is actually very mainstream in the New Zealand schools environment with 21 of the 53 players selected in the original New Zealand Schools development camp boasting some Maori heritage.
Interestingly though there was only one private schoolboy selected for the Maori squad and Bailey Gordon (Western Heights High School), Nikora Broughton (Hato Paora College) and Samuel Walton-Sexton (Karamu High School) were all selected from institutions hardly recognised today as powerhouses.
Capturing some of this untapped talent is invaluable and the Maori deliberately visited the Hurricanes U16 tournament while at camp to support the struggling East Coast against Wairarapa-Bush. At one stage in the second half the Coast were reduced to 13 players by injury, but battled on gamely to complete the match.
For their courage, East Coast won the Manaakitanga Trophy - presented in 2010 by Gisborne artist and associate professor Steve Gibbs - for the first time. It is an award that recognises team culture and sportsmanship. The presence of and the haka performed by the National Maori squad might prove inspirational for some of the battling Coast boys.
“This team is very unique, a lot different to the Barbarians and New Zealand squads,” Peita explains.
“We do a lot of physical conditioning but from a Māori perspective. That included games such as Ki o rahi and Mau rākau. We stay on a Marae and also pray and sing a lot of songs together.”
The task of putting together a rugby team is challenging at the best of times, but how does one ensure the cultural building side of things is not just mere lip service? What is done about the boy who rolls his eyes?
Assistant coach Kahu Carey (Rangitane, Ngāti Apa ki te Rā Tō):
“First and foremost were here to develop a good rugby team, but we’ve got 25 future fathers at camp so if we can imbue them with a little bit about what it means to be a good Maori and a good citizen then win or lose I think we’ve done our job.”
Peita with the final word:
“The bond created on this camp is something as Maori that just happens because of what we do and how we all cooperate as Rangatira. We were and are still a very tight group. We keep in touch via social media so I guess that speaks a lot for itself.”
The 2018 Youth Olympic Games is underway in Bruenos Aires, with many New Zealand teams and individuals already in action across several sports.
The U18 Girls sevens rugby team is busy training and preparing for their tournament that takes place this coming Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
A selection of Youth Olympic Games action is being broadcast on SKY, on channels 56 and 57.
The U18 rugby team's draw is:
Saturday 13 October
12.00pm New Zealand v Tunisia (4am, Sunday 14 October - NZT)
3.05pm New Zealand v Colombia (7.05am, Sunday 14 October - NZT)
Sunday 14 October
12.00pm New Zealand v France (4am, Monday 15 October - NZT)
3.05pm New Zealand v Canada (7.05am, Monday 15 October - NZT)
Monday 15 October
9.50am New Zealand v Kazakhstan (1.50am, Tuesday 16 October - NZT)
Play off matches will be held on Monday 15 October
The New Zealand Youth Olympic Games Sevens team is;
Arorangi Tauranga (Hamilton Girls' High School)
Azalleyah Maaka (Gisborne Girls' High School)
Carys Dallinger (Manukura)
Hinemoa Watene (Howick College)
Iritana Hohaia (Opunake High School)
Kalyn Takitimu Cook (Manukura)
Kiani Tahere (Te Wharekura o Mauao)
Mahina Paul (Saint Kentigern College)
Montessa Tairakena (Hamilton Girls' High School)
Risaleaana Pouri-Lane (captain, Motueka High School 2017)
Tiana Davison (Sacred Heart Girls' College, New Plymouth)
Tynealle Fitzgerald (Rangiuru Rugby Club)
Carys Dallinger, Kiani Tahere and Mahina Paul were brought into the squad to replace Dhys Faleafaga, Jazmin Hotham (injuries) and Ricshay Lemalu (withdrawn).
As well as rugby, Paul is a member of the St Kent's Premier netball team and a New Zealand U18 touch player. Tahare, formerly of the Kapiti Coast and the Petone Rugby Club in Wellington is now at school in the Bay of Plenty and Carys Dallinger was Manukura's fullback at the recent Top 4 tournament and has played NPC rugby for the Manawatu Cyclones.
The Bronze Boot was inaugurated in 1992 by John Blondin and his publishing company Rugby Press International (Australia).
It is awarded to one player from each team ‘For the most constructive player in a Schools Test series’. It is now seen as the most prestigious award for test matches between the Australian and New Zealand Schoolboys. Many recipients have gone to represent the Wallabies or All Blacks.
New Zealand: Blair Murray, New Plymouth Boys High School
Australia: Lachlan Lonergan, Trinity Christian College, ACT
New Zealand: Devon Flanders, Hastings Boys High School
Australia: Opeti Helu, Newington College, NSW
New Zealand: Sione Havili, Auckland Grammar
Australia: Harry Johnson-Holmes, Merewether High School, NSW
New Zealand: Alex Fidow, Scots College
Australia: Connor Moroney, St Joseph’s College Gregory Terrace QLD
New Zealand: Patelesio Tomkinson, Otago Boys’ High School
Australia: Jack McCalman, The Kings School, NSW
New Zealand: Akira Ione, Auckland Grammar School, Auckland
Australia: Jonah Placid, Toowoomba Grammar School, QLD
New Zealand: James Tucker, St Bede’s College, Christchurch
Australia: Will Miller, The Scots College, NSW
New Zealand: Ardie Savea, Rongotai College, Wellington
Australia: Tim Donlan, St Ignatius College, NSW
New Zealand: Matt McGahan, Mount Albert Grammar School
Australia: Liam Gill, St Joseph’s Gregory Terrace, QLD
New Zealand: Sam Cane, Reporoa College, Bay of Plenty
Australia: Eddie Quirk, Brisbane State High, QLD
New Zealand: Blade Thomson, Gisborne Boys’ High School
Australia: Robert Horne, Georges River Senior Campus Oatley, NSW
New Zealand: Charlie Ngatai, Gisborne Boys’ High School
Australia: Rodney Ma’a, Westfields Sports High School, NSW
New Zealand: Luke Braid, Tauranga Boys’ HS
Australia: David Pocock, Anglican Church Grammar School, QLD
New Zealand: Zarhn Commerer, New Plymouth Boys High
Australia: Richard Stanford, The Scots College, NSW
New Zealand: Victor Vito, Scots College Wellington
Australia: Tahjon Mailata, St Joseph’s College Nudgee, QLD
New Zealand: Aaron Bancroft, Marlborough Boys’ College
Australia: Daniel Halangahu, The Kings School, NSW
New Zealand: Liam Messam, Rotorua Boys High School
Australia: Tyrone Smith, St Edmunds College, ACT
England: Benjamin Durham, Pate’s Grammar School
Australia: Luke Doherty, Iona College, QLD
New Zealand: Benjamin Atiga, Auckland Grammar School, Auckland
Australia: Daniel Heenan, Marist College Ashgrove, QLD
New Zealand: Cameron McIntyre, St Bede’s College, Christchurch
Australia: George Smith, Cromer High School, NSW
New Zealand: Jerry Collins, St Patrick's, Wellington
Australia: Phil Waugh, Sydney Church of England Grammar School, NSW
New Zealand: Carl Hayman, Kings High School Dunedin
Australia: Lachlan Grant, St Joseph’s College Nudgee, QLD
New Zealand Ashley Barron, Kings High School Dunedin
Australia Nathan Franks: Knox Grammar School, NSW
New Zealand: Quintan Sanft, De La Salle Colege, Auckland
Australia: Sean Hardman, Nudgee College, QLD
Wales: Neil Watkins, Neath College
Australia: Tom Bowman, The Scot’s College, NSW
New Zealand: Carlos Spencer, Waiophehu Colege
Australia: Nick Harvey, The Kings School, NSW
New Zealand: Jeffrey Wilson, Cargill High School, Invercargill
The New Zealand Secondary Schools’ have remained unbeaten against Australia since 2012, battling to a 26-12 victory in the annual Trans-Tasman test at Ballymore, Brisbane.
Driving rain and a heavy field meant both countries started cautiously, the visitors gaining the upper hand through strong lineout mauling.
Rivez Reihana failed to land his first penalty attempt, but the beastly Saula Mau wouldn’t be denied in the 10th minute from a ‘pick and go’ at close range. Moments earlier the tight head prop had been bundled into touch by multiple Australian defenders after attempting to finish in the corner.
New Zealand was unable to make the most of their territorial advantage and lapses in discipline invited the hosts back into the contest.
In the 29th minute disaster nearly struck when an attacking kick was jabbed into the New Zealand 22 forcing fullback Blair Murray to kick off the ground towards the sideline. Instead Murray volleyed into the hands of unmarked wing Daniel Ala who failed to secure cleanly with the line at his mercy.
The halftime score was 7-0.
The first seven minutes of the second spell was effectively a stalemate until a clamatious Aussie error proppled New Zealand 12-0 ahead. Niko Jones dabbed a kick down the sideline which clean bowled two Australians between the legs allowing Reihana to dribble forward and control over the course of 25-metres.
The Kiwis lineout was wobbly on occasions in the final 35 minutes, but secure possession and an authoritative drive made the score 19-0. Tamaiti Williams joined his fellow prop Sua on the scoresheet.
Australia showed plenty of backbone and exceptional openside Luke Reimer responded from an Aussie maul to close the gap to 19-5. The sideline conversion reduced the deficit to 19-7.
Australian replacement hooker Tyrell Kopua and second-five Joey Walton were difficult to restrain at times and a series of powerful charges created a breakthrough for substitute flanker Jeremy Williams.
New Zealand could have imploded but instead showed commendable composure and in the 66th minute Murray sealed victory on the end of an overlap, The New Plymouth Boys’ High School student had an eye catching tour despite his First XV having a modest season.
Mau appears to have a bright future and in conjunction with Tamaiti Williams ensured New Zealand had a solid platform throughout. Lock Sam Darry wasn’t flashy, but is highly efficient. Jones enjoyed some quality moments, Reihana played with poise and Gideon Wrampling was resolute in testing conditions.
New Zealand haven't lost any game since a shock 20-22 setback against Fiji Schools in 2013. Their current unbeaten streak is 16 games. The record is 22.
New Zealand Schools
1. Tamaiti Williams (St Kentigern College)
2. Soane Vikena (Mt Albert Grammar School)
3. Saula Mau (Auckland Grammar School)
4. Thomas Martin (Hamilton Boys' High School)
5. Sam Darry (Christs' College)
6. Iona Apineru (St Patrick's College - Silverstream)
7. Anton Segner (Nelson College)
8. Niko Jones (St Peter's College)
9. Taufa Funaki (Sacred Heart College, Auckland)
10. Rivez Reihana (St Kentigern College)
11. Jacob Kneepkens (Francis Douglas Memorial College)
12. Chay Fihaki (Sacred Heart College, Auckland)
13. Isaiah Punivai (St Kentigern College)
14. Gideon Wrampling (St Paul's Collegiate)
15. Blair Murray (New Plymouth Boys' High School)
16. Tyrone Thompson (Napier Boys' High School)
17. Matt Graham-Williams (St Kentigern College)
18. Patrick Thacker (Christ's College)
19. Josh Lord (Hamilton Boys' High School)
20. Simon Parker (St Peter's School)
21. Louie Chapman (Christchurch Boys' High School)
22. Zarn Sullivan (King's College)
23. Josiah Maraku (Feilding High School)
1. Angus Bell (c), Newington College
2. Billy Pollard, Barker College
3. Zane Hogan, St Edmund's College Canberra
4. Will Harris, The Scots College
5. Tom Van der Schyff, The Southport School
6. Luca Moretti, Waverley College
7. Luke Reimer, Barker College
8. Bailey Tautau, St Joseph’s Nudgee College
9. Spencer Jeans, The Southport School
10. Carter Gordon, Brisbane Boys' College
11. Brendan Jimenez, St Edmund's College Canberra
12. Joey Walton, Wadalba Community School
13. Lachlan Ilias, Trinity Grammar School
14. Daniel Ala, St Augustine’s College
15. John Connolly, The Kings School
16. Tyrell Kopua, The Southport School
17. Harry Vella, St Joseph’s Nudgee College
18. Thomas Lambert, Trinity Grammar School
19. Jeremy Williams, The Scots College
20. Cayle Manu, St Joseph’s Nudgee College
21. Seb Strang, The Scots College
22. Reesjan Pasitoa, St Joseph’s Nudgee College
23. Angus Bell, St Ignatius College
The New Zealand Under-18 Maori have finished 2018 unbeaten foiling a fast finishing Fiji 20-15 at Jerry Collins Stadium, Wellington.
On Wednesday the Maori themed their practice “training messy.” Splitting the team in half the boys who were Fiji were given a license to do what they liked. Predictability the result was chaos.
It was good preparation for a match that turned into unadulterated mayhem in the last 20 minutes. When the opposition first-five is effective on the crash ball all convention is abandoned.
Isolating the final third the Maori had no right to win. Fiji dominated possession and created enough chances to prevail. Why did the visitors fall short?
The Maori went into the trenches and scrambled desperately to preserve their advantage. At ground level the Maori energy and communication was infinitely superior to that of the Barbarians against the same opposition on Monday.
Initially the Maori appeared en route for a comfortable victory. Leading 14-5 at halftime the Maori enjoyed an imperious scrum and drove effectively from lineouts.
The Maori scored two converted tries. Blindside Te Rama Reuben (Rotorua Boys’ High School) detached from an unstoppable maul and Chris Hemi (St Patrick’s College, Silverstream) barreled over after the horn. The loosehead prop lived up to his nickname the ‘Hemi-toma’ producing a bruising display.
Two Te Paea Cook-Savage (St Paul’s Collegiate) penalties extended the Maori lead to 20-5, but quite frankly the first 15 minutes of the second-spell was boring.
The game burst to life in the 50th minute when Fijian first-five Josua Koro ploughed through the defense and scampered 20-metres to touch down under the posts. The conversion made it 20-12.
With six minutes to spare Koro kicked a penalty setting the stage for the frantic finale.
Fiji broke repeatedly, but the Maori were able to somehow cover. Lightweight Jack Gray’s tackle on enormous No.8 Eparama Tuivunivono was indicative of the Maori spirit.
In addition to Hemi loose forwards Terrell Peita (Mount Albert Grammar School) and Oliver Parkinson (Auckland Grammar School) were standouts alongside hooker Billy Priestly (Gisborne Boys’ High School) lively halfback Cortez Lee-Ratima (Hamilton Boys’ High School) and rock solid second-five Leo Thompson (Napier Boys’ High School).
Fijian captain and openside Alivereti Loaloa has had an exceptional tour and despite being on the losing side was arguably the man of the match. Loaloa was well supported by Tuivunivono, Koro and lock Joeli Matalaweru.
Fiji depart with two wins against the Wellington Samoans 33-20 and the New Zealand Barbarians 15-10.
First, they play in the Tawa Invitational 7s tournament on Saturday, also including St Pat's Silverstream, St Pat's Town and Tawa College in their section.
Video highlights below:
Fiji Schools have caused a major boilover at Jerry Collins Stadium this afternoon, scrapping to a 15-10 victory over the New Zealand Barbarians Schools.
Fiji’s victory was entirely deserved and easily their most significant success in any fixture since a 22-20 win over the top New Zealand selection in Sydney in 2013.
The winning try was scored with about 20 minutes remaining. Scores were tied 10-10 when first-five Josua Koro snipped rapidly down the short side and finished after a 25-metre burst.
Repeat fumbles, a malfunctioning lineout and excessively aimless kicking coupled with a disturbing lack of spark at ground level - this was as bad as it gets from the Barbarians.
Initially things appeared to be heading in a promising direction for the hosts, casting an anchor inside the Fijian 22. However a fumble by centre Lukas Halls in the fifth minute allowed wing Ratu Apolosi Senibulu to dash beyond halfway. A penalty was conceded and halfback Jone Vatuwaliwali was on target from 35-metres.
Vatuwaliwali was an integral part of Fiji’s success. Essentially an extra loose forward on defense, Vatuwaliwali’s vision created the first try of the match. Another knock on was committed by the Barbarians and a kick into space was rundown by Apolosi Senibulu. The conversion made it 10-0.
Fiji’s discipline waivered inviting the Barbarians back into the contest. A number of kickable chances were rejected in favour of lineouts which often went astray.
Finally, after 27 minutes, the Barbarians got it right and lock Mahonri Ngakuru halved the deficit from a rolling maul.
Twice Fiji went close to scoring at the start of the second-half. In the 39th minute fullback Ratu Osea Waqaninavatu had a pass intended for unmarked outsiders intercepted five-metres shy of the line by Corey Evans.
Moments later Osea Waqaninavatu strode down the right wing side, failing to link with hungry and open support.
The Barbarians scrum was one effective area and a stable platform followed by precise handling allowed wing Caleb Cavubati to square proceedings after 42 minutes.
Fiji’s tackling was outstanding. Captain Alivereti Loaloa proved to be an inspirational leader and was well supported by lock Joeli Matalaweru and No.8 Eparama Tuivunivono.
Halls threatened occasionally for the Barbarians and Peniasi Lasaqa frequently sought work from the wing, but few individuals enhanced their future prospects in this fixture.
Unfortunately the Barbarians have suffered their least successful campaign ever, losing both matches for the first time.
On Friday, Fiji tackle the New Zealand Maori.
Video highlights below:
New Zealand Schools win well in second tour game
Meanwhile at Tennyson Field, Brisbane, the New Zealand Schools enjoyed a second victory on their Australian tour accounting for the Australian Barbarians 55-31.
Played in perfectly dry weather, New Zealand burst out to a 24-3 lead in as many minutes and despite conceding four tries were never in danger of usurped.
New Plymouth Boys’ High School fullback Blair Murray was exceptional, breaking at will to score two tries and create two other strikes in a man of the match display.
It was a top afternoon for Taranaki with Francis Douglas wing Jacob Kneepkens also autographing the scoresheet.
Wing Gideon Wrampling (St Paul’s Collegiate) collected a double while halfback Louie Chapman (Christchurch Boys’ High School) completed a 25-metre solo effort.
Forwards Tyrone Thompson (Napier Boys’ High School), Sam Darry (Christ’s College) and Tiaan Tauakipulu (St Kentigern College) were rewarded for their industry, each crossing the strip.
Zarn Sullivan (3) and Rivez Reihana (2) shared five conversions between them.
Australia had some bright moments. Zane Nonggorr, a 143 kg giant scored a 25-meter run way. Wing Haloti Fanua poached a 90-metre intercept to close the gap to 29-17 while centre Dennis Waight and wing Fred Tricks finished quality attack.
Niko Jones was a standout forward for New Zealand again and Wrampling is having a mighty fine tour.
On Thursday, New Zealand thrashed Tonga 54-0. Gideon Wrampling 2, Tamaiti Williams, Soane Vikena, Anton Segner, Niko Jones, Josiah Maraku and Blair Murray scored tries with Rivez Reihana kicking five conversions and Zarn Sullivan two.
New Zealand plays Australia in the final fixture of the tour on Saturday.
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