The biggest Condor Sevens ever is set for a pulsating finish on Sunday after Day One produced plenty of genuine surprises at Sacred Heart College.
Hastings Boys' High School (runners up in 2015) were shocked by Tauranga Boys' College and will playoff for consolation prizes. Liston College (boys) has achieved an historic first by reaching the Cup quarter finals while 2015 Girls winners Hamilton Girls' High School were toppled by Southern Cross Campus.
Hurricanes Champions Hastings scored routine victories against Rangitoto College and Palmerston North BHS, but a late Carlos Levao try ensured Tauranga caused a boilover to eliminate Hastings.
The very last game of the day saw Hamilton Girls' succumb to Southern Cross. In a seesaw contest, two tries by Amelia Tulelei proved the telling difference for the Aucklanders.
There was high drama in Pool R as Wellington Girls Champions St. Marys College faced an anxious finish to their game against Tauranga Girls College. Ahead 12-7, Captain Monica Tagoai bullied her way through the defence and appeared to have scored the winning try. However an off the ball infringement resulted in a penalty and a yellow card against St. Mary's. Tauranga tied the scores with a try, but the conversion slid wide off the target and St. Mary's topped their group, but have to face Tauranga again in a fascinating quarter final replay.
Jade Tuilaepa's 85-metre try for Tauranga was one of the best of the whole day. Lyric Faleafaga was on song for St. Mary's scoring four tries across the day, Cheyne Copeland and Tagoai got three each.
Motueka High School also impressed, winning a particularly enthralling match late in the day against South Island rivals Christchurch Girls’ High School.
Pool F featuring Liston College, Kerikeri High School, Wesley College and Timaru BHS was expected to be wide open and Liston sneaked into the Cup round after Wesley shockingly didn't win a single game.
Auckland Boys champions Aorere College were eliminated with Kelston Boys' High School impressively winning Pool G. The Kelston v Aorere match was a highly charged affair. Despite two tries by Lewis Soosemea, Abel Magalogo (2), Josefa Kolinisav and Sale Savelio scored tries for Kelston in a resounding victory.
Defending champions Hamilton Boys' High School were forced to work hard by local rivals St. Paul's Collegiate to earn their passage into the Cup. Hamilton won a gripping tussle between the two unbeaten teams in Pool A 21-14. Tries to Joshua Moorby, Kieran Lee and Charlie Lawrence had Hamilton well ahead, but St. Paul's rallied. Tries to Della Neli and Fergus Burke closed the gap to seven and St. Paul's dropped the ball over the try line twice.
Heavyweights Rotorua BHS, Sacred Heart College, St. Pats Town and Southland GHS all advanced comfortably to the Cup quarter finals. Saia Paese (Town), Kaleb Trask (Rotorua), Hoskin Sotutu (Sacred Heart) and Alena Saili (Southland GHS) were in particularly menacing form.
Jack McHugh had the honour of scoring the first try of the day and proceeded to collect a double in Sacred Heart's win against Francis Douglas Memorial College.
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