Hastings Boys’ High School might be beatable in 2017.
On Saturday Hastings pipped Hamilton Boys’ High School 20-16, requiring a try in the last five minutes to prevail and earn Super 8 final hosting rights against the same opposition this coming Saturday.
Hamilton suffered two yellow cards in the contest and led for much of the game. Captain Quinn Tupaea provides some clues on how to unsettle Hastings who have won all 16 games this season and scored 944 points.
“We tried to get under their skins by being real aggressive at the breakdown and focused on our game rather than what was in front of us,” Tupaea reveals.
“You have to take all your chances to win. It’s about building and maintaining momentum,” he continued.
Despite knee and concussion injuries, Tupaea is an imposing midfielder who has built plenty of momentum in his rugby. Last year Hamilton won 19 out of 24 games and finished third at the National Top Four. Tupaea was a member of the Condor Sevens winning squad and earned selection for the New Zealand Barbarians who beat Australia Schools 28-17 and Fiji Schools 46-20.
“It was awesome to be in the Barbarians. I learned a lot from that experience being around so many good players and despite being injured,” Tupaea marvels.
Tupaea is a Hamilton local and has been in the reps since the age of 11. His brother Tayne Tupaea played for the Hamilton First XV in 2015 which won the Super 8.
When Quinn was 16 he entered local folklore with a legendary kick in the Under-16 quad final against St. Paul’s Collegiate. Quinn kicked the winning penalty from halfway with his first kick of the season.
“I’m not sure it was that far out, but it was my first kick. Our kicker was struggling so I decided to have a crack myself. I think as a captain you have to lead by example,” Tupaea says.
Tupaea will be hoping to lead by example in the Super 8 decider on Land Rover First XV rugby. Hamilton was beaten 30-8 by Hastings in the same game last year, but beat Palmerston North BHS 21-3 and Hamilton BHS 33-14 in their two previous Super 8 finals.
“Hastings have a lot of threats, but we have shown when we don’t get complacent and are focused we can challenge anybody,” Tupaea stresses.
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