It’s a little over a fortnight until the New Zealand Barbarians National 1st XV Championships (Top 4) take place in Palmerston North. This weekend is a pivotal one in the race for those places, and we take a look at what’s left in each region.
There’s just four games left in the Blues region. The Boys section has Kaitaia College hosting North Harbour 1A joint-winners Westlake BHS in the preliminary match on Saturday, with the winner to then host Auckland champions St Peter’s College next weekend.
In the Coed Boys, Mount Albert Grammar School also head north on Saturday, but to face Kerikeri HS. The winner of that game will face the other North Harbour 1A joint-winner in Takapuna Grammar with the venue to be determined; if Kerikeri beat MAGS they’ll host, while a MAGS win will see it at Takapuna.
In the Girls, Aorere College have already booked their place at the Top 4 as the Blues representative.
Updated - late changes:
There’s almost a full slate of semi-finals to happen in the Chiefs region. In the Boys last year’s runners-up and Super 8 winners Hamilton BHS booked the Waikato place in beating a weary St Paul’s on Monday and they’ll head down to New Plymouth to take on NPBHS at the Gully. Wesley College hosts Rotorua BHS in the other match.
The Coed Boys has the local derby between defending National Champions St Peters, Cambridge and Cambridge HS this afternoon for the Waikato place, with the winner travelling down to the furthest reaches of the Chiefs area to play Hawera HS on Saturday. The opposite side of the draw has Manurewa hosting John Paul College, also on Saturday.
The Girls section has Hamilton GHS hosting Wesley College on Friday. The winner will play Rotorua GHS on a date to be determined next week.
The venues for next weekend’s finals will be determined on the results of this weekend.
The southern end of the North Island is broadly at a similar stage to the Chiefs. The Boys section there was sorted out last Sunday with St Pats Silverstream beating St Pats Town in the Wellington Premiership final, meaning that Silverstream will host last year’s National Champions Hastings BHS (who saw off a challenge from Palmerston North BHS on Saturday) with that game to be played at Porirua Park, and Super 8 runners-up Napier BHS to host St Pat’s Town, both on Saturday.
The Coed Boys have perennial contenders Feilding HS hosting this year’s Wellington winners Aotea College on Saturday, with the winner of that to face Wairarapa College next weekend for the Top 4 place. Both of these finals are currently scheduled for Palmerston North, but could change depending on results.
The Girls representative will be found this coming Saturday with Manukura – who beat Feilding HS in the Manawatu final – hosting defending National Champions St Mary’s College of Wellington.
Across Cook Strait the places in the Boys final will be decided this weekend. The final of the Crusaders-region UC Championship pits Christchurch BHS against rivals Christs College, with the winner of that match to host next week’s clash against the winner of the Otago BHS vs Southland BHS match in Dunedin.
In the Coed Boys Rangiora HS are already through to the final next weekend. They’ll travel to face the winner of Saturday’s Highlanders final in Oamaru between home side St Kevin’s and visitors Gore HS.
Finally – and like the Hurricanes region – the Girls representative will be found this weekend with 2016 winners Southland GHS taking on Christchurch GHS on neutral turf in Dunedin.
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