On the 19th of June, our three premier rugby teams took on Palmerston North Boys' High School in the second round of the 2021 Super 8 competition, and it was a clean sweep for the HBHS sides.
Last Friday, our premier rugby teams all got comfortable and settled in for a six-hour bus ride down to Palmerston North, where they would be billeted for the night.
We were not surprised when the next day brought wet and windy conditions, but our 1st XV was not bothered and didn't let the pressure of being televised on Sky Sport for the first time this season get to them. Sticking to the game plan of playing territory and keeping the ball close, Sean Ralph and Oli Mathis both scored pick-and-go tries, giving us a 14 - 3 lead heading into half-time. A contentious yellow card at the end of the first half meant we started the second half with 14 men, but with our strong defence and lots of courage, Palmerston North were unable to capitalise on their advantage. Three tries later, and a penalty kick to put the icing on the cake from Taha Kemara, saw the game wrapped up at 36 - 3, and lock Tahlor Cahill was named as the Sky Sport Man Of The Match.
Our 2nd XV played at Coronation Park and started the game strongly with Tama Hodgson scoring a try within the first five minutes to set the tone for the match. A nicely struck conversion gave us a 7 - 0 lead, but Palmerston North answered back with two unconverted tries giving them a 10 - 7 advantage heading into halftime. A penalty kick and two tries from Brodie Robinson got us back ahead to start the second half in front. Palmerston North managed to score another try but our boys were too resilient and Hoani Ham planted the ball down from a well-set line-out maul. Leo Scott converted this try alongside landing another penalty kick, ending the game at 32 - 17.
The Under 15A side also played at Coronation Park and was able to eke out a solid victory in testing conditions. The rough and windy weather meant for a tight first half which finished with a 7 - 5 lead to HBHS. The breeze was behind us in the second half and we managed to keep them on the back foot and capitalise on our advantage, eventually running away with the match to finish with a 20 - 5 win at full time. Tries were scored by Dallas Rata-Makene, Jake Rabarts and Taj Awhitu. All of our teams would like to offer a huge thank you to Palmerston North Boys' School for hosting us and we look forward to meeting them again later in the year at our National tournaments.
Reports by Gabe Robinson, Rangiwai Lunjevich, and Ziggy Coleman.
Palmerston North, New Zealand