Hero photograph
Photo by Gabe Robinson

🏉 HBHS Rugby 1st and 2nd XV teams win against Rotorua Boys' High School in nailbiting last-minute finishes

Gabe Robinson —

In the third round of Super 8, our 1st and 2nd XV rugby teams booted up to face our biggest rivals on the field, and the matches didn't disappoint.

To start the morning on Saturday the 26th of June, our 1st XV came in early to have breakfast with the HBHS Old Boys Foundation, along with members of the 1971, 1981, 1991, 2001, and 2011 1st XV teams.  It was a special morning for our boys and we all got the chance to hear some great stories and share a few laughs.  Heading into the game we knew we had the representatives of each year watching us from the balcony and that legacy gave us a little edge over the Rotorua team.  The game started off evenly as expected, with neither team budging on defence.  A dominant scrum from our forward pack turned over the ball and youngster Oli Mathis was able to dive over the line giving us a 7 - 0 lead after a successful conversion.  Right before halftime, Rotorua were able to even up the score to 7 - 7 with a line-out maul.  The start of the second half also saw Rotorua driving over our line with a nicely set maul, which gave them the 7 - 12 advantage.  After a few solid phases of attack, our co-captain Taha Kemara was able to break the line and give us back the lead.  Rotorua once again set their strong maul off a line-out and planted the ball down on our line, making the score 14 - 19 to Rotorua.  In the last few minutes of the game we weren't going to let our Old Boys down. Phase after phase of relentless attack saw Taha Kemara once again break the line, score, and convert his own try to give us the 21 - 19 win.

The 2nd XV also played in what was set to be a thriller of a match against a fierce Rotorua team.  The game started with Rotorua kicking a penalty to take an early 3 - 0 advantage but our boys were quick to strike back with Zach Coffey dotting the ball down.  A converted try to Dean Ralph gave us a more comfortable lead but Rotorua was not an opponent that would back down easily.  They replied with a converted try and a penalty kick to make the score 12 - 13 to the visitors.  Another try to each team before half time had the score at 17 - 20, to give Rotorua the advantage.  Rangiwai Lunjevich started the second half by reclaiming the lead for HBHS with an unconverted try.  With only minutes remaining, Rotorua took a penalty kick to regain the lead at 22 - 23, but Brodie Robinson wasn't letting this game get away from him.  With mere seconds on the clock before full time, Brodie broke the Rotorua defence and sprinted 80 metres to score the game winner, with a final score of 29 - 23.