From left, Argyle House's Alex Arnold, Oli Mathis and Raharuhi Palmer (along with Liam Sturm at left) in action in Japan by Wendy Moffitt

Argyle Rugby represents at World Sanix Tournament

Our 1st XV Rugby team members did us proud in Japan!

Congratulations to the sixteen players from Argyle House who were essential in our team's overall victory at the Sanix World Rugby Tournament, held recently in Japan. 

Alex Arnold, Jack Gallon, Kurtis Hana, Rangiwai Lunjevich, Tom Martin, Oli Mathis, Jack Miller, Stefan Newman, Raharuhi Palmer, Wyndham Patuawa, Alex Pitts-Brown, Dallas Rata-Makene, Mac Russ, Gabby Simpson, Mitchell Swann, and Liam Van Der Heyden.

Captain of Rugby at HBHS, Liam Sturm, presented his tournament report at the celebration assembly:

The HBHS 1st XV Rugby team competed at the Sanix World Youth Rugby Tournament in Fukuoka, Japan from Friday the 28th of April to Friday the 5th of May. We earned the right to compete in this World Secondary Schools’ Rugby Tournament due to winning the NZSS Top 4 Rugby Tournament in 2022.

We played five games:

Round 1: vs Saga Technical School, Won 24 – 14

Round 2: vs Hotuku High School, Won 52 – 0

Round 3: vs Jianguo High School, Won 76 – 3

Semi-Final: vs Napier BHS, Won 52 – 19

Final: vs Higashi Fukuoka High School, Won 28 – 22

In the final, against a very strong Higashi Fukuoka High School, there were some great skills displayed by both teams in what was a very physical game in hot, humid conditions. The final started off with heavy shots being fired from both sides until Higashi settled the game down, kicking three points to go ahead early in the game.

The boys didn’t let this bother them as we made our way down into their half where we attacked the line with full force. After several attempts to cross the line, finally a powerful Raharuhi Palmer stormed across the line to put us ahead 7-3 with 15 minutes gone in the first half. Sticking to what had worked previously the boys continued to attack with force which saw us move into a position to strike. Once again it was Raharuhi Palmer who powerfully burrowed over for a second putting us ahead 14 points to 3 with 25 minutes gone. This saw momentum swing our way which helped us quickly make our way down towards their 22. The ball was moved from one side of the field to the other where a great play saw the forwards linking with the backs which resulted in myself crossing over to score in the corner which put us ahead 21-3 with 2 minutes left in the half. Refusing to back down Higashi caught us out on a bad defensive read where they scored in the corner to hit back making the score 21-8 going into half time.

Taking a trick out of our books, Higashi started the second half with a hiss and a roar; attacking our line ferociously with multiple phases of pick and goes where they cracked us in the twelfth minute of the second half bringing them right back into the game with the score being 21-15. With 10 minutes to go in the game Higashi made their way back towards our line when again they cracked us through relentless phases of pick and goes. This put them ahead 22-21 with eight minutes left in the game. The boys knew they had to dig deep if we wanted to win this game so we threw everything we had at them with one last effort. With three minutes left in the match, first-five Wyndham Patuawa broke through the Higashi line where he set off from inside our 22 running all the way down towards their 22 where he grubbed the ball through to winger Dupre Marshall who out-ran the Higashi defence to gather the ball over the line resulting in the game winning try and the fourth Sanix title for HBHS.

I would like to thank the coaches and management team for the time, commitment and careful planning that saw the 1st XV successful in taking out this tournament.

The 1st XV now look forward to the season ahead with the Super 8 competition and annual exchanges fast approaching.