Last week was an important one on the sporting calendar. Tournaments were held throughout the country.
Congratulations to all our teams that competed over the duration of the week.
Recently our golf team of four was lucky enough to travel to the North Island to compete in the national under 19 championship which is a calendar event in the New Zealand Golf schedule, with past winners including Australian PGA tour players Adam Scott and Jason Day.
We flew to Auckland and then drove down to our accommodation at Clarks Beach. The weather was fine and we indulged in some slightly sandy and burnt sausages at the beach, watching the sun set over the Manukau Harbour.
We played practice rounds on the Monday and Tuesday of that week - learning the slopes of the greens; the sneaky gullies waiting to catch stray golf balls.
Much like the first night we relaxed in seclusion at Clarks Beach talking and making new friends with other school teams, one of which was a highly successful netball team from the Kerikeri area.
Wednesday morning marked the start of play at the sunny Pukekohe golf club. The team struggled to make a solid enough start to build from, with myself, Lewis and Tom shooting in the early 80s and Seb with the low round of our group with a 77 (plus 6). The second day of play was just as disappointing, with similar scoring. Seb emerged as the hopeful to make the cut with another 77. Thursday night (our last) remains a highlight of the trip for me and the team, having refuelled we were treated to a performance from a group of Vanuatuans in the communal space. Guitars, box basses and waiata filled the holiday park. Together with our new found netball friends we joined in waiata to thank the men who performed. With our hearts and tummies full we went swiftly to bed.
With Seb making the cut it meant an early Friday morning. We concluded the week by watching our team mate revel in the competition. Seb revitalised, found a groove and posted a 74 (plus 3) for an aggregate and very respectable score of 228, earning him a place in the top 13. Overall it was a very enjoyable week, and we are grateful for the opportunity to spend a week away playing golf in sunny Pukekohe.
Heoi anō tāku mō nāianei.
That's all for now.
1st XI Football
Over tournament week, the 1st XI Football team played in the NZSS Premier competition held in Napier. After defeating King's High School and Timaru Boys’ High School earlier in the season, our boys qualified as one of the best 32 teams in the country.
The week began with an early Monday morning match against St Peter’s College Auckland. A quickfire first half hat trick from striker James More put the boys in a good position going into halftime 3-1 up. However in the second half, a strong St Peter’s attack turned the game around to fire in a flurry of goals and eventually take a lead of 6-3. A second half consolation goal from attacking midfielder Rory Hibbert was not enough to get a result, going down 6-4, although showing promising signs for the remainder of the tournament.
Monday’s afternoon game against Waimea College produced plenty of chances for us, but it appeared the lads hadn't bothered to pack their shooting boots for this match. Shots flew literally everywhere but at the back of the net, strangely, even if the opposition keeper was nowhere to be seen. An elegant glancing header from winger Hayden Teixera on the end of a cross was enough to hold out for a 1-0 win for OBHS, in a game that should have meant significantly more goals for our men.
After a win and a draw, Tuesday morning against Hamilton Boys’ High School needed to result in a win for us to have any chance at making the top 16. Hamilton, having won their first two pool games, were going to be a challenge. A scrappy end to end affair threatened to boil over on several occasions, with some extremely questionable challenges flying in. Both sides had great chances to score, however the deadlock could not be broken, ending in a good old 0-0 draw.
For our first game in the bottom 16 split, we faced St John’s College Hamilton. Again, the team had several chances to score due to long periods of possession and plenty of attacking balls through from the midfield, but just one chance was converted, through Year 12 Cam McFarlane, which was enough to hold out for a second win.
Wednesday’s game had a bit more on it, up against Christ's College who had beaten us 3-0 in the annual inter school earlier in the season. Both sides played a fast paced game, with each having looks at goal and knocking the ball around well. Similarly to the Hamilton Boys' game, tackles were firm and the match developed into an intense battle with Christ's eventually prevailing 1-0, which could have been two if it wasn't for Year 11 keeper Jono Tucker getting a strong mit to a penalty attempt.
Whangarei Boys’ High School on Thursday saw the physical challenge of playing 5 games in three days start to show. It was clear from the first 5-10 minutes of play that our boys were on top and dominating possession for the most part of the game, taking the lead, before tired legs and mistakes crept into play and caused goals to be conceded. The men battled through nonetheless and eventually hung on, with a few scares here and there, to catch a deserved 4-3 win. Two goals going to Rory Hibbert, one to Nick Brett and one to Year 12 winger Alex Dale.
Friday brought a very early start, which had been adjusted to accommodate our flight out of Auckland after the 6 hour drive north. A 7:45am kickoff against Christchurch local competition winners Cashmere High School started slow, both sides still half asleep, but by the end of first half, the match had escalated in intensity and some quality football was being played. Although the lads put in a huge shift on the last day of a week of football on heavy pitches, we ran out of legs and left holes in our lines which Cashmere capitalised on. Our final game resulted in a 2-1 loss, with a goal to Ben Sinnott from a long range effort.
Upon completion of a long week's worth of football, the team finished in 22nd place of 32 teams. The team really stepped up and brought a real intensity into every game, something we sometimes lacked during the regular season. It became clear throughout the tournament that we were in fact not far off the teams in the top 16 split and played a great style of football. The team produced several strong performances, played their hardest for each other in every minute and can be extremely proud of their efforts. Overall, a successful tournament where the boys played in good spirit and thoroughly enjoyed every moment both on and off the pitch.
A huge thank you to all the parents, staff and the school for making the tournament possible for our boys.
1st XI Hockey
The 1st XI Hockey team was invited to the top tier tournament which we hadn't been a part of since 2018. With no expectations to do well at this stage, and having the pool of death, it was always going to be a tough journey.
It was great to see these boys not only do well, but do above and beyond what was expected of them being ranked 32nd. The bottom ranked team at the start of tournament to 21st in the country is a remarkable effort for such a bunch of great lads. A final placing of 5th in the India Shield a terrific finish to the week.
7 games played; 3 wins, 2 draws and 2 loses. Always an emotional time when boys play for the last time in the hoops. Special thanks to Robbie, Jamin, Thomas and Hayden for their contribution to OBHS hockey. The team was stoked to send them off with a win!
Year 10 Football
The Year 10 blues proved themselves to be young gentlemen on and off the pitch. They behaved in an honorable way despite some 'alternative' approaches by other teams. They played with impressive coordination, skill and instinct that brought them convincing victories in every game except one. A loss to King's was a blow, but they congratulated their opponents showing good sportsmanship and strength of character. I was very proud to be with them for the week. What a great team and great bunch of boys.
Last Friday, two OBHS Squash teams competed in the Otago Schools Regional Squash Tournament at the Otago Squash Rackets Club.
Our top side of Ben Turnbull, Jack Buttar, Jamie Beaman and Josh Allison won Division A, and the B team consisting of Ethan Maw, Thomas Hayman and Ruwindu Dassanayake came second in Division B.
It was a pleasure to see the sportsmanship displayed by all our players throughout this competition.
Under 15 Rugby
To say that we the coaches of the OBHS 15 Blues rugby team for 2022 are proud of these young men, would be an understatement of some note.
Last week, 24 young men represented their school, their whanau and themselves with honour at the 2022 National U15 Rugby Invitational Tournament hosted by Christchurch Boys' High School.
After a gruelling week consisting of six games of rugby, we finished 11th overall. This is an improvement of three places since the previous tournament. We finished the week with a win record of 50% winning three out of six games. These wins came against Mt Albert Grammar School, a school of 3100 students whom we beat twice (20-12 and 40-20) and St Patrick’s College from Wellington (46-24).
We finished 3rd in our pool after the first win over Mt Albert Grammar School and hard fought losses to Rotorua Boys' High School (7-17) and Palmerston North Boys' High School (7-15). After beating St Patrick’s College they went down to Wellington Boys' College in a nail-biter (12-15). The boys bounced back against MAGS with a dominant win.
This tournament wrapped up what has been a very challenging year for this team, highlighted by the fact that 35 different players ran out for the 15 Blues across the course of the season. The lads have had to deal with issues on and off field and I’m extremely proud to say that when the going got tough, this group of young men got tougher. For those that witnessed the courage that our lads showed playing against lads that were significantly bigger than them and at times playing better than them, they were filled with pride. It is something special to see blokes go to work for their brother in the hoops next to them when the odds seem stacked against them. It is my firm belief that this group of young men will go forth in their sporting and life pursuits with more confidence that they can swing it with the best of them and that our strength as OBHS rugby players lies in our work ethic, our respect for each other and the legacy of the jersey.
I want to point out the leadership of Charlie Ottrey, the Captain of the team who never missed a beat all season, leading by example with hard work and tenacity. Congratulations also to Micah Puni and Judd Flannery who led the team at the tournament when Charlie was off the field.
Thank you to the families of the boys who have supported the team so well this year, from fundraising efforts to side-line support for the coaching team. Your efforts have been appreciated by us and by the lads.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of the coaches. Thank you to Anton Schroder who has been an invaluable assistant coach throughout the year including having to take the reins when I was out sick. He is an exceptional staff member and old boy of the school. Thank you also to Ryan Frew who assisted me as a coach and manager at the tournament, and ran the cutter for the 15 Whites all season with the assistance of Blair Bezett. Thanks also to Bobby Martin, who was an assistant coach throughout the season and to Kurt Hammer who on top of his Director of Rugby role, also stepped in with coaching duties particularly with my back line. Although we didn’t get everything right as a coaching group, I strongly feel that we never backed away from the challenge and consistently looked to develop good young men and players for the future. I’m grateful for all their help.
To my boys, best of luck for your future pursuits on and off the rugby field.