The 2018 North Harbour Secondary Schools Grade Finals were held at North Harbour Domain 1 and 2 at Marist NH RFC, on Saturday 25 August in good but windy conditions with 1000 spectators in attendance through the morning and early afternoon. In the Open B grade, Mahurangi 1st XV had a great season unbeaten throughout, had the better of their rival Westlake 2nd XV in both rounds and continued that great form in the final after several seasons being the regular runner-up, defeating Westlake 48-8 with the highlight being five tries to first-five Kade Banks. The Open C final was won comfortably by another unbeaten side, the former AB Craig Dowd coached Long Bay College 1st XV putting their worthy opponent Whangaparaoa College 1st XV away 32-12. There was a thriller in the 5A final with second-seed Takapuna edging regular finalist Rosmini 27-22. In the 6A final it was tied 10 all for most of the game but Westlake A broke the dead-lock late in the game to win 17-10 over Orewa. Westlake Green put the foot down early in the 7A final to put old rival Rosmini on the back foot and come away with a comfortable win 30-12 to take the silverware.
In the B grade finals at the top-seed schools, the Open C Plate was drawn 31 all between Massey 2nd XV and Kristin 1st XV, Kaipara had the better of Mahurangi 17-0 in the 5B final, Albany Barbarians with no less than 4 schools from the Albany Basin in a composite team beat Westlake B in the 6B final and Orewa 7th won the 7B final over Rangitoto.
Westlake 1st XV travelled north, really north to sunny Kaitaia to defeat the local college 53-0 in the Blues region play-off to qualify for the semi-final against the Auckland Champion St Peters College, to decide the Blues Region qualifier for the Boys division in the NZ School Top 4 finals next month. Westlake host St Peters at 1pm at Westlake BHS on Saturday 1 September. With no Northland finalist, Takapuna 1st XV go directly into the Co-Ed division Blues Region semi-final to face Auckland’s qualifier Mt Albert GS at Takapuna GS again on Saturday 1 September at 12pm, for the Co-Ed division in the NZ School Top 4 finals. Aorere Girls are the Blues Region qualifier for Girls division NZ School Top 4 finals at Palmerston North.