Rangitoto College 1st XV have secured the Blues region Co-Ed spot in the prestigious NZ School Top 4 play-offs next weekend 8-10 September in Palmerston North with a late penalty to defeat Auckland Co-Ed Champion Aorere College 11-8 in the Blues region Co-Ed school final, on their home patch with the great view of Rangitoto Island. Tied up 8-all with a few minutes to go, an earlier penalty opportunity was missed but as the clock run down knowing that Aorere would win if the game was drawn at the final whistle because they scored first, Rangitioto first-five Caleb Leef stepped up and nailed a very late penalty to win the game in front of a raptuous crowd. Caleb Leef kicked both penalties and hooker William Whitfield scored the try. Rangitoto had travelled to Kerikeri HS 24 August and secured a 26-12 semi-final win against the Northland Co-Ed champion going into the final against Aorere. Following on from Kaipara Girls appearance last year, Rangitoto College now become the second North Harbour school to appear in the Top 4 finals and the first as the Co-Ed qualifier for the Blues region. Rangitoto will play Fielding HS from the Hurricanes region on Friday 8 Sept with a final/play-off to be determined for Sunday 10 September.
North Harbour champion Rosmini College 1st XV faced the Auckland champion St Kentigerns College in the Blues region Boys final at Rosmini. 22-9 down at half-time, Rosmini battled against their bigger opposition from one of the power house schools across the Bridge losing 46-21 in a very creditable performance. Replacement half back Maine Kitson and winger Alex Pryce scored tries and first-five Connor Leather kicked three penalties with lock Max Hicks adding a conversion.
At the Auckland Schools Finals day at the Auckland Marist Club, two schools were flying the North Harbour Flag. Rangitoto faced St Kentigerns in the Under 19/Under 70 kg A Grade Plate final and from 17-5 down at half-time powered back to tie up the scores 17 all but a late penalty gave St Kentigerns a 20-17 win. In the Under 19/Under 70 kg B Grade final, Takapuna were also down 17-5 at half-time to Howick and on the back of 70 metre try to centre Cory Pelham, came back to a 17-15 score-line but the aggressive Howick pack put on the pressure to score a converted try for a 24-15 win to the East Aucklanders. The Finals day at Auckland Marist was a wonderful spectacle with masses of people present to watch 18 games of finals rugby throughout the morning and early afternoon.
Main photo by Simon Harmer