Tauranga Intermediate will represent Northern Districts at the National Primary School Cup finals to be played in Christchurch next Monday and Tuesday.

The Twenty20 tournament for Year 7-8 boys is to be staged at the impressive facilities at the New Zealand Cricket High Performance Centre in Lincoln.

It has been three years since Tauranga were last at the finals following a memorable three-year sequence between 2011 and 2013 that netted the school two national titles.

There have been two other appearances in the finals in recent times, proving just how hard it is to beat the best schools in the wider Northern Districts region to get the chance to compete in Christchurch.

Advertisement

Aubrey Jeftha has been coaching cricket at Tauranga Intermediate since he joined the school 14 years ago.

He rates this year's team highly after they were tested by some top schools in the qualifying series.

"I give this group of boys a really good chance. We are starting to peak at the right stage now. We have put a lot of effort and practice in. We have used the Bay Indoor Centre quite a few times and have had lots of sessions," he said.

"I am looking forward to this tournament because I think these boys can pull it off again."

After winning through as Bay of Plenty champs, Tauranga Intermediate played five games at the Northern Districts tournament in Pukekohe, with the toughest against Berkley Normal Middle School from Hamilton.

They eventually got home by two runs after managing to get past the talented son of former All Black Carlos Spencer.

"He was a one-man show and we worked out his demise to be able to win. On the final day the rain was pouring down and we played two games. We beat Gisborne and then played Kamo," Jeftha said.

"Heavy rain interrupted the game and for the first time ever we were involved in a Duckworth-Lewis system. They scored 108 in 20 overs and we were 86-4 after 13 overs when they had to stop the game. The results were sent to Cricket New Zealand who decided we won on the Duckworth-Lewis system."

Tauranga Intermediate play Auckland's King's School, Medbury School from Christchurch, Huntley School near Whanganui and Raroa Normal Intermediate from Wellington over the two days.

"We actually beat Raroa in 2013 when they won the tournament but we lost our first game that year and came third," Jeftha said.

The Tauranga Intermediate team is proudly captained by Harsh Patel, 13, who is well aware that Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell and Daniel Flynn were once in the team.

"My job is to lead the boys and try and make them play their hardest. I think if everyone plays their best we have got a great chance of winning. Everyone is really happy so that's good," he said.

Patel is not taking too much notice of their qualifying games as he knows it will be a big step up in Christchurch.

"It is not playing teams in our own district and the other teams are going to be quite tough. Hopefully, we can get beat them."