The New Zealand Secondary School Canoe Polo National Championships were held in Feilding over the weekend.
Hastings Boys' qualified in both the senior and junior divisions. Both teams successfully topped their pool heading into cross overs.
After taking care of Wellington College 4-3, Palmerston North Boys' High School 4-2 and Hamilton Boys' 4-3 in pool play, the senior team met Onslow College in their semifinal. For some reason we put ourselves under early pressure by poor passing and a lack of intensity on attack. Onslow got ahead and we struggled to claw back the deficit, losing 4-3. The boys were down after that loss and we started the playoff for third against Napier Boys' High School in the same manner.
Napier surged to a 3-goal lead in the first half but then things started to turn our way. A great setpiece goal brought much needed belief, and from that put on we took control of the game. Some sensational goal saves by Ryan Warren, coupled with excellent fast breaks resulted in a 4-3 victory and third place in the division. Although it was a case of what might have been, the team was satisfied with what was a very impressive come from behind win.
The junior team (Liam Warren (c), Andrew Bowden, Kaleb Jones, Ethan Flanders, Soloman Stent, Shakquan Butler-Toko and Tane Hohipa) beat Otaki College 11-7, Wellington College 10-4 and Palmerston North Boys' High School 6-2 in their pool games. Our semifinal was against Napier Boys' who we had beaten in the Hawke's Bay Champs a few weeks before. We ended up playing probably our best game of the tournament with a clinical 11-3 win.
This put us in the final against the other Hawke's Bay team - Karamu High School. This proved to be a very close contest and Karamu certainly delivered, leading 3-1 at halftime. The team stayed strong, however, and once our defence tightened up, the pressure was applied to the opposition. By fulltime the scores were locked at 3-all.
The final went in to extra time and Golden Goal. After absorbing a Karamu attack it was our turn to turn the screws, and when we drew the defence to the left side of the pool the ball was sent right where Soloman Stent received a great pass and scored the winning goal to be crowned best junior team in New Zealand. Our MVP for the tournament was Liam Warren who was outstanding, but the whole team played exceptionally well throughout and should be very proud of what they have achieved. The school would like to thank the boys' families for their amazing support both before and during the tournament. We couldn't have done it with out you.
HBHS won their annual 1st XV rugby fixture against Wellington College for the first time in 12 years on Saturday in Hastings.
Replacement hooker Thomas Oughton scored a last minute try to give the hosts a 27-22 victory. Hastings coach Tony McBride said the win was an appropriate reward for his troops who have worked extremely hard in the build-up to the season.
Wellington led 17-12 at halftime. But a smaller Hastings forward pack played with guts and determination to continually upset the Wellington players and laid an excellent platform for the backs to attack from. Hooker Jacob Baker, who had an exceptional game, scored Hastings' first two tries.
Baker switched to blindside flanker for the second half. Powerful No8 Dempsey Greening, who impressed with his ball carrying skills, scored the next two tries for the hosts.
Fullback Ben Smith, who was again impressive, kicked Hastings only conversion. Lance Knauf and Jules Jansen joined fellow loosies Baker and Greening as the best of the gutsy host pack.
Hastings Boys' High School is ready to become a force on the national secondary schools' softball scene again.
Under regular national title-winning coach Tom Makea snr, Hastings Boys' High School won four national division one titles and a second placing from five attempts, from 2005-09. With another long-serving Hawke's Bay age group coach Paul Woon coaching the school's team, HBHS won the North Island division two title in emphatic fashion with a 13-0 thrashing of Wanganui High School in the final of their Palmerston North-hosted tournament last week.
Woon's son, Year 9 student Adam Woon, pitched the final and was named as the team's MVP. Catcher Jacob Zurcher and versatile utility Taniera Miratana both smashed home runs in the final and Woon had an automatic double after his attempt at a home run bounced over the left outfield fence.
Wanganui High School had earlier beaten HBHS 10-5 in section play and Hastings gained revenge with a 7-3 win in the top four playoffs before taking out the decider in the final. In their other section games HBHS beat Freyberg High 12-2, Feilding Ag High 15-0 and Gisborne Boys' High 12-1.
In their other top four playoff games HBHS beat Palmerston North Boys' High 12-7 and lost 7-4 to St Pats, of Wellington.