Hastings Boys' High School 1st XV rugby flanker Jeriah Mua is in a pretty good position to know what's required if his unbeaten team is to retain their Super 8 title this season.
Like winger Kini Naholo, Mua played for the Chiefs under-18s who beat their Blues counterparts 27-14 during the school holidays. Both Mua and Naholo scored tries as they did in Hastings Boys' High's 64-0 thrashing of Tauranga Boys' College in Hastings on Saturday.
Several of their Chiefs teammates were Hamilton Boys' High School players. Hastings take on Hamilton away this weekend and will likely meet them again the following weekend in the Super 8 final.
"We might quite a few errors today. We're going to have to be more focused in big moments against Hamilton," Mua said on Saturday.
Mua, 17, didn't make too many errors. He had a high defensive workrate, his carries were powerful and his link and support plays were accurate.
"I started for the Chiefs and I want the No 7 jersey for the New Zealand Secondary Schools team," said Mua, who is Bay of Plenty-bound next year.
Fullback Danny Toala, who scored 29 points for Hastings, again enhanced his chances of NZSS selection. He scored three tries and kicked seven conversions from nine attempts at goal in tricky windy conditions. This was Hastings Boys' High's 15th consecutive win from as many matches this season and their 31st win from their last 32 matches.
The school has scored 924 points in their 15 outings this season while conceding 50.
HBHS manager and former Magpies halfback Jason Bird said there was some rust in the hosts' display in their first outing after the school holidays and he stressed the importance of the coming week to his troops.
"This is going to be a huge week. We're unlikely to get a harder assignment than this."
It took Tauranga 30 minutes to get into the Hastings half during the first spell and what little ball they managed to secure they dropped before completing two phases. This was a tribute to the in-your-face defensive work of the hosts more than the cold weather.
Second five-eighth Sione Faiva made the most of his limited opportunities for Tauranga.
Napier Boys' High School beat New Plymouth Boys' High School 45-22 in Napier after leading 17-10 at halftime. NBHS assistant coach Dave Russell said his troops ran in some good tries in an ideal rehearsal for Wednesday's away Polson Banner challenge against Palmerston North Boys' High School.
Winger Dan Sharplin scored three tries. Halfback Humphrey Sheild and centre Tyrone Dodd-Edwards were others to shine in the Napier backline. Tighthead prop Cam Huata, captain and blindside flanker Josh Bokser and No 8 Lolani Faleiva were all prominent in the hosts' pack.
Hastings Boys' High School 64 (Danny Toala 3, Jeriah Mua , Miracle Lolofie, Emil Crichton, Donovan Mataira, Kini Naholo, Dennon Robinson, Shamara Brooks tries; Toala 7 cons), Tauranga Boys' College 0. HT: 26-0.
Napier Boys' High School 45 (Dan Sharplin 3, Fletcher Sugden, Tyrone Dodd-Edwards, Lolani Faleiva, Luke Russell tries; Humphrey Sheild 5 cons), New Plymouth Boys' High School 22. HT: 17-10.