Winger Kini Naholo scored five tries as the Hastings Boys' High School 1st XV rugby side walloped their Wellington College counterparts 78-0 in their Hastings-hosted Hurricanes Region semifinal today.
A younger brother of All Black Waisake Naholo, Naholo, has scored 39 tries in 18 games for Hastings this season. Hastings remain unbeaten this year and will meet the winners of today's other semifinal between Palmerston North Boys' High School and St Pats Silverstream in Palmerston North next Saturday.
"We're pretty happy with that win today. We knew we needed some improvements after our draw against Hamilton Boys' High School in our last outing and those small things we did good. We got that attention to detail ticked off against a good Wellington team," Hastings manager Jason Bird said.
Hooker Miracle Lolofie produced his best game of the season for Hastings with powerful carries, outstanding support play and plenty of accuracy at set piece time. One spectator described him as "a little rhinoceros on the loose."
Lock Tane Hohipa and blindside flanker Liam Udy-Johns, who both scored two tries, were also inspirational in a dominant and cohesive Hastings pack. Hastings started their back-up halfback-first five-eighth combination of Shamara Brooks and Jordan Thompson-Dunn and they performed admirably.
Regular starting halfback Folau Fakatava was classy when he took the field. Second five-eighth Danny Toala did well to convert nine of the hosts 12 tries and was full of authority in general play.
Lock Taine Plumtree was the pick of the Wellington College players. Wellington College coach Lincoln Rawles predicted Hastings will retain their Hurricanes title.
"If they can produce similar skills to today next week they will get it. All teams will struggle against them once they get the ball out wide. We were there for the first 15 to 20 minutes but then they capitalised on our errors and came at us wave after wave," Rawles said.
Hastings Boys' High School 78 (Kini Naholo 5, Tane Hohipa 2, Liam Udy-Johns 2, Dennon Robinson, Folau Fakatava, Jacob Stephenson tries; Danny Toala 9 cons), Wellington College 0. HT: 33-0.