The Hastings Boys' High School under-14 rugby team dug deep to create history for the school on Wednesday.
The side, which is co-coached by former Hawke's Bay Magpies lock Matt Bird and former Hawke's Bay Unicorns rugby league speedster Shane Foster, recovered from a 10-0 deficit to beat Hamilton Boys' High School 12-10 in the final of their Palmerston North-hosted Super 8 tournament.
"This tournament has been going since 2007 and this is the first time Hastings Boys have won it," a delighted Foster said yesterday.
With their victory Hastings Boys completed a 17-game unbeaten run for the season. With this title, the school's under-15 side recording a top four finish at their national tournament in Wellington and the 1st XV starting their second consecutive national top four campaign in Palmerston North today the school's rugby systems couldn't be in a more healthier state.
"Judging by the recent battles between the two schools' 1st XVs our team knew the final wasn't going to be easy," Foster said.
Hamilton led 5-0 at halftime and 10-0 soon after halftime. With 10 minutes remaining winger Nefi Tupou scored Hastings first try which was converted by captain and halfback Cooper Flanders, a younger brother of outstanding 1st XV No 8 Devan Flanders.
Centre Donovan Godinet scored the match winning try with a clever solo kick and chase move with 90 seconds remaining. Earlier in the tournament the Hastings side, which was managed by Hamish Jenkinson, a son of Magpies assistant manager Brian Jenkinson, pipped Rotorua Boys 10-7 in their semifinal after beating Palmerston North Boys' High 20-5 and Wellington Boys 60-5 in pool play.
■ Iona College's unbeaten run at the National Secondary Schoolgirls Federation Cup hockey tournament in Hawke's Bay ended with their 3-2 quarterfinal loss to Rangi Ruru Girls' School from Christchurch in Napier yesterday.
"We're super proud of our girls ... they all played themselves to a standstill. We must thank the other Hawke's Bay schools for their support and we will be aiming to reciprocate tomorrow," Iona manager David Nancarrow said.
Captain Lexie Heaphy, who like all of her teammates will be returning to school next year, scored both of Iona's goals. Her team will begin their battle for fifth place with a match against Queen Margaret College of Wellington today.
The Cotter sisters, Hannah with two and Kaitlin, scored all of Napier Girls' High School's goals in a 3-1 win against Columba College of Dunedin. They will keep their chances of finishing ninth alive with a win against Hamilton Girls' High School today.
■ Napier Boys' High School will meet St Pat's Town from Wellington in today's playoff for seventh at the national secondary schools premier soccer tournament in Napier.
The Super 8 champions lost 2-1 to Auckland's St Kentigern College yesterday. Midfielder Josh Murphy scored the hosts goal. Hastings Boys' High School will play St John's College of Hamilton in the playoff for 31st after losing 2-0 to Palmerston North Boys' High School yesterday.
■ Canterbury's number one amateur Amelia Garvey yesterday carded an incredible round of seven-under, 67 (Par 74) to be tied for the lead after the second round of the New Zealand Girls Age Group Golf Championships.
Her exciting round included five birdies and an eagle on the par five, 10th to catch up with overnight leader and tournament favourite, Ayean Cho.
Mako Thompson is the new leader of the New Zealand Boys Age Group Championships at the Hastings club after a controlled round of two-under par.
Once again, conditions were challenging with wind gusts ever present, keeping the day two scoring low. Overnight leader Jake Lee is just one stroke back after struggling in the wind and is joined by Jack Clout and Greg Shaw to create a mouth-watering final round where a new champion will be crowned.