Auckland Grammar headmaster John Morris, his staff and pupils are basking in reflected glory following unprecedented success in the winter sporting arenas.
Led by the squash team who followed their success in the Auckland final by winning the national tournament in Wellington on August 13, AGS have since collected the national Lotto Sports Premier soccer and Rankin Cup hockey titles.
The school capped their amazing run by beating King's College 16-3 in the 1A 1st XV rugby final at Eden Park on Sunday.
For Morris, sporting success has been a welcome diversion after being embroiled in the school zoning controversy.
"There is huge pride within the school," said Morris. "Winning major events is good for morale.
"It is deserved reward for the boys and their coaches who are all fulltime teachers but give their time to coach our teams."
A former soccer international, Morris missed the first XI's 2-0 win over arch rivals Mt Albert Grammar in the Napier final.
"I had promised the hockey boys I would go to Christchurch to watch them if they made the Rankin Cup final," said Morris. "They did really well to fight back from 0-2 to get to 2-2 and then win on penalty strokes."
The victory continued a good late season rally for the Blair Adams/Jason Roberts-coached 1st hockey XI. After losing the Auckland title they bounced back to beat Westlake BHS 1-0 in the inter-city final.
In Christchurch, AGS opened with a 11-2 win over Tawa College before edging Palmerston North BHS 1-0 - a result which was to have some significance later in the week.
In the quarter-finals, AGS beat Tauranga BC 3-1 and followed that with a hard-fought 1-0 win over King's in the semifinals.
The final against PNBHS was a tense affair. Nicholas Wilson scored twice for PNBHS before Hugo Baron and Hamish Kesha got AGS back to 2-2. There was no further scoring in the seven minutes of extra time which sent the final to strokes, which AGS won 4-3. Captain and goalkeeper Hamish Wilson pulled off the crucial save for the victory.
At Eden Park, AGS came from behind to beat their traditional foes.
Playing into the wind, AGS trailed 0-3 at halftime after William Brittain had kicked a penalty for the only points of the first half.
Following a period of sustained pressure with Jack Turley and Shawn Stewart winning good lineout ball and Dan Pryor prominent in securing quick second-phase ball, man of the match Dave Thomas scored the only try.
Ash Moeke added the extras and also kicked two penalties and a drop goal to complete the victory and allow captain Winston Stanley to s collect the coveted trophy watched by coaches Mark Paton and Grant Maguire.
In Napier, AGS went through the premier soccer tournament without conceding a goal thanks to some expert play from captain and goalkeeper Michael Lowe.
Two Kayne Vincent goals, one in each half, got AGS home over the old enemy Mt Albert Grammar at Park Island, much to the delight of coaches Jimmy Hogg and Toby Kroon.
These victories followed the squash team's nail-biting win again over MAGS in their final in Wellington.
After their 3-2 win over St John's College in the semis, the AGS team of Peter Sullivan, Alex McDonald, Cameron Jamieson, Steven Blake and Hayden Miller, coached by Richard Thompson and Tala Elise, triumphed by the same score in the final - a repeat of their success in the Auckland champs earlier in the month.
The best of New Zealand's rising talent will put their wheels on the line in the Mt Wellington Trust-sponsored NZ individual championships this weekend.
For the first time, the two-day event has attracted more than 400 entries, with 411 set to race, up from 368 a year ago.
Saturday's racing will be a series of criteriums in seven grades over a 1.2km East Tamaki circuit.
On Sunday there will be an early start for the individual time trials which will be raced over 4km to 8km.
The final event - the always-exciting hills climbs on Mt Wellington - promises to be the decider.
Cambridge BHS' Shem Roger will be back to defend his title, which is decided over accumulated points from the three disciplines.
The senior girls are expected to turn in some hot racing with Nicole Macic (Manurewa HS), Kerri Anne Torckler (NPGHS) and Rachel Mercer (Wellington College) likely to battle it out.
Local rider Myron Simpson (St Kentigern) will be hard to beat in the boys under-17 after setting records in the under-16 time trial and hillclimb last year.
While Auckland Grammar emerged as the top team in boys' hockey with their Rankin Cup triumph in Christchurch and King's shared third to underline the strength of the sport in Auckland, it was a different story in the premier girls' Federation Cup tournament in Napier.
The strength of Northland over the years was again underlined with Whangarei GHS beating St Margaret's College 3-1 in the final.
To further emphasise the depth of the game in the north, Kamo HS beat Christchurch GHS 3-2 in the third place play-off.
The expected Auckland/North Harbour challenge faltered.
Westlake GHS fared best, finishing fifth, while St Cuthbert's were seventh and Diocesan a disappointing 10th.
Led by a four-try effort from player of the tournament Paki Afu, St Paul's College confirmed their standing as New Zealand's top school with their 36-10 win over Christchurch's Aranui High in the final at Mt Smart Stadium.
Afu was in outstanding form against a spirited Aranui side who held St Paul's to just 10-0 at halftime.
Isaia Tuifua kicked four goals to ensure the victory for the champion Auckland team.
Aranui did not go away empty-handed as Louis Fanene was named best forward of the tournament.
In an all-northern play-off for third, Otahuhu College held on to beat Southern Cross Campus 30-26 after being comfortably 22-6 ahead at halftime.
Otahuhu outscored Southern Cross five tries to four.
Both schools had top goal-kickers to keep their teams in the match.
Sione Tongia (Otahuhu) and Moale Taufa (Southern Cross) both kicked five goals.
Kennedy Pettyborne, who scored one of Southern's tries, was named the best back of the tournament.
It was a case of third time lucky for Onehunga HS in Monday's girls' final at Coxs Bay Reserve.
After losing the last two finals, Onehunga bounced back to beat the Manurewa HS 12-8.
Tries to Sita Murara and Lopa Avauli with a Renee Folaumoetui conversion got Onehunga HS home after they had lost to Papakura HS and Manurewa in the previous two finals.
Josephine Herewini scored Manurewa's only try, with Aroha Savage, later named player of the day, kicking a penalty.
In a stunning display, Westlake BHS outclassed Rosmini College 76-8 in a lop-sided 1A final at North Harbour Stadium.
The winning margin was a huge surprise given the manner in which the season had unfolded.
Westlake were far from being a dominant force especially in their battles with Massey HS, Takapuna GS and Rosmini and few would have dared predict such a romp.
Led by a 29-point haul for Ben Botica - the halfback son of former All Black Frano - and coached by another former All Black, Dean Kenny (Ben's uncle), Westlake were always in control.
They were well-served at first five-eighths by Mitchell McGahan, son of former Kiwis captain Hugh McGahan who these days works as the defensive coach for several rugby teams - including WBHS.
Botica follows his father, Luke McAlister and Nick Evans in making their mark at the school.
The All Black connection did not end there as Gary Whetton was "water boy" for Rosmini, for whom his son William played lock.
There was no place for the faint-hearted as Manurewa HS and Wesley College played out a 12-12 draw in a one-off match to find the representative for the Chiefs franchise play-offs of the national top four competition.
After a hard-fought opening 20 minutes which Manurewa dominated without putting any points on the board, Wesley scored a converted try just before halftime to take a surprise 7-0 lead.
A try for Cameron Myocevich, converted by Tim Nanae Williams, got Manurewa back to 7-7.
The pressure continued with both teams having chances.
Eventually the deadlock was broken when winger Connor Talaimanu scored for Manurewa.
Nanae's conversion attempt hit the post.
Wesley rallied and in a hectic last 10 minutes grabbed an unconverted try to tie it 10-10 and go through on a countback as the game's first try-scorer.
TODAY: Soccer, Auckland SS Knockout Cup, semifinal, Macleans v WBHS, Macleans 3pm (winner v winner of 2nd semifinal between MAGS and AGS to be played on August 30).
THURSDAY: Curling, Birkenhead Team Seo v EGGS Team Farley, Birkenhead Team Choi v EGGS Team Tiong, from 7pm, Paradice Avondale.
Rugby, Whangarei BHS v WBHS, WBHS 2.30pm (winner to play AGS next Tuesday).
FRIDAY: Basketball, premier, girls (all 6pm), Northcote c Avondale, AGS, Manurewa v WGHS, Manurewa, Massey v AGGS, MAGS, Rangitoto v Rosehill, Rangitoto. Boys (all 7.30pm), AGS v WBHS, AGS, St Kentigern v Avondale (non-comp), Manurewa, MAGS v KBHS, MAGS, Rangitoto v Dilworth, Rangitoto.
SATURDAY: Cycling, NZSS individual championships, criterium, Carpenters Rd (East Tamaki) from 12.15pm.
Rugby, Auckland SS grade finals day, Sacred Heart College from 9am.
Soccer A1 (all noon, home team first), AGS v Kings, Rangitoto v WBHS, St Kentigern v MAGS, St Peters v Macleans.
SUNDAY: Cycling NZSS individual championships, time trials, Riverside Rd/Dunkirk Rd (Panmure) from 7am; hillclimbs, Mt Wellington from 10.15am.
TUESDAY: Basketball, Greater Auckland quadrangular, under-15, sections A/B, North Shore Events Centre from 9.30am.
Multisport, Auckland champs (kayak, cycle, run), Farm Cove from 10.30am.
Final: Northcote 71 Massey 62.
Final placings: Northcote 1, Massey HS 2, Avondale 3, AGGS 4, Rangitoto 5, WGHS 6, EGGS 7, Kamo HS 8.
Tournament team: C. Paalvast, G. Luaki (Massey), K. Kelly, S. Theyers (Northcote), M. Malsuzawa, E. Te Rare (Avondale), A. Hoeta, L. Lidgard (AGGS), C. Marsh (Rangitoto), M. OBrien (WGHS).
Final: WBHS 103 Avondale 76.
Final placings: WBHS 1, Avondale 2, Northcote 3, KBHS 4, Dilworth 5, AGS 6, Rangitoto 7, Kerikeri 8, Long Bay 9, Onehunga 10, Massey 11, Penrose 12, Te Kura O Waititi Marae 13, De La Salle 14.
Tournament team: D. Blake, C. Webster (WBHS), B. Anthony, P. Griffith (Avondale), A. Stanton, J. Tuati (Northcote), E. Fanti (AGS), Z. Makavilitogia (Dilworth), T. Mataafa, H. ORiely (KBHS).
Tournament MVP: David Clarke (WBHS).
GREATER AUCKLAND COLLEGIATE CHAMPS
Singles: K. Heta (James Cook) 1, D. Lolesio (McAuley) 2.
Pairs: A. Grey/M. Gorvan (Manurewa) 1, M. Lampitt/E. Roland (WGHS) 2.
Singles: G. Ruaporo (St Peters) 1, M. Shine (KBHS) 2.
Pairs: J. Taiaroa/M. Mardell (AGS) 1, K. McCambridge/D. Morris (Rangitoto).
Massey Rockers 8 EGGS Team Ky 5, AGGS 5 EGGS Team Smith 4, Massey Frosties 9 Papakura Boys 3, Birkenhead Mixed 10 KBHS Team Bowen 6.
Teams to advance to semifinals (beginning August 31):
Boys, pool A: Long Bay Gliders, KBHS Team Ford.
Pool B: Long Bay Nuggets, Birkenhead Team Cranswick.
Pool C: Birkenhead Mixed, KBHS Team Bowen.
Pool D: Birkenhead Team Edwards, Birkenhead Team Niu.
Girls, pool A: yet to be decided.
Pool B: yet to be decided.
Pool C: AGGS, Baradene.
Pool D: Massey Rockers, KGHS.
Semifinals: AGS 1 Kings 0, PNBHS 6 Napier BHS 1.
Final: AGS 2 PNBHS 2 (AGS won 4-3 on strokes)
3rd-4th play-off: Kings 2 Napier 2.
Semifinals: St Margarets 3 Kamo 1, Whangarei GHS 6 Christchurch GHS 0.
Final: Whangarei GHS 3 St Margarets 1
3rd-4th: Kamo 3 Christchurch 2.
NZSS NATIONAL TOURNAMENT
(Mt Smart 2)
Final: St Pauls College 36 (J. Carl, A. Aoesi, V. Sanele, P. Afu 4 tries; I. Tuifua 4 goals) Aranui High 10 (T. Edmonds, D. Tonihi tries; Tonihi goal). HT: 10-0.
3rd-4th play-off: Otahuhu College 30 (S. Tongia, D. Saletielu, F. Naunau, R. Bristow 2 tries; Tongia 5 goals) Southern Cross Campus 26 (F. Aviata, M. Hutchings, K. Pettyborne, M. Seumanu tries; M Taufa 5 goals). HT: 22-6.
5th-6th play-off: Wainuiomata HS 28 (M. Harrison, E. Monu 2, R. Turuwhenua 3 tries; Harrison, T. Nicho goals) The Manurewa HS 12 (J. Paea, Z. Tipene, W. Stowers tries). HT: 20-4.
UPPER NORTH ISLAND
Final placings: Massey HS 1, Sacred Heart GC 2, MAGS 3, Cambridge HS 4, Rangitoto 5, AGGS 6, St Cuthberts 7, Pakuranga 8, Western Heights 9, Hamilton GHS 10. Players of tournament: A. Chou-Lee (Massey), C. Jacobs (Massey), C. Lees (St Cuthberts).
Final placings: St Peters 1, Otumoetai 2, Katikati 3, Otamatea 4, St Kentigern 5.
Final placings: Long Bay 1, Sir Edmund Hillary 2, TGS 3, Northcote 4, Birkenhead 5.
Tournament team: Jacobs, Chou-Lee, P. Griffin, E. Winter (Massey), Lees (St Cuthberts), K. Montgomery, R. Twaddle (Rangitoto), T. Hemara, S. Martin (Mahurangi), C. Mita (WGHS), L. Vaitohi, Te R. Keenan (MAGS), J. Beaumont (Cambridge), R. Fabling, E. van der Poel (Sacred Heart), E. Shadrock (Western Heights), L. Williams (Matamata), A. Hiukatai (AGGS), E. Iverson (Carmel), D. Paekau (St Peters).
NZSS trialists: Jacobs, Montgomery, Mita, Vaitohi, Beaumont, Fabling, Shadrock, Williams, Chou-Lee, L. Tipene (EGGS).
1A final: AGS 16 Kings 3.
1B final: Papatoetoe HS 21 Dilworth 18.
Final: Onehunga HS 12 The Manurewa HS 8. 3rd-4th: AGGS 20 Tangaroa 15.
1A final: WBHS 76 Rosmini 8. 1B plate final (5th-6th place):- Rangitoto 19 Orewa 11. 5A final:- Massey 17 Rosmini 14. 2nd grade final:- Rosmini 2nd XV 10 Kristin 3. Girls final:- Northcote 38 WGHS 10.
Auckland under-18 SS divisional representative team: J. Nauccabalava, T. Qusianadranituraga, J. Cook, T. Park, S. Baxter, N. Bridge (Macleans), J. Lemalu, P. Ha, J. Guthrie, F. Benedict, J. Kaio (Papatoetoe HS), A. Gardner, R. Wilson (Dilworth), C. Too, K. Leauanae (Waitakere), V. Maiava, B. Mataia, R. Moaleaeua, V.Tuugapasi (Mangere), J. Likio (Penrose), L. Loia (Sir Edmund Hillary), B. Curran (Liston), R. Sagoto (MRGS), P. Talakai (Onehunga HS), K. Rupene (Howick), W. Halahalo (Avondale).
Auckland under-15 development squad: J. Smit, K. Pryor, A. Hitchcock (AGS), T. Kolo, J. Tupe, N. Paulo, T. Lafaele, S. Lolohea (De La Salle), K. Petia, F. Katoa, C. Vaega, S. Hiko, W. Whippy (KBHS), S. Smith (Kings), N. Laulala, S. Luatua, I. Iopu, W. Barrett, T. Shilton (MAGS), I. Faalave (Otahuhu), M. Fonua, M. Munro, J. Lee (Sacred Heart), J. Hickey (St Kentigern), S. Lousi (St Pauls), P. Tuipulotu, P. Buffalora, N. Fox-Matamu, F. Saili, B. Lam (St Peters), S. Finau, J. Mata (Tamaki), E. Togiatomai (Tangaroa), T. Vea (Dilworth), P. Viane (Lynfield), N. Symes (Macleans), K. Hopoi (MRGS), C. Rodger, T. Peters (Onehunga), M. Pole (Manukau Rovers), A. Mose(Papatoetoe RC).
Players to meet Eden Park Monday 5.45pm.
Auckland SS girls team: A.Kani, L. Gray (Tangaroa), A. McCambridge, U. Sili (St Marys), A. Smalley, E. Fuiavaa, K. Nati (Otahuhu), S. Itamua, S. Schwenke, S. Semisi, S. Samson, A. Oneroa (Waitakere), M. Mikatai, L. Nofoaiga, M. Tuipolotu, T. Evalu (McAuley), F. Faulafo, L. Marurai (KGHS), A. Nelson (EGGS), L. Tongatonga (Onehunga), J. Natna-Pelasio (Tamaki), M. Uili, F. Aniseko (AGGS), S. Fifita (Avondale). Coaches:- Wally Ropati/Red Mayes.
LOTTO SPORTS PREMIER
Semifinals: AGS 2 WBHS 0, MAGS 4 Nelson College 0.
Final: AGS 2 MAGS 0.
Final: Wellington East 5 Hamilton GHS 0.
REX DAWKINS CUP
Final: KBHS 3 Massey HS 2.
Final: Pakuranga College 2 James Hargest College 1.
JIM WISHART CUP
Final: Hamilton BHS 2 Avondale College 0.
NZ SS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Semifinals: AGS 3 St Johns 2, MAGS 4 PNBHS 1.
Final: AGS 3 MAGS 2.
Semifinals: Central Southland 3 WGGS 2, St Cuthberts 3 Rotorua GHS 2.
Final: St Cuthberts 4 Central Southland 1.
3rd-4th: Rotorua GHS 4 EGGS 1; 5th-6th:- WGHS 4 Tauranga GC 1.
Macleans 5 AGS B 2, AGS A 7 AGS C 0, St Kentigern 4 Macleans B 3, MAGS 6 AGS D 1.