It's season over for the loser of today's Bay of Plenty secondary schools rugby final between Rotorua Boys' High School and Tauranga Boys' College at Nicholson Field.

The winners of the clash go on to meet the top Counties-Manukau first XV in the next step towards representing the Chiefs franchise region in the National Top 4 competition.

There's nothing more in 2016 for the losers.

Rotorua Boys' have been the dominant Bay side in recent seasons, winning the corresponding game last season and overcoming Boys' College 24-18 in June in the Super 8s.


Rotorua finished the Super 8s in third, with Boys' College one place behind.

Tauranga Boys' College coach Dan Goodwin admits he isn't sure when the Boys' College first XV last beat their Bay of Plenty rivals.

"But this is a great opportunity. Rotorua are probably our biggest game of the year really and there's no love lost between the two teams," he said.

Rotorua counterpart Ngarimu Simpkins is expecting a hard game today.

"Tauranga, I'm sure, have been planning for this and we are expecting a really tough battle. It's going to be a worthy Bay of Plenty final."

Goodwin said lessons have been learned from the Super 8 defeat.

"They dominated us at set pieces last time, so that's something we want to make sure we improve on."

With many players on both sides leaving school at the end of the year, there is plenty of incentive to win.

"Our captain Will Ngatai is leaving this year, and he's fairly motivated. He's a great player and a great leader for the boys and I think he'll have a good game," said Goodwin. "We've got probably seven or eight levers out of the team and I will be looking for them to step up."

Simpkins is also looking to certain players to shine.

"A number of guys been outstanding like Kaleb Trask playing first five for us - he's been outstanding and so has Hayze Perham at centre. Te Ra Whetu has also been a standout.

Those guys have been in the first XV a few years now and this is where they get tested and they are big game players, so we are expecting them to lead from the front."

While there might be no more school rugby for one of the two sides, that doesn't mean players will necessarily be putting their boots away.

"All these young fellas are vying for positions in the Bay under 18s, so there's an opportunity there to impress," said Goodwin.

Simpkins is well aware of the consequences of failure today.

"It's been a great season because we have been able to develop a large number of boys.

"We are really happy with our season and we are in a good place at the moment. But this is where it all counts for us, these play-offs, because its do or die. We are reasonably happy with what's gone on so far, but I guess we'll be judged by what actually happens with the Top 4."
Today's game kicks off at noon.