The appearance of large scaffolding near the halfway line at Nicholson Field is adding intrigue ahead of tomorrow's Super 8 rugby showdown.

The scaffolding is there for SKY TV cameras ahead of the game between the Tauranga Boys' College and Rotorua Boys' High School First XV teams, which will be broadcast live on the Rugby Channel and across the SKY Sports network on Tuesday from 6am.

The eagerly anticipated clash is the latest instalment in the history of the local derby match between the proud Bay of Plenty schools that gets more former First XV players out to watch than any other game.

So far the 2018 season is proving to be a rapid learning curve for the new-look Tauranga Boys' side which has lost a significant chunk of last year's players.


Away game losses to Hamilton Boys' and Palmerston North Boys' mean tomorrow's match with Rotorua Boys' is even more important to secure the first Super 8 points of the season.

The sides met earlier in the season in a Chiefs Cup match as the curtain-raiser to the Chiefs v Jaguares game in Rotorua with the home side winning 33-3.

Tauranga coach Dan Goodwin says his team has improved greatly since that game.

"This week the boys have prepared well. It is a good opportunity for us. We have already played them once this season and I believe we have grown a lot since then. They are a good side, well coached and well resourced," Goodwin said.

"It is a big learning curve for some of these boys but they have worked extremely hard together. I think they are enjoying it."

Last week Tauranga played three games in six days, with losses to Hamilton Boys' and Palmerston North Boys' broken up with a win over Westlake Boys'.

The tough week has built extra resilience into the squad that is well aware there are no easy games in the Super 8.

"Hopefully we are getting a little bit of momentum with each game as the boys do improve and they are improving," Goodwin says.


"I am looking forward to seeing the boys rip into Saturday. We are really looking forward to the challenge and that's what it is. They are a good side and it is a good way for our boys to measure themselves."

Dealing with the cyclic nature of senior players leaving school is standard fare for any First XV coach at a school like Tauranga Boys' without a hostel to attract players from outside the catchment area.

But Goodwin is not using that as an excuse.

"It is always a challenge and, as a school, we have to think outside the square a little bit. We are a big school so the challenge for us is making sure our rugby programme is developing the boys we have, even though we don't have a hostel."

The game kicks off at 2.30pm at Nicholson Field on Cameron Road, Tauranga.

For your local sport listen to Brian Kelly's sports show every Saturday at 7am on newstalk zb 90.2 FM

Super 8
What it is: Sporting competitions in First XV rugby, Second XV rugby, badminton, basketball, chess, cricket, clay bird shooting, cross country, golf, hockey, football, tennis, volleyball and cultural events.
Who is involved: Tauranga Boys', Gisborne Boys', New Plymouth Boys', Rotorua Boys', Palmerston North Boys', Napier Boys', Hastings Boys', Hamilton Boys'.