Every match-up between Rotorua Boys' High School and Tauranga Boys' College is hotly contested, but you can expect both sides to go to another level when they meet in the Bay of Plenty secondary school rugby final today.

A loss will represent the end of the road for one team, as their season comes to an end, while the winner will go on to play New Plymouth Boys' High School in the next step towards representing the Chiefs franchise region in the National Top 4 competition.

When the sides met in the Super 8 competition in June, Rotorua won 35-28 on the back of a Selesitino Ravutaumada hat-trick. They finished the Super 8 competition in third place with four wins and three losses, while Tauranga finished fifth with three wins and four losses.

Rotorua coach Ruki Tipuna said his team were "ready to go".


"We've just been touching up on the areas that we feel need work from the previous few weeks - just little improvements in key areas.

"It's a battle to be the best school in the Bay, that's always going to be there and there's going to be a bit behind that, both teams want that mantle. It will be a tough game with a bit on the line," Tipuna said.

He said Rotorua's focus had been on improving their defence, having shown a tendency to let opposition teams back in the game in recent weeks.

"We can score tries, I know that. We just want to make sure we can stop teams scoring points, I want to see a real improvement in our defence. They need to stay in games the whole time.

"We've showed them clips of previous games they've played in and showed them professional clips, to show in the same positions we were in they came out with a different result because of their trust and their processes.

"Then just practising it as much as you can against an opposition helps, with our second XV they give us a good bit of live training every now and then which helps."

STRENGTH: Tauranga Boys' College first XV player Shijie Yong runs the ball against Gisborne Boys' High School last weekend. PHOTO/ANDREW WARNER
STRENGTH: Tauranga Boys' College first XV player Shijie Yong runs the ball against Gisborne Boys' High School last weekend. PHOTO/ANDREW WARNER

Tipuna said Tauranga would be well drilled and play a smart game.

"They're well coached and they'll hang in the fight - we can't fall asleep anywhere really. We have to make sure we're on our game the whole way through and not give them any cheap chances.

"Their 8, 12 and 13 are good ball carriers, their 9 is a strong runner and their 10 is a smart boy, he runs the game well," he said.

Tauranga coach Dan Goodwin said, traditionally, Rotorua had been their toughest opponent.

"The boys are definitely excited, it's a good challenge for them. Rotorua are a good rugby school, with a good history and they've had some good results this year.

"I just want them to enjoy this game, have fun and play rugby. It's going to be tough battle and that's all part of it," Goodwin said.

He said his side's biggest focus was on playing the full 70 minutes.

"Not just patches, we need to play the full 70 to compete with them. It's been a bit up and down this season, it's been quite challenging with a couple of injuries but that's opportunity for other players.

"The competition we're in, the Super 8, you can't afford to take any team lightly and we learnt that last week by losing to Gisborne," he said.

The game kicks off at 12pm today at Rotorua Boys' High School.