Hawke's Bay teams had contrasting wins in Saturday's opening round of the Super 8 first XV rugby competition.
While Napier Boys' High School scored an emphatic 47-20 victory against Gisborne Boys' High School at home, Hastings Boys' High School, who are the joint defending champions with Hamilton Boys' High School, had to wait for a last second penalty from first five-eighth Shamara Brooks to pip Palmerston North Boys' High School 17-15 in Palmy. Napier led 26-10 at halftime.
"Our entire team performed well," delighted NBHS coach Brendon Ratcliffe said afterwards.
Outstanding tighthead prop Patrick Teddy and hooker Tyrone Thompson led the hosts engine room by example. Thompson's brother, second five-eighth Leo Thompson was the kingpin in the Napier backline.
Teddy, Tyrone Thompson, Angus Kilmister, Max Anderson, Jayden Stok and Luke Russell scored tries for Napier, who were also awarded a penalty try. First five-eighth Henry Williams kicked five conversions.
After the match No 8 Russell was presented with his cap for 40 games. Teddy and Williams, who have both played 32 games, were presented with caps for reaching 30 and halfback Kilmister received his first cap for 15 appearances.
In Palmerston North, Hastings played into the wind in the first half and trailed 8-0 at halftime. Brooks' winning penalty was from 40 metres out, in front of the posts.
Brooks also scored a try and kicked two conversions.
Winger Michael Naitokani scored the visitors' other try. Captain and No 8 Liam Udy-Johns and openside flanker Connor Wadley were workaholics at the coalface for Hastings.
Second five-eighth Jordan Thompson-Dunn was a regular threat in the Hastings backline where fullback Gideon Kautai was again solid.
Hastings Boys' High School will host Napier Boys' High School this Saturday in what has the potential to be a closely fought entertaining encounter.