Central Football has postponed its representative weekend fixtures in Gisborne this week to September 22-23 due to persistent rain.

The closure of State Highway 2 between Napier and Wairoa due to a slip yesterday morning prompted its decision, which was announced on its website.

Meanwhile, the Rex Dawkins football tourney had to cancel 18 games over two days when it ended yesterday afternoon at Park Island, Napier.

Whangarei Boys' High pipped Rathkeale College (Masterton) 1-0 in the five-day national secondary schoolboys' second-tier tourney.

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Tourney controller Greg Kettle said they had managed to play a top six out of the top eight yesterday.

"Seventh and eighth didn't play in the end but the rest managed to play in their last fours ... that's the best we could do," Kettle said.

On Thursday, he said, the first and second games were not played.

"There was a lot of water but we just managed to get them in, really."

Lindisfarne College were billed as among the frontrunners from the Bay region but others eclipsed the Henry Harland-mentored schoolboys from Hastings who had the services of Thirsty Whale Napier City Rovers midfielder Karan Mandair.

Havelock North High School finished in the playoffs for 7-8th, Hastings Boys High School finished 9-12th after beating Lindisfarne who had to settle for 13-16th, according to HBHS code co-ordinator Kevin Atkinson.


Havelock North High skipper Liam Shackleton, who plays for the Building King Havelock North Wanderers team demoted last winter from the Ultra Football Central League, was the top goal scorer for the tourney, according to a village fan.

The Bay Under-19 representative rugby team manager Mike Smith said their squad of 25 players and seven personnel in the coaching and fitness stable were scheduled to leave at midday today for the age-group national tourney kicking off in Taupo tomorrow morning.

State Highway 5, between Napier and Taupo, was opened about 8am yesterday after an hour-long no-go zone.

"We need to get to Taupo so, I guess, we're hopeful the guys do their job and keep it open," Smith said, confident that highway workers tended to be resourceful even if traffic moved at a snail's pace.

The worst-case scenario for the rugby side was to take the Gentle Annie route via Waiouru, which would add two hours to a normal two-hour trip directly from Napier.

"The ideal scenario for us is to get to Taupo, get settled in and join the boys to watch the Magpies play," he said before they open their account at 10.45am tomorrow.

The Magpies kick off against Bay of Plenty Steamers at 4.35pm at a refurbished McLean Park, Napier today.