Their preoccupation was the global tournament but Hastings Boys' High School have ticked a few boxes after retaining the annual Hawke's Bay secondary schoolboys' sevens crown.

"We chose our teams two days before the [sevens] tournament so we'd only been training XVs from about mid-January in trying to get some fitness and game awareness [for the global tourney]," says coach Jason Bird after an all-HBHS final in Waipukurau a fortnight ago.

With the Sanix World Youth Rugby Tournament, scheduled for April 27 to May 5, cancelled due to the global Covid-19 virus situation, Bird says players', coaches' and management's welfare is paramount.

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"The goal posts are moving daily, so to speak, so we've just got to be on top of it and do what we can."

HBHS now find themselves in a "holding pattern" awaiting further decisions after only receiving confirmation on Tuesday last week that the world event was cancelled.

"We didn't concentrate on the sevens at all," he says, revealing HBHS had selected their teams on Friday, March 13, although they were 95 per cent certain the world tourney was likely to be scuttled.

When they had competed in the HB sevens two Sundays ago, they had been focusing on the XV format but now even the team trainings have been called off.

"They boys were actually itching to go out there [Waipukurau] to play a bit of rugby so it was actually quite good," he says after HBHS White beat HBHS Blue 34-21 in the sevens final.

Hastings Boys' High School rugby coach Jason Bird says everyone's in the same boat so it's just a case of dealing with things and doing what they can. Photo / file
Hastings Boys' High School rugby coach Jason Bird says everyone's in the same boat so it's just a case of dealing with things and doing what they can. Photo / file

HBHS White kept an unblemished campaign in their pool with wins over Napier Boys' High School Blue (33-5), HBHS Blue (28-17), NBHS Black (14-7) and NBHS White (38-12).

HBHS Blue had the measure of NBHS White (34-14), NBHS Black (19-17) and NBHS Blue (27-24).

HBHS U15 side succumbed 24-7 to their NBHS counterparts in the final despite victories over Central Hawke's Bay/Havelock North Combined twice as well as NBHS in the round-robin phase.


The players have now adopted individual training regimes.

"The boys have been great especially for those who are in their final year," says Birds, emphasising the opportunity to play in a world champs doesn't arise for some players at all.

HBHS had qualified for the world youth event for the second time in three years after winning the National Top Four crown last year.

"It was disappointing but they didn't really let that get to them so they've been training the house down and knowing that they aren't going now," he says.

"Everyone's in the same boat so you've just got to deal with it and do what you can."

HBHS are hopeful both their senior and U15 outfits will compete at the Condor Sevens tournament in Auckland in December if the Covid-19 situation status improves.