Lindisfarne College have successfully defended their 2019 title by beating a gritty St John's College side 12-10 in the Hurricanes Life Members Cup final.
It took Lindisfarne 55 minutes to take the lead, however, and they had to withstand a late attack inside their own 22 to hold St John's out on Saturday at Tremain Field in Napier.
St John's opened the scoring with a try scored by barnstorming prop Miaka Fehoka after 12 minutes, following a series of direct forward-led charges against the Lindisfarne line.
The defending champions were able to equalise within minutes of the restart with a try set up by the forwards and finished off by their industrious captain George Charteris.
A penalty kick to St John's first five Flynn Gallagher gave them the halftime lead, 10-7.
St John's front rower Caden Moat-Harvey was yellow-carded early in the second half for repeated infringements at the breakdown, resulting in his team being pinned down inside their own 22m area for almost 10 minutes.
Outstanding pressure by the Lindisfarne forward pack resulted in a try to big No 8 Tino Savea, giving them a lead they never relinquished.
St John's had one final attempt inside Lindisfarne's 22m area with a 13 man rolling maul as time expired, but that was halted to close out a keenly contested game between two evenly matched sides.
Lindisfarne blindside flanker Lanson Randell was outstanding both at lineout time and in the loose, winning the Karaka Cafe Player of the Final award for his efforts.
St John's director of rugby Matt Wyatt said it was a fitting final played between two proud colleges, with Lindisfarne able to absorb the pressure to hold on for the win.
Wyatt singled out newly formed centre pairing of Jayden Murphy and Kere Penitio, both Year 12s, for praise, saying they had their best games for St John's.
He counted Caden Moat-Harvey, Dylan Homan, Miaka Fehoka and Hurricanes under-18 halfback and St John's captain Brad Campbell among his best players on the day as well.
For Lindisfarne, lock Ben White, dynamic hooker Josh Tomlinson and big Hurricanes under-18 No 8 Tino Savea were impressive as they ground out the result, while halves pairing George Charteris (in his 50th game for the school) and Mote Timu led and organised the team well.
Lindisfarne coach Karl Jones said the St John's side's superior field position in the second half was the difference between the two sides.