Emphatic, superb, brilliant and classy.
Yes all of the above superlatives apply to the Hastings Boys High School 1st XV rugby team after the defending champions opened their Super 8 campaign with a 100-0 thrashing of Palmerston North Boys High School in Hastings on Saturday.
Winger Kini Naholo, a younger brother of All Black Waisake Naholo, scored five tries for the hosts who led 55-0 at halftime in their 10th consecutive win for the season.
"The boys have been hanging out for the Super 8 . . . this is the competition which means something to them. We gave the boys the week off last week to freshen up and that paid off," head coach Mark Ozich said.
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"It was a top team effort. They could have eased off but they kept the foot on the throat, didn't become individualistic, kept to their structures and maintained good construction. It was that attitude which pleased me the most," Ozich added.
Lincoln McClutchie and Trent Hape scored two tries each while Jordan Thompson-Dunn, Devan Flanders, Josiah Metcalfe, Liam Udy-Johns, Miracle Lolofie, Danny Toala and Folau Fakatava scored one each. Toala kicked seven conversions and Thompson-Dunn three.
The country's No 1 ranked team displayed the benefits of a pre-season trip to Auckland which fitted in three matches including a win against Mount Albert Grammar, the school which beat HBHS in last year's national top four final.
Napier Boys High School also produced a polished team effort during their 39-5 away win over Gisborne Boys High School. Blindside flanker Luke Russell and loosehead prop Tyrone Thompson provided plenty of grunt to the winning pack.
Second five-eighth Leo Thompson, a twin brother of Tyrone, and centre Tyrone Dodd-Edwards combined well in the NBHS backline which benefited from quality distribution from halfback Humphrey Shield. Their team led 22-0 at halftime.
Dodd-Edwards scored two tries and Russell, Nathan Giles, Tiaki Fabish and Patrick Teddy scored one each. Nikau McGregor kicked three conversions and a penalty. NBHS will host HBHS from noon this Saturday.