Napier Boys' High School 1st XV rugby coach Brendon Ratcliffe paid tribute to his eight Hurricanes under-18 squad members after Saturday's Super 8 win against Rotorua Boys' High School in Napier.
"None of those eight who go into camp on Monday [today] put their Hurricanes commitments ahead of their Sky Blue jerseys. They know it was through all the good work of their brothers in this team that got them there and they gave their all for the team today ... it was an amazing team performance," Ratcliffe said after Napier's 39-14 victory.
"We spoke all week about how we missed an opportunity against Hamilton," he said referring to their only loss in five matches to date, 29-15 away last weekend.
"Today [Saturday] there was lots of power up front. Our defensive line speed was back to where it should be and we carried a lot better than last week," Ratcliffe added.
Second five-eighth Keegan Christian-Goss, a Hurricanes under-18 squad member scored two tries and kicked two conversions and a penalty for the hosts. Captain and hooker Tyrone Thompson, another Hurricanes squad member, winger Harry Devine and halfback Angus Kilmister also scored tries for the hosts who were also awarded a penalty try and led 24-0 at halftime.
Napier's other Hurricanes squad members who begin their week-long camp at NBHS today are Thompson's twin brother, centre Leo Thompson, props Jayden Walker and Patrick Teddy, lock Tiaki Fabish, flanker Josh Gimblett and No 8 Luke Russell.
Hastings Boys' High School 1st XV rugby prop Matt Wilson forced his way into the starting XV a fortnight ago and he has no intention of relinquishing the role.
"Matt isn't the biggest tighthead around but he was outstanding, at set piece time and around the paddock," HBHS manager Jason Bird said after the side's 31-21 Super 8 win against New Plymouth Boys' High School in Hastings on Saturday.
The joint defending champions have recorded four wins and one loss, the same record as their Napier counterparts.
Hooker Damarus Hokianga, one of four HBHS players who have gained Hurricanes under-18 squad selection, also had a huge workrate in the winning pack and impressed with his lineout throws. Halfback Latrell Ah Kiong, a Year 12 student and grandson of former Magpies midfield back Wini Smiler, provided quality service for his backline.
Fullback Gideon Kautai, who received a late call up for this week's Hurricanes under-18 camp last week, displayed plenty of enterprise.
"It wasn't a polished effort. But you're always happy when you get a bonus point in this comp and we did score the first try for the first time in this season's Super 8," Bird said.
The score was 7-all at halftime. Winger Michael Naitokani, a Hurricanes squad member, scored two tries, Kautai, Ah Kiong and lock Emil Crichton scored the others. Ah Kiong kicked two conversions and first five-eighth Shamara Brooks one.