Napier Boys' High School's 3rd XV rugby team retained the Hawke's Bay Secondary Schools Unison Challenge Shield with a 32-5 win against Wairoa College in Sunday's final.

The match was played as a curtainraiser to the Hawke's Bay Magpies Mitre 10 Cup fixture against Counties-Manukau at Napier's McLean Park.

"It was a good game and the boys played well. Wairoa brought their A-game to us but, at the end of the day, we stuck to our structure and managed to get the ball into the wider channels which resulted in some pretty good tries," Napier captain Toby Higgins said.

"There were a few words that went around in the lead-up given we had been up to Wairoa and got a bit of a hiding [25-0], so that was in the back of our minds a little bit heading in to the game. But we just gave it all we've got, and obviously came away with the win. The 1st XV won yesterday as well so it's been a good weekend for Napier Boys'. We're pretty happy," Higgins added referring to the Sky Blues' 20-10 win against Hastings Boys' High School in the Hurricanes region final.


The Challenge Shield is part of Unison's sponsorship with the Hawke's Bay Rugby Union and an extension of its junior rugby programme.

In presenting the shield on behalf of the Unison Group, relationship manager Danny Gough said Unison was proud to support the region's rising rugby stars.

"We get a real thrill out of supporting local rugby at this level, and I personally look forward to this match every year.

"Many of these players have come right through our junior rugby programme, and their passion for the game is evidently still strong. As long as this is the case they are leading active lifestyles, which is what we want to see in our communities."

In addition to the shield, Gough presented each player of the winning team with a medal and hosted a pre-match breakfast for both teams