Latrell Ah Kiong and Henry Williams have been opposing rugby first five-eighths since their 11th and 12th grade days.

But none of their previous matches have had the same significance as tomorrow's Super 8 round two clash between their respective Hastings Boys' and Napier Boys' high schools first XVs at NBHS which will be televised live on Sky Sport.

"They've always been good match-ups with Henry," said Ah Kiong who played in MAC and Hastings Rugby and Sports colours against Williams when he was playing for the Havelock North club.

Year 13 student, Ah Kiong, 17, has an extra incentive to direct the visitors to victory. He has yet to play in a winning game against the Sky Blues first XV as NBHS won the corresponding game last year 27-7 in Hastings and the Hurricanes final 20-10 at Napier's McLean Park.


Ah Kiong, the son of former Hawke's Bay Sevens rep Herman Ah Kiong and former Hawke's Bay basketball and netball rep Cheleme Smiler, and grandson of former Magpies rugby player Wini Smiler played halfback in both of those encounters.

"Ten is my preferred position now," Ah Kiong said.

His display in last weekend's first round 40-7 walloping of Palmerston North Boys' High suggests he can have more of an influence on the side than future Magpies pivot Lincoln McClutchie did on the national title-winning 2017 HBHS team.

With his bigger physique, Ah Kiong is more of a rock on defence and his aerial game is top shelf thanks to his basketball background.

A member of the New Zealand side which won the World Schools Sevens title in Auckland last year, Ah Kiong, said it was crucial the visitors played together as one unit tomorrow.

"If we are going to beat Napier we must play together as one team and not rely on just one player."

"We have to improve our communication with each other too. We have to know we've got each other's backs with positive talk."

While Ah Kiong hopes to make either the New Zealand Secondary Schools side or New Zealand Barbarians Secondary Schools team this year he would be keen to play in the sevens tournament again if he missed either of those national teams.


A third-year first XV player, Williams, 17, said apart from the annual Polson Banner match against Palmerston North Boys' High, tomorrow's match is the biggest one of the year for the hosts.

"The Sky Blue Army will be out in force and hopefully playing at home will give us an extra edge."

"We must stick to what we know ... nothing too flashy and play for each other."

Like Ah Kiong, Williams, said his team won't mind if the wet weather remains in the Bay tomorrow.

"We've got big boys like Jayden Walker, Jake Ward, Frank Lochore and Tom Lourie who can truck the ball up all day."

"It's important we stay together on defence. We have to stay within our structures on attack, keep possession, stay composed and build phases and hopefully we will get the result we want."

Williams hopes to crack the Hurricanes under-18 squad this season and progress to either of the two national sides before heading off to Lincoln University next year to study Agriculture and Commerce.

His head coach Brendon Ratcliffe said his troops consider it a privilege to play in front of their own people.

"We don't get to play at home often but we like to deliver the same performance whether we are home or away. Once again it will come down to playing with the right mindset and intensity."

Teams for the 12.10pm clash:
Napier Boys' High School: Ethyn Martin, Caleb Turner, Jack Sheridan, Jayden Stok, Wesley Akeripa, Henry Williams (co-captain), Angus Kilmister, Gala Malasia, Max Gerber, Frank Lochore (co-captain), Tom Lourie, Nick Ennor, Jake Ward, Iafeta Ma'a, Jayden Walker. Substitutes: Jock Kilmister, Mitchell Curran, Will Carter, Daniel Lynch, Hayden Saunders, Bethal Malasia, Nate Chappell.
Hastings Boys' High School: Mercedes Hodge, Joeli Rauca, Eldius Oli, Jordan Thompson-Dunn (co-captain), Mefi Tupou, Latrell Ah Kiong, Phillip King-Panapa, Cooper Flanders, Daemon Brough, Connor Wadley(co-captain), Julian Goerke, Emil Crichton, Jeremiah Tuiatua, Manahi Goulton, Tini Nu'u. Substitutes: Jacob Dorward, Aloese Aiolupotea, Mosese Fineanganofo, Fraser Taurima-Heperi, Donovan Godinet, Charlie Varcoe, Andrew Hayward.