Rotorua Boys' High School enjoyed a successful trip to the Bay of Plenty Secondary School Sevens Championships, winning both the under-19 and under-15 boys' titles.

The wins, at Pāpāmoa's Gordon Spratt Reserve last weekend, qualify the two teams to compete in their age groups at the Condor National Sevens in Auckland at the end of November.

Western Heights High School finished second in the under-19 Bay of Plenty tournament and also qualified for nationals.

Deon Muir, Rotorua Boys' High School co-director of rugby, said the most impressive thing about the undefeated under-15 side were their attitudes.


"They were outstanding. We've identified that we have a good group of gold nuggets in that team - five are coming on tour with us to Europe next year for their development," Muir said.

"They had five good wins. In one game, we were down by 12 points at halftime, to Tauranga, and we came back in the second half to win.

"That's a common theme with these boys, if they're ever down they don't give up. They find a way to win."

The Rotorua Boys' High School under-15 sevens team. Photo / Supplied
The Rotorua Boys' High School under-15 sevens team. Photo / Supplied

The under-15 tournament was round-robin only. Rotorua Boys' beat Western Heights High School 41-0, Tauranga Boys' College 26-21, Gisborne Boys' High School 29-5, Te Wharekura o Mauao 24-7 and Taupō-nui-a-Tia 14-7.

"It's so exciting for us, as directors and as coaches, to see what they're going to bring next year. We've got young guys out there making good decisions.

"Tome Poona we thought was an absolute standout and Te Hamana Te Aute was player of the tournament - he's only a Year 9. There are some tough men in there as well with a physical presence, Tamakaimoana Whareaorere was strong.

"They all stuck to structure well, which is sometimes hard with young players but these guys really get it. They respond to instruction and they're really coachable," Muir said.

The under-19 side played three games. They started slowly with a 5-all draw against Tauranga Boys' College, but bounced back to beat Western Heights High School 38-0.


They played Western Heights again, in a straight final, and came out on top 17-5.

Co-director of rugby Ngarimu Simpkins said the first game was a good wake-up call going into game two.

"We didn't take Western Heights lightly, we'd played them a couple of times throughout the week at training, so we knew what they could bring and we'd been impressed by them.

"The boys really brought their A game in the second game and I think the biggest thing for us was the nil, keeping them scoreless. That showed our character and our want to put in a good performance."

He said Western Heights stepped up and applied pressure in the final, but he was impressed with his side's composure.

"Our leaders really stood up for us. Te Ahurei Epapara led from the front in the forwards and did some honest work up front, setting a nice platform. Tama Te Aute played quite well too.

"Going into nationals we're going to have to do some good conditioning work - we know some of those Auckland sides are really fit. I think we're a real chance up in Auckland, we've just got to really nail our own style and play to our strengths," Simpkins said.

Bay of Plenty Secondary School Sevens Results
November 2-3 at Gordon Spratt Reserve, Pāpāmoa

U19 Boys: Rotorua Boys' High School 1, Western Heights High School 2.
U19 Girls: Tauranga Girls' College 1, Ōpōtiki College 2.
U19 Development Boys: Te Puke High School 1.
U15 Girls Development: Te Wharekura o Mauao 1, Taupō-nui-a-Tia 2.
U15 Girls Open: Te Puke High School 1, Trident High School 2.
U15 Boys: Rotorua Boys' High School 1, Te Wharekura o Mauao 2.