Rotorua Boys' High School were reduced to 13 men before holding on to beat Scots College 36-27 today in the 1st XV national final in Rotorua.
A bumper crowd turned out to Rotorua Boys' High this afternoon to watch the final, with most of the crowd cheering for the home team.
There was some brilliant running rugby on display from both sides with the high-scoring match coming right down to the wire.
With about five minutes to go Rotorua's Waisea Niumataiwalu was shown a straight red card for a dangerous lifting tackle.
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The pressure compounded for the home side when halfback Te Ra Whata was shown a yellow card for some dirty play two minutes later.
It meant Rotorua, who were leading 29-27 at the time, had to hold on for the last three or four minutes with only 13 men.
They did more than that though, scoring a try right at the death. After the try, Boys' High fans ran onto the field to celebrate with their champions but were quickly told to get off the pitch so Kaleb Trask could take the conversion.
Trask slotted the conversion to make it 36-27 and the fans ran onto the field a second time as the final whistle blew.
The victory was the first national title for Rotorua Boys' 1st XV since 2003.