If there's a national tournament in which an oval ball is used, there's a pretty good chance Rotorua Boys' High School and Hamilton Boys' High School are in the mix.

Two weekends ago, Hamilton Boys' edged their Rotorua counterparts in the Condor National Sevens final. A week later they did the same in touch.

In what is becoming an enthralling rivalry, the two schools have gone head-to-head in every New Zealand Secondary Schools Touch Championship final in the past decade. This year's edition in Takanini was no different, with Hamilton Boys' taking it out 8-4.

On Friday, Rotorua Boys cruised to the top of Pool B with wins over Manukura, Kings College, and Tauranga Boys' College.

Advertisement

In the crossover games on Saturday, their scalps were Nelson College, Otago Boys' High School, Christchurch Boys' High School and St Peter's College.

In the semifinal, Rotorua Boys' beat Manukura 7-5 to book their spot in the final.

The first half of the final was tightly contested and ended with Hamilton leading 4-3. In the second half Hamilton were able to land some killer blows before blowing the score out in the dying minutes.

Rotorua Boys' assistant coach Shaq Stone said the goal for the tournament was to build towards the perfect performance throughout.

"We wanted to peak at the right time and I thought we played well in patches throughout the tournament, but we probably just didn't quite get to our perfect performance at the end.

"There were key moments in the final that changed momentum, a couple of decisions by the refs and a couple of opportunities we didn't take that could've swung the momentum our way."

Rotorua Boys' High School finished second to Hamilton Boys' High School at the New Zealand Secondary School Touch Championships at the weekend. Photo / Steven Neville (Auckland Sports Photography)
Rotorua Boys' High School finished second to Hamilton Boys' High School at the New Zealand Secondary School Touch Championships at the weekend. Photo / Steven Neville (Auckland Sports Photography)

Stone said going into the tournament as defending champions meant every team Rotorua Boys' played lifted their game.

I'm definitely proud of the boys, it was a massive effort for them to get to the final in the first place. It's always a hard task when teams are trying to knock you off your pedestal, we knew throughout the tournament that we'd have a target on our backs.

Advertisement

"When you're up against the best, you want to play your best and that's what we felt from a lot of the other teams, they brought their A game and that really tested us at times. The boys showed good character in a few matches to bring it back, we're always proud of the boys and proud for the school to remain at the top."

The team had four Year 13 players involved in their last secondary school championship, but Stone was confident there were players to fill those gaps.

"We don't lose too much experience and we'll be strong again next year. We took three or four juniors to the tournament which is huge for them, to be among the senior players at that level.

"There were a number of good players who missed out on the team as well, but will have an opportunity in years to come. It's a good problem to have, I wouldn't have it any other way, and it puts pressure on the boys to perform and hold their place in the team."

Rotorua was also represented in the girls' division, with Rotorua Girls' High School finishing sixth overall after losing 5-3 to Whangarei Girls' High School in the fifth-placed playoff.