Want to know who the next Beauden Barrett or Kieran Read will be? In his new weekly column for the Herald, schoolboy rugby expert Herschel Fruean singles out the best First XV matches of the weekend, and some rising stars to watch. Fruean will travel New Zealand looking for the best talent the country has to offer, preview the big games every Friday, provide a wrap of all the results on Sunday, and rank the top 15 First XV teams (based on their performances throughout the season) every Monday morning.
Ranking the top 15 schools in the country
1. St Kentigern College
After the first week off St Kents play their first game of the 1A season against Sacred Heart College (13th) at home this week.
2. Hastings BHS
Following a narrow win against St Pat's Silverstream (20th) on Saturday, they need to make this week count against Scots College in Gisborne (9th).
3. King's College
King's College had a very big win Saturday putting up 69 points and hold their number three ranking but look to double the wins against newcomers Tangaroa College.
4. Rotorua BHS
This week Raukura take on Wesley College in Rotorua for the Grinter Cup which will be a very big clash for both teams.
5. Otago BHS
Big win in the weekend against Dunstan HS. Have the bye this week.
6. Kelston BHS
Kelston BHS had a real fight on their hands with Sacred Heart College and only just got out of it. In 1A there is no rest and Kelston play Auckland GS which will not be easy.
7. Hamilton BHS
A real big win against St Paul's Collegiate (ranked 24th) and showed that they are ready for this season after their tour of Japan.
8. St Bede's College
St Bede's are looking really strong and with Rangiora HS this week they get to test themselves again.
9. Scots College
That backline really had to prove itself against Palmerston North BHS, coming back to win after being down by two tries at halftime.
10. Francis Douglas MC
One of the best traditional games of the year FDMC will play New Plymouth BHS on Wednesday which will be massive.
11. Christchurch BHS
Christchurch BHS do not play this week but have a game the following Tuesday against Timaru BHS.
12. Nelson College
The first top 10 team to lose should bounce back with a game against Roncalli Combined.
13. Sacred Heart College
A real close loss to Kelston BHS (sixth) and it doesn't get easier playing the No.1 team in the country. BUT, we have to remember St Kentigern College are not at full strength.
14. Gisborne BHS
Gisborne BHS get to host the Tranzit Coachline Festival this week and will take on St Patrick's College Silverstream (19th) which will not be easy and could be an upset as well.
15. Auckland GS
Big battle with Kelston BHS (sixth). Will need to play a complete game to get this "W".
Opening day drama
Saturday's big match was worthy of its television coverage as Kelston BHS scored a last minute try to beat Sacred Heart College at home.
KBHS, ranked sixth under my system, were 21-23 down against SHC (13) with a couple of minutes remaining.
The Kelston backs and forwards intermingled brilliantly, moving the ball from side to side, and scored next to the posts to complete a 28-23 victory. Sacred Heart retained their ranking however, thanks to St Andrew's College scoring an upset 33-31 win over Nelson College. St Andrew's will move closer to a spot in the top 25, while Nelson drop out of my top 10.
Hastings BHS retain their second ranking after a 14-5 win over St Patrick's College Silverstream (20), who look like a side who will cause some of the higher ranked sides problems. The best comeback belonged to Scots College (10), who were down 7-28 at halftime against Palmerston North BHS before winning 35-31.
Whangarei BHS 22-12 win over Rangitoto College suggests the North Harbour competition will be very close this year.
Tangaroa College, returning to the Auckland 1A competition for the first time in two years, lost to De La Salle College 17-24.
Christ's College have lost some major talent so their 27-15 win over a young but very talented Shirley BHS side was a significant statement.
Otahuhu College 45, Tamaki College 0; Rosmini College 15, Manurewa HS 10, St Peter's College 31, Cambridge HS 5; St John's Hamilton 31, Te Awamutu College 10; Hamilton BHS 40, St Paul's Collegiate 0; St Bede's College 47, Timaru BHS 5; Christchurch BHS 83, Roncalli/Aoraki Combined 0; Gisborne BHS 40, Wellington College 20; Rongotai College 91, Porirua College 5; Otago BHS 65, Dunstan HS 0.