Going into the weekend, Rotorua Boys' High School were still a chance of making the Super 8 Rugby Championship final.

To leapfrog Hamilton Boys' into the top two, they needed to beat New Plymouth and hope Hamilton lost to Hastings.

Rotorua did their part in style, thumping New Plymouth 47-3 at home. Unfortunately, Hamilton defeated Hastings 26-3 meaning it will be those two who meet again in the final next week. Rotorua finished third.

Rotorua Boys' co-director of rugby Ngarimu Simpkins said there was not too much disappointment as the focus was on themselves and playing well.

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"We really just concentrated on this game and what was to be, was to be. We played one of our better games of the year and weren't quite good enough to get into the final, so it is what it is.

"The two teams ahead of us, Hamilton and Hastings, we're not daunted by them. They're good sides but we know on our day we can really compete with those teams. That's the big thing we got out of the Super 8 - we've got a lot of confidence coming out of that tournament."

Rotorua Boys' High School midfielder Carlos Karaitiana dives in for a try. Photo / Stephen Parker
Rotorua Boys' High School midfielder Carlos Karaitiana dives in for a try. Photo / Stephen Parker

Leading up to the game against New Plymouth, Simpkins said his side had showed glimpses of their attacking ability but he wanted to see more patience. On Saturday, they delivered.

"We played with a bit of patience and maturity. We were led really well by our nine and 10, Manu Paea and Tome Poona. I just thought they really controlled the game in terms of territory so we were able to not spend a lot of time on defence. We looked after the ball."

From here on in it is knock out footy for Rotorua Boys' on their mission to qualify for the National Top Four Tournament.

On August 17, they play Tauranga Boys' College in the Bay of Plenty final. The winner of that game plays New Plymouth and the winner of that takes on the Waikato champion Hamilton.

"The boys are listening, we're developing as a side and I think this is great timing for us. Yeah, it would've been nice to play in a final but now we get to have a week off to recover from some niggles, keep building that team spirit and get back into it guns blazing."

Tukimihia Simpkins fends off an opponent. Photo / Stephen Parker
Tukimihia Simpkins fends off an opponent. Photo / Stephen Parker

Meanwhile, Tauranga Boys' College finished their season on a high with a 36-24 win over Gisborne Boys' High. It was a grand occasion with the 1999 Super 8 winning side celebrating their 20-year reunion on the same day.

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Tauranga coach Dan Goodwin said the game was "a tough battle".

"Gisborne are a tough side and it was a pretty hard-fought game. The boys started well, then sort of let them into the game a little bit. What they did do is they fought back as well. We managed to close out the game towards the end."

Tauranga Boys' College prop Josh Bartlett makes a rampaging run against Gisborne Boys' High School. Photo / Andrew Warner
Tauranga Boys' College prop Josh Bartlett makes a rampaging run against Gisborne Boys' High School. Photo / Andrew Warner

He said the team would now focus on preparing for Rotorua Boys' in a fortnight's time.

"We've got a heap of work to do, just around details in our game that we sort of let slip yesterday. We've just got to keep working hard, nothing really changes in our schedule.

"If we want to get one over them we have to be physical and just get stuck in. Hold the ball and play our game. We've got nothing to lose, we just want to go out and enjoy ourselves."

Super 8 Rugby results
Palmerston North Boys' High School 27 Napier Boys' High School 15, Hamilton Boys' High School 26 Hastings Boys' High School 3, Rotorua Boys' High School 47 New Plymouth Boys' High School 3, Tauranga Boys' College 36 Gisborne Boys' High School 24.