The Super 8 competition is heading for a Hastings BHS v Hamilton BHS showdown, as it did in 2016.
Hastings BHS continued on their merry way, trouncing winless Gisborne BHS 70-0 to take their third bonus point victory, while Hamilton BHS gained a small measure of revenge on Rotorua BHS by winning 34-7 at home. This was three weeks after Rotorua BHS had taken the Chiefs Cup over their close rivals with a late converted try.
On Saturday, Hamilton were not deterred by a heavy field, gaining the early initiative and field position. However, it was the visitors who drew first blood when halfback Jayden Sargeant crossed for the opening try off a good team movement and slick hands.
However, the trusty boot of fullback Coby Miln, who kicked 14 points, some industrious work by the pack and the penetrative running of second five and captain Quinn Tupaea, who was adjudged player of the day, saw Hamilton control the game and the scoreboard.
Tupaea's midfield burst set up No 8 Tevita Fau'kafa for Hamilton's opening try. They led 10-7 at the break as Rotorua were still making play and there was niggle between the packs.
But a double in the space of four minutes by Hamilton wing Emori Narawa sank their hopes. Both tries were almost identical, involving slick hands on the short side.
Hamilton were now right on top, Tupaea finishing the job and securing the bonus point, though they were held up over the line on two other occasions.
Elsewhere in the Super 8, Tauranga BC defeated Napier BHS 34-26, while Palmerston North BHS took their second victory midweek, 19-12 over New Plymouth BHS.
There is a congested look to the Counties Manukau/Waikato competition, with St John's of Hamilton, who pummelled Rosehill 71-0, leading the way from Te Awamutu (35-7 victors over James Cook), Manurewa (12-11 over Pukekohe) and Cambridge (41-7 over Alfriston).
Wesley are making good strides in the Central North Island, crushing one of the great traditional Maori rugby schools Te Aute 60-0. St Peter's (Cambridge) are leading the way, beating St John's of Hastings 43-7. St Paul's Collegiate, who dealt to Rathkeale 59-7, are not far behind.
In the Wellington premiership, Scots edged Wellington 14-13 in the mud to stay in touch with the only other unbeaten team St Pat's (Silverstream), who blanked Tawa 57-0. Porirua had their first victory, 31-24 over Wairarapa.
Auckland's 1A standings remain very congested, with at least six teams vying for the coveted semifinal berths.
In the most significant result, De La Salle missed a chance to stay top of the table when they drew 11-11 at eighth-placed Kelston BHS.
St Peter's upset King's 13-8, days after they had received news that their abandoned June 17 match with Aorere would see the 17-5 scoreline in their favour stand.
A fight had ensued into the second spell and the referee called the game off, perhaps prematurely. The upshot was that one Aorere player was banned for two weeks for his part in the fighting and St Peter's take the four points.
MAGS beat Aorere 19-15 on Saturday, just their second win of 2017. St Kentigern rise to the top after a 36-5 win over Tamaki. Despite the wet conditions, Sacred Heart hammered Liston 80-0 in the first clash between the schools in competition since 1986. They scored 12 tries, including two to Josh Ka, while new first five Josh Jacomb was awarded player of the day.
North Harbour 1A
Rosmini 65 Orewa 5
Westlake BHS 78 Whangarei BHS 0
Takapuna Grammar 21 Massey HS 3
Rangitoto 31 Birkenhead 10
Points: Westlake BHS 44, Rangitoto 40, Rosmini 34, Takapuna Grammar 24, Massey 15, Birkenhead 8, Whangarei BHS 7, Orewa 4
Auckland Grammar 34 Dilworth 9
Kelston BHS 11 De La Salle 11
St Peter's 13 King's 8
MAGS 19 Aorere 15
St Kentigern 36 Tamaki 5
Sacred Heart 80 Liston 0
Points: St Kentigern 25, Auckland Grammar 24, St Peter's 24, De La Salle 24, Sacred Heart 23, King's 22, Dilworth 17, Kelston BHS 12, MAGS 10, Aorere 9, Liston 1, Tamaki 0
Macleans 10 Howick 6
Mt Roskill Grammar 17 Avondale 12
Tangaroa 29 Otahuhu 10
Botany Downs 39 St Paul's 0
One Tree Hill 12 Onehunga 10
Pakuranga 33 Southern Cross 5
Mangere 13 Papatoetoe 10
Waitakere 10 Edgewater 10
St John's (Hamilton) 71 Rosehill 0
Manurewa HS 12 Pukekohe HS 11
Cambridge HS 41 Alfriston 7
Te Awamutu 35 James Cook HS 7
Points: St John's 18, Te Awamutu 17, Manurewa HS 16, Cambridge HS 15, Pukekohe HS 10, James Cook HS 5, Alfriston 1, Rosehill 0
Bay of Plenty
Rotorua BHS Second XV 31 John Paul 31
Trident HS beat Te Whare Kura o Mauao by default
Western Heights HS 48 Opotiki 0
Bethlehem 20 Aquinas 15
Hastings BHS 70 Gisborne BHS 0
Tauranga BC 34 Napier BHS 26
Hamilton BHS 34 (Emori Narawa 2, Tevita Fa'ukafa, Quinn Tupaea tries; Coby Miln 4 con, 2 pen) Rotorua BHS 7 (Jayden Sargeant try; Quinn Collard con) HT: 10-7
Palmerston North BHS 19 New Plymouth BHS 12
Points: Hastings BHS, Hamilton BHS 15, Tauranga BC 11, Rotorua BHS 10, Palmerston North BHS 9, Napier BHS 6, New Plymouth BHS 2, Gisborne BHS 0
Central North Island
Wesley 60 Te Aute 0
St Paul's Collegiate 59 Rathkeale 7
St Peter's (Cambridge) 43 St John's (Hastings) 7
Francis Douglas Memorial 28 Lindisfarne 10
Feilding HS 22 Wanganui Collegiate 0
Feilding HS 39 Te Aute 0
Wanganui Collegiate 30 Rathkeale 17
Points: St Peter's 23, Wesley 20, St Paul's Collegiate 16, Feilding HS, Francis Douglas Memorial 15, Wanganui Collegiate 12, Te Aute 6, Lindisfarne, Rathkeale 5, St John's 1
Porirua 31 Wairarapa 24
St Pat's (Silverstream) 57 Tawa 0
Rongotai 43 Hutt Valley HS 0
St. Pat's (Town) 46 Kapiti 0
Scots 14 Wellington 13
Points: St Pat's (Silverstream) 25, Scots 24, St Pat's (Town) 16, Rongotai, Wellington 15, Kapiti 13, Porirua 8, Tawa 7, Wairarapa 7, Hutt Valley HS 0
Christchurch BHS 13 Nelson 11
Shirley BHS 47 Roncalli 7
Timaru BHS 22 Marlborough BC 7
Christ's 43 Burnside HS 12
Waimea Combined 22 Lincoln HS 20
Rangiora HS 21 St Bede's 7
St Andrew's 57 Ashburton 15
Points: Christchurch BHS 39, Timaru BHS, Christ's 35, Nelson 30, St Andrew's 27, Rangiora HS 27, Waimea Combined 25, St Thomas 22, Shirley BHS 20, Marlborough BC, Lincoln HS 19, St Bede's 11, Ashburton 6, Roncalli 1, Burnside HS 0
King's HS 34 South Otago HS 17
Otago BHS Second XV 22 Waitaki BHS 0
Dunstan 43 St Kevin's 25
Taieri 52 Kavanagh 25
Scots 36 Lindisfarne 10
Otago BHS 36 Timaru BHS 5