Sky Sport commentator Ken Laban described Christ's College's 28-27 win over Christchurch Boys' High as 'one of the great First XV games of all time'. NZME's Reuben Mama captures all the drama.
When replacement prop Jack Jones took his place on the Christ's College bench ahead of their match against bitter rivals Christchurch Boys' High School, he could've never imagined 65 minutes later he'd have his name etched in history.
But, Jones scored one of the most spectacular individual tries seen in this prestigious contest, to give his school just their second win over Boys' High in 20 years, as they hung on to be 28-27 victors.
Christ's coach Reuben Thorne was in a prime position to watch the match-winning try unfold.
"It was right in front of us, so we were pretty pumped. Jack's a dynamic guy, he's a front rower, but at school he competes in the 100 metre sprint, so is that sort of athlete. It was a really special moment and fantastic he had the ability to come on and turn the game like that."
One of the most anticipated fixtures on New Zealand's schoolboy rugby calendar, it was a game that had everything, with passion and desire oozing out of both schools on and off the field. Both sides traded tries early, before Boys' High right winger Will Brownie scored two tries in quick succession including an astounding contorting finish for his first five-pointer to give the visitors a 15-8 advantage. Christ's added a penalty through first-five Nick Shearer, before midfielder Angus Hammett barged over for a converted try to give Christ's an 18-15 advantage at the break.
Consistent pressure from Boys' High in the second half saw second-five Guy Jensen crash over and the conversion from first-five Matthew Robbins saw them edge in front 22-18. Boys' High looked to have landed a killer blow in the 48th minute, when co-captain and centre Callum Saunders latched onto a Christ's cut-out ball and raced 55 metres to score in front of the biggest contingent of Boys' High supporters, who in an act that could only happen in the schoolboy game, stormed the in-goal and enveloped Simpson in a collective embrace which typified just what this rivalry means.
Boys' High led 27-18 with 20 minutes to play, but Shearer closed the gap to 27-21 with a well-taken drop goal under advantage and it was game on for the final 15 minutes.
Christ's continued to build pressure and were well propelled by Boys' High's determined goal line defence, but the pressure eventually was too much as Guy Jensen was shown a yellow card for one too many team penalties, and Boys' High had to play out the remainder of the game with 14 players.
Then came the most pivotal moment of the game.
Boys' High failed find touch and relieve pressure from a penalty, which enabled Christ's to venture into their half. After seven phases the ball fell into the hands of Jones in the 17 jersey.
Defying his propping stature, Jones dummied to his outside backs, stepped off his left foot and beat three defenders, galloping 25 metres and diving under the post to score the match-winning try.
This time it was the Christ's College fans' turn to swarm the in-goal and swamp their new school hero as the ensuing conversion saw Christ's sneak ahead 28-27 with four minutes to play.
Boys' High gave themselves an opportunity in the dying minutes, but Christ's defence held firm and they hung on for a famous victory - their first since 2017 and 44th overall in the 137-game history of the rivalry.
Boys' High coach Andy Gibson says the loss hurts a lot.
"The shed was pretty sombre after - you know how much it means to the boys and they put so much effort into it.
"When you're looking at the way we defended in those last 15 minutes, especially when we were nine points up, our inability to kick the ball out and relieve that pressure started to compact. It gave them too many opportunities to get penalties, take points and eventually break through and score a try."
Thorne was in charge when Christ's snuck a 16-15 victory in 2017 and says this win has extra meaning for the school.
"We won that one at Boys' High. This is the first time I've been involved where we've won it here at College on the upper field. It's really special and you could see the reaction afterwards from the school and what it means to them and how excited the parents and supporters were. They understand how much it means to them and the effort they put into it. I think everyone's just proud of the effort and really happy to get that win, because it doesn't happen often for College."
Sky Sport commentator Ken Laban said the upset win would be remembered for a long time.
"One of the great first XV games of all time," Laban said.
"137 times these colleges have faced each other and what a thrilling finish. Six lead changes, and a rivalry that has been dominated by Christchurch Boys over the years but Christ's have come away with the result."