Want to know who the next Beauden Barrett or Kieran Read will be? In his 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.
15. Southland Boys High School (unranked)
There are two games for Southland Boys this week, starting with a big game against Kings HS, who are starting to play much better. They will not only need the players to stand up for the two big games but the coaching staff will need to make sure the boys rest long enough before the Saturday game. The Saturday game is against Dunstan HS, who could steal a win if Southland are not focused.
Next up: Wednesday, vs Kings High School, Kings HS 1pm
14. De La Salle College (unranked)
This match between De La Salle and Kelston BHS is going to be big and will be a packed out game in Kelston. The boys from South Auckland have managed to find a comfortable space in their rugby minds and they are playing some real strong rugby and it's going to pay off soon. De La Salle have fine leadership in Kitiona Va'i and also high skill set players like Sofai Maka.
Next up: Saturday, vs (8) Kelston Boys High School, at Kelston Boys 2:30pm
13. St Peter's College (13)
St Peter's College shook off their loss to St Bede's and got a real hard-fought win against Tangaroa College, who led most of the game after going in front 18-0. St Peter's switched it on and changed the whole game, coming back to win 29-18. King's College are next up and St Peter's College will need to bring their best game to win.
Next up: Saturday, vs (6) King's College, King's College 2:30pm
12. St Bedes College (12)
After two very strong wins last week, St Bede's College are on a roll and are looking to keep that feeling going. They will play Roncalli Combined in Ashburton this week. St Bede's should still have their top forward pack but the backs will be hopeful of the return of their star player Kynan Stowers-Smith.
Next up: Saturday, vs Roncalli Combined, Ashburton 12pm
11. Scots College (9)
The speed in this team and their style of running rugby is just getting too much for some teams to play against. Ethan Webster-Nonu and Roderick Solo have this team schooling every other side. I have a feeling their next match will be a long day for Hutt International Boys School.
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Next up: Saturday, vs Hutt International Boys School, HIBS 1pm
10. Nelson College (11)
Back in the Top 10 for the first time since the start of the year, this Nelson College team has not dropped one game since the first round and look set to dominate the UC Championship. Nelson have looked at Anton Segner, Fergus Hughes and Taya Brownie to set a pace for them at the start and then the team rallies around work hard up the field to get those points. They travel to Canterbury for the third time in three weeks and I have to be honest they could lose this game because they will be so tired. Nelson will play Shirley Boys High School on Tuesday and we know Shirley Boys can win big games.
Next up: Tuesday vs Shirley Boys High School, Shirley 12 pm
9. Sacred Heart College (10)
Big win for the Sacred Boys, who took the game right to King's College and did not back off at all. I said I thought King's College would win but also said that if Sacred Heart win that ruck battle and out-physical their opposition they could win the game by a small margin. Captain Brian Lealiifano at fullback and also Petere Neli really stood out in that whole game.
Next up: Saturday: vs Liston College, Sacred Heart College 2:30pm
8. Kelston Boys High School (8)
The boys from west Auckland have been building every week to the team I thought they should be. They are relentless on defence, they out-physical everyone and they get into the tackles and try set over the ball. They need to pack their "extra tough" cream this week to play against De La Salle College in a game that is going to be a tackle fest and likely to produce some of the best tries you will see all year.
Next up: Saturday vs (14) De La Salle College, Kelston Boys 2:30pm
7. St Kentigern College (7)
St Kentigern College finally have their full team on the field and they made a great first impression beating Liston College 71-0. St Kentigern College will need to make the right decisions on who plays where and for how long. Managing their newer players to come into the team's dynamic needs to be done carefully and with understanding of the level they are going into. The St Kent's team will no doubt have success but they have to keep in mind that once they make the Top 4 in the 1A those scholarships players can not play in the semifinals and finals for the 1A.
Next up: Saturday, vs Tangaroa College at Tangaroa College 2:30pm
6. King's College (5)
After that hard loss against Sacred Heart College, King's will need to get back into the mind frame of winning the 1A as their ultimate goal. King's College did not have a bad game but could have done some of the simple things better and also making sure their eyes are always on alert for open field opportunity. They will play St Peter's College this weekend and will look to get back on track by trying to get this win.
Next up Saturday vs (13) St Peter's College, King's College 2:30pm
5. Auckland Grammar School (6)
I think this week the boys from Grammar will give a lot of time to their bench players and try and get them some experience. Auckland Grammar know that as they go from game to game they will be able to complete their key roles in the team and get the job done against Dilworth School.
Next up: Saturday: vs Dilworth School at Dilworth 2:30pm
4. Hamilton Boys High School (4)
Hamilton Boys, after suffering the loss to Hastings, have a chance to win a game against a great side to get their confidence back. They have to travel this week and will need to stay focused and control the urge to go off the game plan. Hamilton Boys will always bring a well-drilled team with a lot of structure, mixed in with speed and a moving forward of the defensive line.
Next up: Saturday, vs Napier Boys High School in Napier 12pm
3. Otago Boys' High School (3)
The Otago Boys fans will be all smiles, with their team so far not dropping a game this year and getting some real meaningful minutes spread across the bench players. They will go up against Waitaki Boys up in Oamaru and are looking to steal that win away from the hosts. The forwards continue to control pace, build their game on defence and spreading the field.
Next up: Saturday, vs Waitaki Boys High School in Oamaru 1pm
2. Rotorua Boys High School (2)
Hoping to have not come out of the hard-fought match with injuries, Raukura are going to try and bump the No.1 team in the country off the throne. Rotorua Boys have shown that behind captain Bernie Hati, No.8 Tuki Simpkins and centre Manu Paea they have a team that is right there waiting to take the top spot.
Next up: Saturday: vs (1) Hastings Boys High School in Hastings 12:30pm
1. Hastings Boys High School (1)
Hastings Boys High School continue to dominate whoever is put in their way. The Super 8 is in mid-year right now and all teams are starting to hit their strides and looking a lot better. Hastings will have their toughest game when they host No.2 Rotorua Boys High School, who just escaped with the win over Hamilton Boys on Saturday. This is going to be the game of the week.
Next up: Saturday, vs (2) Rotorua Boys High School in Hastings 12:30pm