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.
This week's rankings
15. Southland Boys' High School (previous ranking: 15)
14. St Peter's College (14)
13. De La Salle College (13)
12. St Bede's College (12)
11. Kelston Boys' High School (11)
10. Scots College (10)
9. Nelson College (9)
8. Sacred Heart College (8)
7. St Kentigern College (7)
6. King's College (6)
5. Auckland Grammar School (5)
4. Hamilton Boys' High School (4)
3. Rotorua Boys' High School (3)
2. Otago Boys' High School (2)
1. Hastings Boys' High School (1)
The 'Blood Match'
One of the biggest and most important Traditional games happened Friday in Oamaru - called the "Blood Match". A game that has been played since 1934 between St Kevin's College and Waitaki Boys High School, these two schools have a very long tradition and it showed in their hakas, and on the park.
Waitaki Boys are a very solid team in the forward pack with a lot of aggression and bulk. St Kevin's College are a pretty well-balanced team that can play a more expansive game and attack from different parts of the field.
Waitaki Boys first-five Mason James showed early on that he was going to be a problem for the St Kevin's side - his ability to catch, pass and organise, all in a split second, proved to be one of the biggest problems for the St Kevin's defence. Waitaki looked towards prop Isaia Fariu and vice-captain and No 8 Jacob Pledger for that punch to create gaps and holes in the defence. Blindside Will Knight also played a great role, being there in support, extending the play and making sure that the ball stayed alive. The midfield duo of Misi Kaufusi and captain Ben Paton were great on defence, locking up the attacks early, and when the ball came their way they moved it to the back three right away, where Kadin Turner, Taine Stirling and Tim Poasa performed well.
On the other side, St Kevin's did have their chances early on, keeping the game tight in the first half. Prop Tupou Fifita, hooker Henry Guerin and big No 8 Paea Fifita were active early, causing some problems for the Waitaki Boys defence. Halfback Locky Collins was impressive early, feeding centre Franco Flannery second-five Jerome Misiloi to crash the line and take some massive hit-ups.
The pressure got too much for the St Kevin's defence, and once the second half started Waitaki picked up the pace and St Kevins didn't adapt quick enough - Waitaki running away with a 37-18 victory.
(2) Otago BHS 87-3 Otago BHS 2nd XV
(15) Southland BHS 95-0 Wakatipu HS
Otago Combined 5-78 Kings HS
South Otago HS 0-76 Mt Aspiring College
St Kevins College 18-37 Waitaki BHS
Super 8 Showdowns
In the Super 8, Rotorua Boys and Napier Boys met in Rotorua for their last game before the school holidays. Rotorua Boys - the No 3 team in the country - were looking to show that they deserve to stay in the top five and did it with ease.
The Scout: The best of this weekend's First XV rugby
The Scout: The best of this weekend's first XV rugby
Napier Boys were off their game and didn't seem to have a very good flow to their gameplan. Henry Williams at first-five was soaking up a lot of pressure when the ball would come to him, and he was substituted as the second half started.
In the first half, Rotorua Boys had already got stuck into the Napier pack. The forwards for Rotorua got organised through captain and hooker Bernie Hati and props Zach and Nirai Ririnui. The front row were very solid in the tight stuff, making use of their big bodies and bulk to clean out opposition forwards and set a good platform for halfback Kane O'Connor.
After all that, Tuki Simpkins got going with two 'raging bull' runs, breaking the line and starting moves which ended with two tries. Napier Boys had some moments, but in the second half, Ceiza James picked up a hat-trick and sealed the deal - a 47-7 win to Rotorua Boys the final score.
Super 8 Scores
New Plymouth BHS 12-26 (1) Hastings BHS
(3) Rotorua BHS 47-7 (20) Napier BHS
(4) Hamilton BHS 21-19 (24) Tauranga BC
Paul v Peter
In the CNI (Central North Island) Comp, St Paul's Collegiate hosted St Peter's Cambridge.
St Paul's only needed seven minutes to pick up their first try, with Mattheus Pio and Temple Beauchamp's efforts helping Declan O'Sullivan over the line.
Three minutes later, they were in again, Beauchamp again making a linebreak off a lineout, and a few pick-and-go's later, year 11 openside Lincoln Winter crossed for a try.
St Peter's standouts Violini Ekuasi and year 11 first-five Dawson Smith were digging deep to get things back on track, but the St Paul's train was just too much.
Even when reduced to 14 men, they stayed hot on attack; No 8 Malachi Wrampling scoring a try just before halftime to make it 19-0.
The lead never looked like changing after the break, and even though St Peter's players AJ Lagalaga-Slade and Quinlan Tupou had some impressive moments, St Paul's just kept scoring. Havila Moala scored a solid try, and Pio added another, in an eventual blowout 50-12 win.
CNI Comp Clashes
(25) St Paul's Collegiate 50 - 12 St Peter's Cambridge
St Johns College, Hamilton 17 - 36 Wesley College
Rathkeale College 12 - 27 Feilding HS
All The Results
Whangarei BHS 8 - 14 Manurewa HS
Rangitoto College 39 - 8 Massey HS
Orewa HS 43 - 19 Takapuna GS
(18) Westlake BHS 83 - 7 Rosmini College
Wellington Prem 1
(10) Scots College 34 - 7 (16) St Patrick's College Silverstream
St Patrick's College, Town vs HIBS (Game Cancelled)
St Bernard's College 12 - 15 Kapiti College
Aotea College 0 - 25 Rongotai College
Marlborough BC 73 - 7 Waimea Combined
Shirley BHS 45 - 0 Mid Canterbury
St Thomas CC 38 - 0 Roncalli Combined
(12) St Bedes College 15 - 27 (17) Christchurch BHS
(19) St Andrews College 17 - 10 Rangiora HS