Reuben Mama wraps up the game of the round in Auckland First XV rugby, and provides all the results from around the country from this weekend's fixtures.
Sacred Heart College have showcased a superb attitude to steal a 24-21 victory away to Auckland Grammar School, in one of the first heavyweight battles of Auckland's 1A 1st XV competition.
Grammar made the most of limited opportunities and raced away to a 14-0 advantage midway through the first half, before Sacred Heart fought back, scoring three unanswered tries to lead 19-14 at the break. After building sustained pressure inside Sacred Heart's half, Grammar were rewarded with a try to first-five Cullen Gray who spotted a gap and darted through to score to the left of the uprights, before the boot of Riley Williams gave them a 21-19 lead with 17 minutes to play.
However, in the dying minutes of the game Sacred Heart had possession near Grammar's line, where they kept it tight and after nine controlled phases it was powerful number eight Sionekau Lokeni who crashed over from the base of the ruck to score the match-winning try in the final minute of the match.
Sacred Heart head coach Gus Leger was delighted by the resilience his side showed.
"We knew we were up against a big pack in terms of physicality so our focus was in and around our attitude and intensity towards playing against a respectful unit. You have to put that all together with just playing good rugby. There were a few times there where the players were just able to play good rugby, apply pressure and things worked out.
"The unfortunate bit was knocking the ball on early and that allowed the first try for Grammar, then just taking our eye off the ball a little bit and popping up an intercept. Everything else was pretty positive and the kids just had to chip away and find a solution - which they did."
Leger was full of praise for hard working number eight Lokeni.
"He's a young man that's going to go places. There are just those types of young men that just impress by doing and he's one of those. It's just a matter of giving them the opportunity to play and to shine and I'm sure in the future opportunities will come his way."
Sacred Heart's tireless flankers Zachary Shanks and Milan Kriletich were busy all game too.
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"They're good little grinders for us, they're just over 6 foot, if not, so they like to live close to the ground and be combative. They're definitely little assets for us, but by no means do they take a backwards step," Leger added.
In other matches this weekend, De La Salle College showed they'll be no pushovers - holding defending champions King's College to a 17-all draw at home, something that caught Leger's attention.
"Congratulations to De La Salle, they're always a tough opponent and they don't always get the accolades they deserve. Our catholic brothers down in the South Auckland area, they're awesome, and I definitely like that they're turning up and wanting to play some good rugby."
Elsewhere, St Peter's staved off a second half fight back to overcome Kelston Boys' High School 27-21, St Kentigern College toppled Mount Albert Grammar School 31-24, Aorere College beat Tangaroa College 20-5 and Dilworth School were 15-9 winners over Liston College.
First XV Results
Tangaroa College 5 v Aorere College 20
Auckland Grammar 21 v Sacred Heart 24
St Peter's College 27 v Kelston Boys 21
Dilworth 15 v Liston 9
Mt Albert Grammar 24 v St Kentigern College 31
De La Salle 17 v Kings College 17
NORTH HARBOUR 1A
Rosmini 19 v Westlake 24
Rangitoto 14 v Whangarei 20
Takapuna Grammar 45 v Kaipara College 0
Mahurangi College 25 v Orewa College 13
Massey High School 13 v Manurewa High 10
WELLINGTON 1ST XV PREMIERSHIP
Wairarapa College 22 v Paraparaumu 17
Tawa College 60 v Kapiti College 5
Mana College 19 v Hutt International 12
Aotea College 27 v Porirua College 22
Shirley Boys 33 v Marlborough Boys 15
Lincoln Combined 0 v Roncalli Aoraki Combined 14
Christ's College 54 v Mid Canterbury Combined 5
Waimea Combined 27 v St Andrew's College 59
St Bede's College 35 v Nelson College 27
Timaru Boys High 36 v Rangiora High 40
Christchurch Boys 19 v St Thomas 13
OTAGO PREMIER SCHOOLS
John McGlshan College 21 v Otago Boys High 29
King's High School 43 v Mt Aspiring College 3
Southland Boys High 43 v Dunstan High 10
Waitaki Boys 15 v St Kevin's College 56
Wakatipu High 7 v Otago Boys 2nd XV 12
South Otago High 33 v Otago Combined Co-Ed 31
Scots College 17 v St Patrick's Silverstream 36
Rongotai College 5 v St Patrick's Town 55
Wesley College 13 v Rotorua Boys 10
Hastings Boys 26 v Lindisfarne College 15
Palmerston North Boys 36 v Francis Douglas Memorial College 10
Cullinane College 27 v Hato Paora 20