Kelston enjoy sevens success
Kelston Boys' High School's rugby sevens teams have held onto the title of national champions for the fourth consecutive year.
Both Kelston teams in the under-15 and senior boys' competitions conquered 10 North Island squads in the BNZ Condor Sevens National Secondary Schools Tournament at the weekend.
The Kelston Senior Boys' team beat Wellington's Scot's College 19-12 in the final after trailing 12-5 at halftime.
It was a try by captain and player of the tournament Nathaniel Apa, 18, that sealed the deal.
"We stuck at it and luckily we got that last-minute try," Apa says.
"Scot's have great structures but we stuck to what we know and never gave up."
The team was undefeated throughout its four pool games and four players, including Apa, were picked for the Condor Secondary School team - the best national sevens team.
Faitotoa Faitotoa, vice captain Roland Alaiasa and Jone Naikabula, all 18, were also chosen for the squad.
Avondale College girls' side made an inaugural appearance in the tournament and student Anastasia Sekene made the national girls' team.
Kelston Senior Boys coach Brent Semmons says players all believed they could win.
"The legacy that's been left has created an attitude that it's not over until the final whistle blows," he says.
Semmons is joint coach with Brett Kingstone and says the team's pool was the hardest it's had and it was able to win the final game in the last few minutes.
"We scored our third try then we converted it and then the hooter went.
"But I was more nervous about the quarter and semi-finals," he says.
It was a busy time of year for the players who had to juggle exam study with training.
"I'm immensely proud," Semmons says.
"The boys have worked really hard training three days a week," he says.
The Kelston Senior Boys' team won the four pools against Napier Boys' High School, Westlake Boys' High School, Wellington's Scot's College and Palmerston North Boys' High School.
It won 50-0 against Rotorua Boys' High School in the semi-finals.
Kelston Boys' High School's under-15 team coached by Che Muller won the final against Auckland's St Peter's College 32-0 despite losing a game to Westlake Boys' High School in its pool.