Jackson Garden-Bachop displayed an impeccable sense of timing as he finished his school rugby career in style.
Garden-Bachop's final act in a four-year career with the Scots College First XV was to provide the school with an historic victory in the Presbyterian schools quad in Hastings last week.
The gifted five-eighth dropped a goal, in the last play of the game, to give Scots an 18-15 win over Lindisfarne College in the final.
It was the first time Scots had won the quad, which began in 1989, and just the second time the school had made the final.
Scots reached the 2012 final after beating St Kentigern College, from Auckland, in the opening round, while Lindisfarne drew with St Andrew's College, from Christchurch, but made the final through scoring the first try.
St Kentigern were represented by a development XV at the quad, with their First XV involved in the national top four finals.
Garden-Bachop, who will trial for the New Zealand secondary schools team this weekend, described the quad triumph as the high point of his rugby career.
"We've been working four years for that result. It [the quad] is the highlight of the year and it was a fantastic ending [to my school rugby]. It's not often that things happen like that in real life."
It was Garden-Bachop's first dropped goal for Scots, after more than 85 games for the First XV.
"It was only the fourth I've attempted and the other three didn't even get close. One just rolled across the ground but this was a good one to pull off.
"I hit it pretty sweetly - it was a great feeling," he said. .
Garden-Bachop's winning kick came almost immediately after he had come up short with a 45-metre penalty attempt.
A Lindisfarne lock gathered the ball and made an ungainly and unsuccessful attempt to find touch, allowing Scots to regain possession and set up the drop kick.
The quad victory capped a good week for Garden-Bachop and team-mate Henry Stowers, who had learnt the previous day that they had made the final selection camp for the New Zealand schoolboys team.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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