Three days of slog at Waiouru Army Camp beckon for the Palmerston North Boys' High School 1st XV this week.
Instead of journeying to Sydney pre-season as has happened in the past, Boys' High have opted for the more affordable Waiouru.
There they are staying at a marae, eating in an army mess, taking on the assault course and doing team building and training on the soft rugby field.
It will allow co-coaches Leif Hansen and Trevor Will to mould the side after the 25-5 loss to Wellington College's 1st XV at Wellington on Friday.
That was the first time they'd had the players together and errors crept in against the bigger Wellington forward pack who got their tails up in the second half. Boys' had height but not the weight and were bewildered by their heavy penalty count at the breakdown.
They trailed only 8-5 at halftime after a late try to flanker Ben Crozier from a long-range counter-attack from halfback Jamie Booth and wing Andrew McDougall on the blind side. Wellington got two late tries from mauls off lineouts.
Boys' High's best players were Booth, McDougall, No 8 Sam Thomas and first-five Zyon Hekenui, who were all in last year's team.
Former Boys' High coach Rhys Archibald is now coaching the Christchurch Boys' High School 1st XV and they go to the camp at Waiouru on Wednesday before playing Boys' High at Palmerston North next Saturday.
Boys' High will also be playing St Pat's Town from Kilbirnie this year and Hutt International Boys' School but have again reiterated they don't feel an obligation to play the Feilding High School 1st XV.
On Saturday, Feilding kicked a penalty with four minutes to go to make sure of a 10-5 win over St Pat's Silverstream at Upper Hutt.
It was a tight match, with Ben Whale scoring Feilding's try and halfback Jack Stratton landing a conversion and the penalty.
Feilding had a more settled team for this match following their narrow 26-22 loss to Rotorua Boys' High School and also missed other opportunities to score. Silverstream's forwards were bigger but the feature was Feilding's defence.
Their standout players were Stratton, first-five James Durston, the loose trio of Whale, Caleb O'Fee and Bradley Stratton and the two front-rowers were back, NZ under-17 prop Keilan Henry and Jordan Brown.
Feilding host Knox College from Sydney at Feilding tomorrow.
- The Manawatu Standard