Dilworth shock MAGS for biggest First XV win in school history

Dilworth's First XV celebrate a historic 20-15 win over high school rugby powerhouse Mount Albert Grammar.
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Dilworth's First XV celebrate a historic 20-15 win over high school rugby powerhouse Mount Albert Grammar.

Dilworth School has produced perhaps one of the biggest upsets in recent First XV history.

Their premier boys rugby team toppled Auckland powerhouse Mount Albert Grammar School (MAGS) 20-15 in the 1A rugby competition on Saturday.

It's the first time Dilworth has beaten MAGS in its 111-year rugby history.

The win is even more impressive considering MAGS are last year's national champions, and recently returned from the Sanix World Rugby Youth Tournament in Japan with a silver medal.

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Dilworth coach Ally Patterson said the win would go down in the school's history books.

"The boys were absolutely over the moon," Patterson said.

"To beat someone like MAGS, someone of that stature, that's massive. It's probably Dilworth's biggest win in history."

Those more cautious of labelling the result a major upset might cite the fact that MAGS only returned from Japan on Sunday, carrying a number of injuries having played six games in nine days.

However, Dilworth still had a job to do, and Patterson said his boys couldn't have played a more clinical game.

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"You go into those games trying to make sure the boys are positive, but to expect to topple someone like MAGS is another story," Patterson said.

"The boys stuck to the gameplan which doesn't always happen as a coach. It was just a perfect performance."

The game seesawed with Dilworth holding a 6-0 lead heading into the halftime break, courtesy of a near 50 metre penalty kick by first-five Tavita Hala.

And in the end, it was an intercept try to Dilworth's Jaxson Tauti that separated the teams at fulltime.

While it comes as a shock to many around the competition, Patterson said his side had plenty of inspiration.

"You always have to believe you can do it otherwise there is no point in turning up."

Dilworth is only a youngster in the 1A grade, having spent 109 years in the 1B competition. 

Despite winning 49 out of their 52 games since 2011 and reaching seven finals since 2000, they had never won a promotion match until 2015, when they beat Onehunga High 12-10.

Now in the top flight, they are proving their worth, however Patterson said they must not get ahead of themselves.

"You have to enjoy that victory, but this is a competition season and we have to focus on what we've got his week," he said.

"It's such a cutthroat competition, if you don't say grounded and you get over confident you just end up getting a hiding so we need to focus on the boys staying grounded."

 - Stuff

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