A gutsy effort wasn't enough to give New Plymouth Boys' High School first XV the edge over Hamilton Boys' High at the Gully ground yesterday.
A 53-15 thumping last year suggested the encounter could have been a walk-over for the visitors, however, the New Plymouth side did show an improvement on recent performances, losing 25-10.
The home team led 10-8 at the break after a try to Lachlan Boshier, who picked up a loose Hamilton line-out throw inside their 22 and flew over the line.
The openside flanker had a busy game for New Plymouth, making a number of strong runs and countless tackles.
The forward pack also gave a physical performance, creating turnovers through effective counter-rucking, however they failed to convert the extra opportunities into points.
In the second period, poorly executed kicks from New Plymouth continued to throw possession Hamilton's way, and with it control of the game.
New Plymouth coach Glen Hannah said a number of surging runs from the Hamilton forward pack in the second half had taken its toll.
"That really ground us down in the end," he said.
Although not happy with the final score, Hannah was satisfied with the effort his side put in compared with previous performances this season.
"I'm proud of how the boys performed today. They really manned up, especially in the scrums. Hamilton has cleaned us out the last three or four years, so I was happy with the overall performance."
The fixture had been part of an annual exchange between the two schools, and resulted in Hamilton claiming six codes, to New Plymouth Boys' five.
After a tight opening quarter, New Plymouth dominated the basketball and finished with a 101-76 win. Ben Crombie had a strong performance, top-scoring with 21 points.
Dane Brooks collected 20, while Jordan Harries had a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
New Plymouth also won squash 6-0, badminton 5-3, inline hockey 3-1, and first XI football 2-1.
Hamilton won the second XV rugby match 43-22, and the under-15 rugby 43-0, while they also claimed golf 6-2, first XI hockey 4-2, and second XI hockey 10-0.
- Taranaki Daily News
Does more need to be done to protect NZ passports?