Fujita big reason for St Bede's brilliant run
St Bede's fullback Yoshikazu Fujita has scored 16 tries in his last eight Press Cup rugby games, but coach Mark Vincent says if their final opponents on Saturday, Nelson College, focus too much on him, others could prosper.
Fujita has been one of a number of stars of the unbeaten St Bede's side who are playing for their fourth Press Cup win on the bounce on Saturday.
He scored four tries as St Bede's crushed St Andrew's College 64-23 on Saturday – the second time the 17-year-old has scored four in one game and his third hat-trick of the year.
The St Bede's midfield are just as potent.
Captain and centre Shayne Anderson has also scored 16 tries this season and Portuguese second five Francisco Vieria de Almeida is in hot, try-scoring form too, including two in Saturday's final.
Then there are the organised, hard-working forwards who have monstered most teams.
Vincent tried to understate his teams' ability and was clearly worried about giving Nelson College any more motivation for Saturday's final.
But the facts speak for themselves; Vincent's team has been exceptional all season, none more so than year 12 Fujita. The 1.83m speedster, with strength and silky skills to match, was reluctant to talk to The Press about his efforts, but Vincent had nothing but good things to say.
"He's a real athlete. He's a hard worker on and off the paddock and is a good kid to boot."
After Fujita visited New Zealand with St Bede's sister school, Higashi Fukuoka, Fujita asked to return to play rugby.
As well as working on his English, Fujita has taken to the Kiwi lifestyle and Vincent called him, "just one of the boys".
"He's not just an import, he's fitting in really well and is a real character within the team."
Fujita's not just a standout with the St Bede's side, he made the Japanese schoolboys' side and shone there too.
There are some language difficulties, Vincent said, but on the field he has no problems.
"We communicate pretty well, he knows what `run like the wind' means anyway."
Vincent said while they've tried to coach Fujita, he was a pretty complete package when he arrived.
Vincent was hopeful he'd return next year, but said it was unlikely the Japan Rugby Football Union would allow it.
Nelson College know to keep a close eye on Fujita; he scored three tries against them when St Bede's won 34-20 earlier in the season.
In that game Nelson were missing a handful of players who should be back on Saturday, but they will be without powerful No8 Larry Banse after he broke his ankle in a tackle during Saturday's thrilling 20-18 win over Christchurch Boys' High School.