HBHS avenge last year's defeat with finals honours
Hamilton Boys' High School regained the national secondary schools boys' touch title in Hamilton yesterday, winning their fifth championship in seven years and making it seven years in a row in the final.
And in a demonstration of the strength of touch in Waikato two other schools from the province made the finals of the other major championships, Hamilton Girls' High were narrowly beaten in the girls' final and St Peter's School lost the mixed final.
Hamilton BHS beat surprise finalists Palmerston North Boys' High School 9-5 in yesterday's final at Waikato University, having downed St Kentigern College 10-6 in the semifinals.
Star of the HBHS team, captain Mikaere Beattie, was named MVP of the tournament and one of five players from the school in the tournament team. The others were Isaac Te Tamaki, Te Maire Martin, Legin Hotham and Shanan Tomuri.
The result made up for HBHS losing to Rotorua Boys' High in last year's final with Rotorua this time being upset 7-6 by Palmerston North in the semifinals.
"It was a tough tournament with a lot of competitive teams," HBHS coach Nigel Hotham said.
"Most people predicted a Hamilton versus Rotorua final so we had to change a few things against Palmerston North.
"It was a good high scoring final but we got ahead in the beginning and we were always out by a couple [of points] and I thought our yardage game was pretty good," he said.
Mt Albert Grammar won the girls' title, beating defending champions Hamilton GHS 7-6 in the final after the Hamilton school earlier downed Mahurangi College 3-2 in the semifinals and Mt Albert beat Rangitoto College 6-3.
Christchurch's St Andrew's College won the mixed title, beating Cambridge's St Peter's School 7-5 in the final. St Andrews downed Mt Albert 8-5 in the semifinals and St Peter's pipped Alfriston College 8-7.