Crunch time looms for schoolboys

ANTHONY MOMOEMAUSU
Last updated 05:00 09/08/2012

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It's crunch time in the Waikato secondary schools rugby competition, as the top first XV sides throughout all divisions prepare for the playoff stage this weekend.

With the semifinalists in the race for the Ian Foster Shield already confirmed, Cambridge High School sealed top spot on the table, thrashing Tokoroa High School 61-5.

A spirited second-half performance by Matamata College was not enough as St Peter's School eased to a commanding 49-7 win, to finish second.

In the other first division match, St John's College rounded out the top three when they travelled to Morrinsville College, earning a hard-fought 16-5 victory.

The St Peter's forward pack dominated in tough conditions and set a solid platform for the team, racing out to a 35-0 lead at halftime.

Matamata came out stronger in the second half, with a more physical defensive display, but by then the result was already in hand.

Lock Liam Gaylor and halfback Doug Bradley had strong games for St Peter's. Hooker Josh Morrison led a lot of the close driving play for the home team.

The weekend's semifinals will see Cambridge host Morrinsville. The away side will take some confidence into their fixture, having been the only side to defeat the competition leaders this year.

In the other matchup, St Peters will battle it out with St John's. Meanwhile, Te Awamutu College and Melville High School will look to carry on their winning form in their playoff matches, after both finished on top of their respective division tables.

The Super Eight competition saw Hamilton Boys' High School march on with a win over Gisborne Boys' High School at the weekend.

The hard-fought 30-13 victory virtually secured HBHS their sixth Super Eight title in seven years, with one game remaining.

The side will head south to take on Hastings Boys' High School in their final match of the competition, with the Chiefs' schools playoff right around the corner.

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- Waikato Times

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