Hamilton Boys' High School win Super 8 First XV title despite draw with Hastings
Hamilton Boys' High School have regained the Super 8 First XV rugby title, albeit in unusual fashion.
They drew 12-12 with defending champions Hastings Boys' High School on Saturday, and with both teams scoring two tries, the tiebreaker came down to who scored first.
That was Hamilton, who had hooker Tane Te Aho dive over from a lineout drive early in the second half, then had to fight back after watching Hastings score twice to take a 12-5 lead.
No 8 Tevita Fa'ukafa scored their second try, and Coby Miln then slotted the crucial conversion to level the scores with just over five minutes to play.
READ MORE: Hamilton Boys' High given hope despite loss
Coach Nigel Hotham said that even though they hadn't got the win, a draw was still a big achievement, given their 20-16 loss at home the previous week, and the 30-8 thrashing they received at the same venue at the same stage a year ago.
"We went down there last year, and we struggled against what was virtually the same team," he said.
"So to go down this year, with half a new team, and come away with that scoreline, we were pretty happy."
Hamilton Boys' High will now turn their attention to the playoffs to reach the top four national championship, where a potential rematch with Hastings awaits.
"That's what people are talking about," said Hotham.
"But we've got a lot of hurdles to worry about before we even think about that. We don't have a lot of time to refocus."
His side's next game comes as soon as Tuesday, when they host St John's College to determine who represents the Waikato in the Chiefs region playoffs.
Meanwhile, there will be no four-peat for St Paul's Collegiate in the Central North Island competition, after they were beaten 30-27 by Feilding High School at home on Saturday in the semifinals, conceding the decisive try in the dying stages.
St Peter's, Cambridge, also made it to the final four, but lost 13-7 at Wesley College, in a game where they had plenty of possession and several excellent attacking opportunities, but were let down by poor execution.
There was no joy for the region in the Counties Manukau-Waikato competition either, as Cambridge High School went down 24-20 to Manurewa High School in the final on Friday night.
AT A GLANCE
Super 8 final: Hamilton Boys' High School 12 drew with Hastings Boys' High School 12 (Hamilton win title on tiebreakers)
Central North Island semifinals: St Paul's Collegiate 27 lost to Feilding High School 30; St Peter's, Cambridge, 7 lost to Wesley College 13
Counties Manukau-Waikato final: Cambridge High School 20 lost to Manurewa High School 24