Draw agonising result for WBHS

Waitaki Boys’ High School First XV winger Jack Nicol has been in good form this season. PHOTO:...
Waitaki Boys’ High School First XV winger Jack Nicol has been in good form this season. PHOTO: NIC DUFF
There were shades of the 2019 Cricket World Cup final for the Waitaki Boys’ High School First XV last weekend.

They could not be separated in the promotion final against South Otago High School in Dunedin.

With the scores locked at 41-all and no extra time in schoolboy rugby, officials had to pull out the law book to find a winner.

The first tie-breaker was who scored the most tries, but they both ran in six.

Then it was who scored first and, unfortunately for Waitaki Boys’, that was South Otago.

While it was not the result they were after, "it certainly was a hell of a game", Waitaki Boys’ coach Shane Carter said.

"We couldn’t have done any more, they couldn’t have done any more and I was really proud of our guys.

"The boys were pretty gutted, obviously. We wanted to advance to that next level and chance our arm against the best teams in our [region] but it wasn’t to be."

They had no idea about the outcome following the final whistle until they were informed by officials.

"It’s probably one of those things that you don’t think is going to happen. But, is there for the time that it does."

Carter was proud of his side and their attitude after what was "a pretty hard loss to take".

The team even received a letter from Otago secondary schools rugby committee chairman Greg Heller commending them on how they handled it.

"That was quite a nice gesture for the the young men."

On the field, winger Jack Nicol provided a spark for them out wide and halfback Billy Wilson controlled the game well.

Ned Newlands-Carter was also rock solid in defence in the forwards.

"I could name the 15 of them but they are the guys I’d say were the standout ones," Carter said.

The technical loss means that Waitaki remains in division two for now.

Carter said the side will have to dust themselves off and finish off the year strongly.

"We want to be the best team that’s in our competition now.

"We want to continue to have good success on the field and aim for making semifinals in this pool in early August."

Waitaki Boys’ will join cross-town rivals St Kevin’s College in division two.

The second round of games will have each team playing five matches against the sides in their division before splitting into four groups of four for the semifinals.

That means both schools could still earn promotion to division one to start 2025 if they finish well.

Waitaki Boys’ and St Kevin’s are both at home tomorrow as they host King’s High School Second XV and Otago Boys’ High School Second XV, respectively.