Rugby: OBHS has the skills needed to win final, coach says

Ryan Martin
Ryan Martin
The Otago Boys' High School First XV is one step away from an unbeaten season and a place of honour in the school's 149-year history.

It plays St Kentigern College in Auckland today in the final of the New Zealand secondary schools competition.

It is only the second time Otago Boys' has made the final. In 1998, it shared the honours with Rotorua Boys' High School. All Black captain Richie McCaw scored Otago Boys' try that day, and Ryan Martin, who now coaches the school, captained the team.

This is the ninth time Otago Boys' has qualified for the top four since it was first held in 1982, and the second time it has made the final. It was third in 1987, 1989, 1992 and 2002, and fourth in 1984, 1994 and 2000.

Otago Boys' has twice come from behind with second-half rallies to beat Christchurch Boys' High School (22-17), in the South Island final, and Napier Boys' High School (30-16), in the semifinal.

"We can win if we can repeat our second-half rally for the entire game," Martin said. "We need every player to perform to their best standard on the day."

The weather forecast is not promising and the game is expected to be played in wet conditions.

"We have the skill level to handle the conditions as we proved when we put 50 points on Kings in the rain," Martin said.

Otago Boys' has been in the limelight over the last few weeks and this has had a positive effect on the team.

"The boys have enjoyed everything that has come with our wins," Martin said, "It has promoted the school."

Three of the school's high-scoring players are in the team today.

Winger Ben Miller has scored 160 points (16 tries), first five-eighth Sam Ellis has scored 142 points, and second five-eighth Aleki Morris has scored 34 tries.

The game starts at the St Kentigern College grounds at 2.45pm. It screens live on Sky's Rugby Channel.

First XV National final

Otago Boys' High School: Sean Conner, Josh Casey, Sio Tomkinson, Aleki Morris, Ben Miller, Sam Ellis, Josh Renton (captain), Alex Fitzgerald, Hayden Cleghorn, Josh Dickson, Shay Kerry, Troy Callander, Jermaine Ainsley, Sekonaia Pole, Ryan Williams. Reserves: Ben Hendry, Will Holdom, Josh Dawson, George Latta, Matt Ellis, Lisala Halaleva, Corey Miller, Jared Hewitt.

St Kentigern College: Broc Cooper, Matt Ellis, Jonathan Faauli, TJ Faiane, Suliasi Vunivalu, William Raea, Sam Nock, Dillon Wihongi, Blake Gibson, Liam Morris, Tim Cleaver, Jack Falloon, Sione Mafileo (captain), Matt Morrison, Jethro Felemi. Reserves: Sesimani Tupou, Blake van der Mas, Matt Corliss, Cody Wheeler, Harry Marks, Joseph Mitai, Wesley Taumifuna, Mike Paterson.


Add a Comment







Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter