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Composure perhaps cost Otago Boys’ High School First XV a place in the national top four finals.
But then again, coach Regan Turoa said his side "crawled off" the field having given it "everything".
That was not quite enough, though. Christchurch Boys’ High School won the South Island final 29-26 on its home turf on Saturday.
The host led 29-12 at one point, but Otago Boys’ rallied and had several opportunities to win late in the match.
Both teams played with width and were willing to attack from virtually anywhere, which made for an entertaining spectacle.
Christchurch Boys’ was clinical at the breakdown and was able to clear the rucks nice and quickly. It put the visitor under enormous defensive pressure.
"They recycled the ball very quickly and that was one area which they did very well at," Turoa said.
"They also moved us around very well. But other than that it was a pretty even game and we had our chances at the end of the game."
One late promising attack was snuffed out with a good tackle in the corner.
"We made another break [as well] and were one pass away from scoring under the posts. And we had a lineout 5m out with a couple of minutes to go but we ended up losing that lineout."
Plenty went right, but Otago Boys’ made some errors at "key moments".
"It was just a bit of composure under pressure which didn’t hold in the end.
"But, to be fair, they gave it everything ... and crawled off."
Otago Boys’ first five-eighth Tevita Asi had a strong game and scored a try. Left winger Michael Manson was another star performer. He used his acceleration and top-end speed to scorch past defenders on his way to three tries.
No 8 Tim Dippie was injured but was "unbelievable" on defence.