Strong second half secures title for OBHS

Otago Boys' High School put the foot down in the second half to win the Otago Premier Schools final at Littlebourne on Saturday.

The home side was ahead only 10-5 at the break against King's High School but scored two quick tries in the second half to run away with the game and win 34-17. It won the Otago Daily Times Cup for its efforts.

King's had a error-ridden start to the game but came back into the match in the second period of the first half.

But it could not keep up with the Otago Boys' side in the second half as the home side moved the ball round the park and dominated both territory and possession in front of a big crowd.

Otago Boys' coach Regan Turoa said he was very happy with the win and the performance and the side played to its strength.

The Otago Boys' High School first XV celebrates after beating King's High School first XV in the...
The Otago Boys' High School first XV celebrates after beating King's High School first XV in the Otago Premier Schools final at Littlebourne in Dunedin on Saturday. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH

"We had a very good start and then they came back into it. We were probably a bit narrow and became too individual focused. We went away from the game plan and tried to do too much. And King's played well," he said.

"We had a talk about it at halftime and how we had to get back to basics. We worked hard in that second half. Just stay within what we wanted to do - control the ball, play territory, hang on to the ball and take the chances when they came along."

Otago Boys' scored through centre Jake Te Hiwi early in the second half, as he showed a good turn of speed . A few minutes later, left winger Michael Manson made a speedy run and when he was lowered, the ball was pushed to the left and big No8 Taylor Dale went over.

That left King's down 22-5 and though it tried hard, it could not get the territory or ball to mount a comeback. The game was played on a damp, muddy field at Littlebourne, which did no justice to the prestige of the fixture.

Any hope King's had of getting back into the contest went up in smoke when Otago Boys' right winger Tylar Diack grabbed an intercept and raced 60m to score under the posts with 15 minutes left in the game.

Manson then added another before King's came back with a couple of back moves resulting in tries to winger Brad Jones and replacement Logan Wilson.

Asi had a fine game for Otago Boys', controlling the ball well, and keeping his forwards going in the right direction. Both wingers looked lively for Otago Boys', while up front Dale got through plenty of work as did flanker Oliver Griffin and hooker Harry Hansen.

Best for King's were midfielder Giovanni Leituala and forwards Josh Nevin and Nasili Ikahihifo.

Otago Boys' will have two weeks off before hosting the South Island final against the winner of the upper South Island competition. Nelson College will host Christchurch Boys' High School in next Saturday's final.

The South Island final will be in Dunedin. If the home side wins that game, it will make the national top four for the first time time since 2015.

In the middle four final, Dunstan High School beat Mount Aspiring College 27-15 to win the Ritchies Cup, while the bottom four was won by St Kevin's College, which beat Wakatipu High School 27-14.

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