South Otago, Waitaki Boys’ to play off for promotion

South Otago and Waitaki will take centre stage in the Southern Schools Rugby Championship this weekend.

They will play off for promotion to division one and that could be a mixed blessing.

The step up is significant but they have earned the right for a shot.

Waitaki Boys’ cruised to a 73-10 win over John McGlashan 2nds in Oamaru to seal top place in the Maroon pool.

While that game was lopsided, Waitaki coach Shane Carter said it was a very evenly contested group.

"The boys have played really well and probably exceeded our expectations with the way we’ve managed to defend firstly, and we’ve managed to get some good attack going to score some points", Carter said.

"The boys are pretty excited about next week."

Hard-running prop Jack Robinson, halfback Billy Wilson and lock/loose forward Kenny Manaia all stood out in the healthy win.

Carter had the opportunity to see one half of South Otago’s game against St Kevin’s and he rates them highly.

"We are going to have to play extremely well to get a good result out of that game."

South Otago edged Māruawai-Menzies 27-19 in Mataura to go unbeaten in the Blue pool.

Winger JP Human scored two tries in the win.

The promotion final will be played at a neutral ground — most likely in Dunedin — and will be the only Southern Schools Rugby Championship fixture played this weekend.

The winner will take Otago Boys’ 2nds’ spot in the top division.

They were beaten 36-0 by King’s in their final game in the top tier.

Otago Boys’ 1sts went unbeaten, shading John McGlashan 24-7 at home, and Southland Boys’ dispatched Wakatipu 75-21 in the other division one game at the weekend.

In the other Maroon pool games, Central Southland beat Southland Boys’ 2nds 20-5 in Invercargill and Mt Aspiring edged Dunstan 17-13 in Wānaka.

In the Blue pool, Cromwell strolled to a 48-8 win over Taieri in Mosgiel, and St Kevin’s held on to beat King’s 2nds 24-21.