On Saturday 29 April, in bleak, rainy conditions – and in front of Sky Sport’s cameras – the Tamaki College 1st XV went into battle against their old rivals Otahuhu College. The equation was simple. If they won, they would be promoted to the prestigious 1A grade in Auckland Secondary Schools rugby – a competition held by some to be the premier secondary schools rugby tournament in the world.
Whilst the underfoot conditions were excellent, owing to the fact that Tamaki College has one of the best playing surfaces in the entire Auckland Rugby Union, the atrocious weather meant that ball handling was difficult. As a result, the game was a stop-start kind of affair. A big plus for Tamaki was the dominance of their forward pack, particularly at scrum time. Tamaki achieved several tight heads – something of a rarity these days – and the scrum provided a stable platform to attack from. The loose forward trio of Tui Moa, team captain Miracle Loia, and Man-of-the-Match Junior Wright were especially impressive, looking threatening every time they had the ball. Wright’s scrum-base play was very constructive, and he proved a handful for Otahuhu all day. Similarly, Loia and Moa caused headaches for the Otahuhu defence each time they got the ball, and were strong sniping around the fringes of rucks. It was Loia’s first half try that was the difference – at least on the scoreboard – between the two teams.
Unsurprisingly, due to the conditions, defence was crucial and the Tamaki players defended strongly, repelling several raids from a spirited Otahuhu team, particularly in the second half as Tamaki protected its slim, 5-0 lead.
With the win, Tamaki is back in 1A for the first time in several years. We congratulate the boys on their performance, and are proud of each one of them. Good luck for the season in 1A boys!
Incidentally, the lads would love to receive plenty of sideline support from Tamaki Alumni, current students, and other Friends of the College, both home and away, so if you have some spare time on a Saturday afternoon, come to the game and cheer them on. All fixtures kick off at 2.30pm.
6 May: v Aorere at Aorere
13 May: v St Peter’s College at St Peter’s
20 May: v De La Salle College at De La Salle
27 May: v King’s College at King’s
10 June: v Dilworth School at Dilworth
17 June: v Kelston Boys HS at Tamaki
24 June: v St Kentigern College at Tamaki
1 July: v Auckland Grammar School at Grammar
29 July: v Liston College at Tamaki
5 August: v Mt Albert Grammar School at Tamaki
12 August: v Sacred Heart College at Tamaki