Mt Al­bert Gram­mar wins 1st XV 1A cup

Central Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - TORIKA TOKALAU-CHANDRA

Mount Al­bert Gram­mar have stamped their mark at the top of Auck­land School Rugby com­pe­ti­tion.

The school won the First XV 1A ti­tle (15-13) in an ex­hil­a­rat­ing fi­nal against Sa­cred Heart Col­lege at Eden Park on Satur­day.

For a proud sport­ing school, this ended a six-year drought since last win­ning the cup in 2010.

And while their op­po­nents’ 51-year hunger for the coveted sil­ver­ware was des­per­ate, MAGS’ de­ter­mi­na­tion was stronger, even if it took 70 min­utes of the game to se­cure it.

MAGS coach Ge­off Moon says the in­ten­sity of the fi­nal shows just how much the com­pe­ti­tion has grown this year.

‘‘It is re­ally a tough com­pe­ti­tion and the boys trained re­ally hard, a good 10 months to pre­pare,’’ he says.

‘‘This year has been re­ally ex­cep­tional.

‘‘We played 20 games in the com­pe­ti­tion and we played against an out­stand­ing team in the fi­nal.’’

Moon said the fi­nal was pre­dictably tough, both teams giv­ing their all and it was any­one’s game for the whole 80 min­utes of play.

‘‘No one was go­ing to back down and no one was giv­ing up. Both teams worked hard.’’

Sa­cred Heart’s First XV coach Gus Leger says com­ing sec­ond is dis­ap­point­ing.

And while they had ex­pected a tough fi­nal, they had hoped to bank on the lessons they learnt from a loss to MAGS ear­lier in the com­pe­ti­tion.

Leger adds that de­spite the loss, they will take a lot of pos­i­tives from the game.

‘‘The ef­fort the boys dis­played in the game was out­stand­ing, they gave their all and as a coach I couldn’t have asked for more. and we thank our fans for all their sup­port through­out our sea­son.’’

MAGS will now face North Har­bour cham­pi­ons West­lake Boys High School on Au­gust 27.

The win­ner will ad­vance to the National Top Four com­pe­ti­tion.

PHOTO: PHOTOTEK

The team cel­e­brate af­ter the win. The last time MAGS held the 1A cup was in 2010.

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