CBHS win UC Championship
Christchurch Boys’ High School First XV have uncovered a star after first five Rico Syme delivered them another Crusaders Schools Championship crown. The defending champions beat a gallant Timaru Boys’ High School side 18-10 on Saturday in an entertaining encounter in front of 1000 fans at Christchurch Boys’.
CBHS were the more enterprising side, willing to give the ball plenty of air, and it paid off in the two tries to one victory.
Syme, who started his season in the 2nd XV, was a key component in the win with a classy all round display that included two chip kicks that ultimately delivered the tries.
Midway through the first half CBHS’s Tahu Kaa-Goodwillie scored after the first chip from Syme bounced awkwardly for TBHS fullback Hayden McNulty and the Kaa-Goodwillie was on hand to collect the bonus, with Syme converting. TBHS then closed the gap to 7-3 with a McNulty penalty. With five minutes left to the break Syme put in another clever kick that bounced away from the defender and wing Jack Harris snapped it up to make halftime 12-3.
Syme extended the lead early in the second half with a penalty that bounced in off the upright but missed a second penalty attempt.
TBHS then burst back into the game when open side Melvin Pauni drove over from a lineout and McNulty added the conversion to close the gap to 15-10 after a yellow card to CBHS replacement prop Murphy Kupe.
With 10 minutes left, Syme landed a penalty to get the advantage out to eight points. TBHS then gave the ball some air and attacked out wide but the CBHS defence was up to it.
CBHS now face Southland Boys’ in Invercargill on Saturday for a spot in the New Zealand Schools top four competition.
Elsewhere, St Thomas stepped up to hold off Waimea Combined 26-20 in the plate final.
St Bedes thrashed Marlborough Boys’ 50-13 in the Bowl final in Blenheim as the visitors ran in eight tries to one. Reuben Cotter scored a hat-trcik along with a double to Oli Watts.
Nelson College’s Leicester Faingaanuku was awarded the Phillip McDonald Memorial Medal as this year’s MVP. His strength and pace set him apart which, combined with his goalkicking ability, made him the logical MVP selection.
Christchurch Boys’ High School celebrate after winning the UC Championship Final.