NORTH HAR­BOUR’S COM­PE­TI­TION WILL BE SPICED UP THIS YEAR BY THE AD­DI­TION OF WHANGAREI BOYS’HIGH SCHOOL. CAMP­BELL BURNES WITH

NZ Rugby World - First XV - - AUCKLAND 1A -

There is added spice to the 2016 North Har­bour 1A First XV com­pe­ti­tion. For the first time, Whangarei BHS join the mix. Giants in North­land, they head south seek­ing reg­u­lar, com­pet­i­tive rugby, and they will find it in an ex­panded eight-team for­mat, which ne­ces­si­tates two mid-week rounds. In pre­vi­ous years, it has been a three-horse race in North Har­bour, in­vari­ably fea­tur­ing Ros­mini, West­lake BHS and Massey. That trio will again con­tend, but Whangarei will push hard for a semi­fi­nal berth, and should prove tough to lower at home. Ran­gi­toto will look to build on their 2015 semi­fi­nal fin­ish, while the well-drilled Birken­head will seek to prove they are again wor­thy of top flight sta­tus af­ter win­ning pro­mo­tion from the 1B grade. Taka­puna Gram­mar and Orewa proved com­pet­i­tive at times in 2015. West­lake hold the Wood­house Shield, which will again be on the line for all home games, but Ros­mini have the big tro­phy – the ASB Cham­pi­onship Cup – af­ter a well-mer­ited but nar­row 13-12 vic­tory in the fi­nal over arch-ri­vals West­lake. That was the first cham­pi­onship for the Catholic school since 2009, and fol­lows much heartache in sub­se­quent sea­son cli­maxes. “We snuck un­der the radar a bit last year. We won and now have a good group of guys who have trained hard over sum­mer. We’ve got some good young play­ers too,” says Ros­mini coach Mark Free. They will again

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