Hastings undisputed champions
Hastings Boys’ High School completed their dominant season by claiming the Barbarians National 1st XV title with a 25-17 win over Hamilton Boys’ High School in Palmerston North on Sunday.
A try to prop Josiah TavitaMetcalfe with one minute left on the clock sealed the win and Hastings unbeaten season.
But the match was an even affair throughout, with long periods where Hamilton looked to be on top.
Hastings first five-eighth Lincoln McClutchie said it was a special experience being part of the win.
‘‘Words can’t really explain it,’’ he said. ‘‘The boys really dug it in throughout the whole year since day one. We were bit unlucky last year so the boys really fought hard this year and really worked for it.’’
He admitted to having some nerves as Hamilton pulled ahead in the first half, but had faith that his team would bring it home late.
‘‘There was a lot of pressure in the game and the boys held out well. The skill level was pretty good.’’
Hastings made their intentions clear early with wing Kini Naholo dotting down for a try, his 41st of the season, within the opening three minutes thanks McClutchie pass.
Hamilton’s forwards were clinical in their approach led by to a loose forwards Charles Alaimalo and Tevita Fa’ukafa. After putting together a lengthy build up, wing Josh Calvert crossed in the corner.
Hamilton worked their way to a 14-5 lead. But on the back of a couple of turnovers, Hastings came storming back. A try to halfback Shamara Brooks on the stroke of halftime gave them an unlikely lead 15-14.
The second half was a tight battle with both teams trading penalties and neither being able to unleash their danger men out wide.
With the clock ticking down, Tavita-Metcalfe got the ball seven metres from the line, and with fullback Danny Toala attached to his hip, he rumbled over for the telling try.
(Kini Naholo, Shamara Brooks, Josiah Tavita-Metcalfe tries; Danny Toala 2 con, 2 pen)
(Josh Calvert try; Coby Miln 3 pen, Fletcher Morgan pen) HT: 15-14
Hastings prop Josiah Tavita-Metcalfe scores the match-winning try in the final.