Hast­ings undis­puted cham­pi­ons

The Napier Mail - - SPORT - SHAUN EADE Hast­ings Boys’ High School 25 Hamil­ton Boys’ High School 17

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

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/ STUFF

Hast­ings prop Josiah Tavita-Met­calfe scores the match-win­ning try in the fi­nal.

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