1st XV v Hamilton Boys’ High School Match Report
The PNBHS 1st XV travelled up to Hamilton in the weekend, looking to continue their strong start to the season. Never an easy game to play, the team were confident of their ability to put out a positive performance and were excited to play arguably the strongest rugby school in New Zealand.
From the outset it was apparent that Hamilton were looking to suffocate our attack and maintain a stranglehold on possession. There were limited chances to attack but our defence settled into its work and held the home team at bay for most of the first half. Indeed first points were a penalty to us off the back of a rare foray into the opposition half. Hamilton maintained possession really well and finally crossed the line late in the first half for a try out wide. 5-3 was the halftime score.
The messages on the turn were around dropping tackle height and making the Hamilton defence work by firing some shots at them.
Intent in the second half was positive but, in typical Hamilton fashion, they turned the screws and went bang-bang with two quick tries, extending out to a 17-3 lead with twenty minutes to play. They had further opportunities to score but the hall mark of this team has been its patience on defence and no more points were scored by the home side. We finally started playing some rugby of our own and asking more of the home side. To their credit they defended well and kept us from scoring until finally we crossed the chalk with 30 seconds left to play, setting up a bit of a grandstand finish. We continued to give the ball some air from the kick off and worked our way down the field but unfortunately knocked the ball on just as pressure was beginning to mount. Final score was 17-10 to the hosts.
Many teams come away from fixtures against Hamilton saying “we just didn’t fire any shots”. They are a championship team that play the possession game really well and give the opposition very few chances. Yesterday’s game was no different. We certainly created some good opportunities as the game progressed but need to be more effective in exploiting these chances.
Our next game is against New Plymouth in the Gully. An opportunity to create another awesome memory against traditional foes on a famous ground.
The team wishes to thank the White Jersey Club and our sponsor NZSC, for covering our accommodation and food costs during the trip away. We are extremely fortunate to enjoy their support and it is awesome to experience their side line support.
Try: Tavita Henare-Schuster
Con: Curtis Heaphy
Pen: Curtis Heaphy