PNBHS 2nd XV Selection vs Hutt International Boys' School 1st XV | Saturday 27th March
The first game for the 2021 season saw a 2nd XV selection travelling down to Upper Hutt to play Hutt International Boys' School 1st XV (HIBS) on Saturday. This game served as a trial as we have around 50 players keen to play for the 2nd XV, with a number still to come down from the current 1st XV extended squad. We took 25 keen young men who have stood out in our trainings and internal trial.
The ground at HIBS was too hard to play on after very little rain so the game was moved to Upper Hutt Rugby Club where we were greeted with a top class irrigated pitch which the boys were very appreciative of. We agreed to play 4 x 20-minute quarters with rolling subs to give both teams plenty of opportunities and game time.
The game started well with PNBHS gaining some ascendency through its stronger scrum and bigger ball carrying forwards. Andre Teitinga, Wiremu Ruawai and Sam Lalogafau in particular were making good ground and getting excellent support from the other forwards around them. This front foot ball had the backs finding space and Jordi Viljoen caught the HIBS ruck defence napping, selling a big dummy and darting 60 metres to score a great try in the corner after only four minutes of play. We were on the scoreboard and looking good.
HIBS immediately hit back through a very well-worked try and showing some very threatening speed in the backs. This motivated the Palmy Boys' who started to up their physicality through scrum dominance and strong ball carries in the mid-field from Ben Minhinnick and Toby Gullery with good quick ball at the breakdown. Tries to Aaron Christensen, Quinn Gledhill, Sam Lalogafau and two great tries to winger Mason Waller saw us up 34-14 going into the second half.
The third quarter we picked up where we left off and really started to find space through sticking to our game plan and making good decisions. Two more tries, one to Zayden Myers-Giesen and another one to Sam Lalogafau saw us up 46-21 at the end of the third quarter.
This should have been the point where we “put the foot on the throat” so to speak but to the credit of the HIBS team they certainly did not lie down. Fatigue set in and HIBS seemed to find another gear in the last quarter. We found ourselves getting penalised too often through poor discipline which meant we found it hard to regain possession of the ball. HIBS scored two unanswered tries with plenty of possession, and we had plenty of tackling practice for the last 20 minutes.
By the time the ref blew the full-time whistle it was 46-33 to PNBHS. A good win with lots of positives and of course plenty to work on at training. The boys were very keen and enthusiastic, playing with plenty of pride in the jersey which was pleasing.
It was an awesome first hit-out, the game played in great spirits from both teams and HIBS were excellent hosts.
Next week we travel down to Wellington again with the 1st XV to play Wellington College 2nd XV on Good Friday. The team will look notably different from this week as we aim to give several other boys a shot at making the final squad. However, plenty of players stood up in this game and certainly made their intentions clear.