An u/20 tournament with most of the "up and coming" countries is being held with a similar format as the u/20 World Championship is currently being held. The winning team of the tournament will be promoted to the u/20 World Championship in 2019 to be held in Argentina. Japan who ended last in this year's World Championship hosted in France will be replaced by the winner.
No rugby as the season ended last weekend with only a few sevens tournament across the country.
The official new school year only starts next week but already quite a few pre-season matches being played across England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland. Ruggas.co.za will be reporting on the English matches from next weekend with the other countries mentioned following soon.
New Zealand schoolboy rugby is gripped by finals fever. Across the country, the various regional finals are taking place this weekend.
The Blues final is being played by St Peter's College and Westlake Boys High. St Peter's ended 4th in the Auckland Premier 1A but proceeded to the finals after beating St Kentigern (22-21) in one of the biggest upsets of the season as St Kentigern was unbeaten in the competition at that sage. St Peter then won against King's College (29-28) who ended third in Auckland after King's College caused maybe the second biggest upset Sacred Heart College in the other semifinal two weeks ago.
Westlake Boys High Played to an 18 all draw against Takapuna High but advanced to the final due to more tries scored than Takapuna in the North Harbour Canon 1A competition. Westlake and Takapuna drew one match and Westlake won one before the met in the final of the North Harbour competition which they also drew. The rankings say Westlake but .................
In the Coed final, Takapuna High will meet Mount Albert Grammar which should se a one-sided affair as MAGS did not have a good season winning only 3 from 11 games this season in the North Harbour competition.
Hamilton Boys High will play Wesley College in the final. Hamilton Boys is currently the number 1 ranked school in New Zealand. Hamilton Boys ended number 1 in the Super 8 competition and just beat Napier Boys High 23-22 in the final of the Super 8 Competition. Wesley College ended 4th in the Central North Island competition and lost against St Paul's Collegiate (41-27) in the semi's of that competition. Hamilton Boys all the way the favourite.
In the Coed competition, St Peter's Cambridge will play Manurewa High School. St Pete's ended 3rd in the Central North Island's competition and lost to Feilding High (15-12) in the semi's. Manurewa High's only loss in the Rainbows End Counties came in June against Te Amawatu College (27-32) and this will be a close affair to determine who goes through to the Top 4.
It does not get bigger than this with Napier Boys High playing Hastings Boys High in the final. Napier currently ranked 3rd and Hasting ranked 4th. Napier ended second in the Top 8 competition with Hastings ending number 4. But Napier did beat Hastings 27-7 in the league game in the Super 8 competition and therefore should be the favourite.
In the Coed Final Feilding High will play against Wairarapa College. Feilding High lost in the Central Noth Island's final against St Paul's Collegiate (24-17) after ending number 1 in the competition after the league games. Feilding High should be favourites in this final.
Christchurch BHS against Otago Boys High promises a close hard fought battle. Christchurch Boys High drew against Christ's College (18-18) in the final of that competition and seemingly on their way to the top 4. However, previous matches between these two schools have shown that earlier results do not determine the winner. Otago had a good win against Southlands Boys last weekend (26-7) and are maybe the team that is peaking at the right time, however, Christchurch must be the favourites.
In the Coed finals, Gore High will play Rangiora Hish. Gore High had an impressive but close win against St Kevin's (23-20) last weekend while Rangiora suffered a heavy defeat (54-22) against the mighty Christchurch Boys two weeks ago.
New Zealnd the place of action galore this weekend. Maybe I must plan my travels better next year.