The u/20 Trophy has started with the winner to join the 2019 u/20 World Championship in the place of Japan who ended last in the u/20 World Championship 2018.
Not that it was away for too long, no sooner had the school year ended than sides were departing on tours across the globe. New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa were, as always, on many agendas, but so too were destinations such as Argentina, Chile, USA, Canada, and Japan, with a few perhaps taking the chance for a bit of a pre-Rugby World Cup recce.
This weekend though saw the first real collective matchday preparations for the new season. Some schools took part in Festivals, others in three or four team round robins. Some were full on matches, while others were shortened or with adapted laws. The point this weekend was preparation.
While results across all of these tournaments and fixtures might not have been important, what was important was the preparation for each team. For those of us looking in it was a great chance to see what might lie ahead, and the early signs are good!
Attention now turns to the real stuff, starting in full on Saturday but with a few midweek games to ease us all in, not least John Fisher v Hampton on Wednesday and Llandovery College v Kirkham Grammar School on Friday night.
St Peter's won the Blues final against Westlake BHS with 19-17 and will play Hamilton Boys High who has beaten Wesley College with 43-5 in the Chiefs final. Napier Boys High strolled into the other semifinal beating Wesley College 43-5 in a one-sided affair. Christchurch Boys High School had to work very hard for their second win this season against Otago Boys High (29-26) and will ne Napier Boys High opponents in the second semifinal.
Mount Albert Grammar had a surprisingly easy victory against Takapuna (36-3) in the Blues final, while Feilding High had a similar victory against Wairarapa College with 64-12. St Peter's College Cambridge won 38-10 against Manurewa High in the final of the Chief's competition with Rangiora High beating Gore High (42-17). Easy wins for the winners it seems.