Gisborne prepare for Hastings BHS

Happy to be playing on home turf

Happy to be playing on home turf

Home has never looked so good.

Gisborne Boys’ High School first 15 rugby returns to the Rectory field tomorrow for the first time since April 14 as Boys’ High prepare for Round 4 of the Super 8 tournament.

The visitors, 2017 Super 8 co-champions Hastings Boys’ High, are bringing their first and second 15s, under-15s and u14s. The u14s will play at 9.30am on Rectory ground No.2 and the u15s will kick off at 9.30am on R1. The second 15s play on R1 at 11am and GBHS first 15 play last year’s Top 4 winners at 12.30pm.

Gisborne head coach Mark Jefferson knows the transformative effect playing at the Rectory can have on GBHS players: he was captain and fullback in 1995. That year, the team beat Rotorua Boys’ High to defend the Moascar Cup 11-3 during an eight year-span in which the first 15 never lost an interschool game at the Rectory.

“We’ve had great support from a core of loyal parents who have travelled to games during the past eight weeks” he said.

“That said, the boys are elated to be back in Gisborne: they can’t wait to play on their turf.”

There are three changes to the side who played Rotorua away last Saturday. Jordan McFarlane moves from No.8 to loosehead prop for the injured Nikau Maxwell (right shoulder), with former blindside flanker Sione Ki-niua now at No.8, and Matt Proffit moving from the reserves bench to the right wing in place of Michael Fox.

Gisborne have so far lost to Palmerston North (23-21), Napier (47-20) and Rotorua (41-5) in Super 8 competition. Captain and openside flanker Dylan Hall led by example in those games, as he did against Kelston (a 29-23 loss), St Edmund’s and in the Tranzit Festival.

“The intensity levels at training this week have been high because we have to perform if we’re going to notch up our first Super 8 win of the season,” Hall said.

Hastings, Super 8 champions in 2016, won the last game here 22-8 that season and last year at Akina beat Boys’ High 68-0.

They won five out of six games in eight days at the Sanix Invitational Tournament in Japan this year and have a three-from-five record in domestic rugby, having beaten Palmerston North at home 17-15 in their first Super 8 game a fortnight ago but having lost 27-7 at home to Napier last Saturday.

They have nine of the 22 (but none of last season’s six New Zealand Secondary Schools representatives) who won last year’s Top 4 back from 2017. They are led by third-year man, first-year captain No.8 Liam Udy-Johns.

The GBHS second 15 have as their captain this weekend fullback De-Villa Pirihi-Coutts, with regular skipper and No.8 Blake Beard suffering two injuries against Rotorua.

The second 15 have yet to win a Super 8 game despite gutsy showings against Palmerston North and Napier, while the Hastings seconds under No.8 James Green have won five out of six and are coming off a 43-0 victory against Napier.

Fifteen-year-old hooker Manahi Boulton and left-footed first five-eighth Hoera Stevenson will be key players for the visitors: Stevenson can punt the ball 40 to 50 metres.

The Hastings u15s, led by second-five Cooper Flanders, have won six out of seven, while Year 9 hooker Vikta Tavita’ s u14s have won five from five.

Gisborne BHS u15s captain and No.8 Lochi Mead’s crew were pipped 17-15 by Rotorua but trained well this week, while there has been no shortage of enthusiasm from fullback King Maxwell’s u14s, who beat Rotorua 55-24.

The referees for this weekend’s games are Damien Macpherson (first 15s), Adam Tapsell (second 15s), Horowhenua-Kapiti’s Sam Thompson (u15s) and Dave Stevenson (u14s).

Gisborne BHS first 15 (1-19): Jordan McFarlane, Billy Priestley, Amanaki Tonga, Ofa Tauatevalu, Khian Westrupp, Amos Roddick, Dylan Hall (c), Sione Ki-niua, Quintony Ngatai, Quinn Collard, TK Reihana, Poumana Gemmell, Niko Lauti, Matt Proffit, Moses Christie. Reserves: Seth Lundon, Salesi Niuvao, Tyrin Wyllie, Tonihi Raureti.

Gisborne BHS second 15 (1-21): Isaiah Kiwara, Sitiveni Tuilautala, Sione Mafelio, Kauri Waitoa, Tamati Horua, Fano Tolu, Tatau Te Whata, Henare Brooking, Jordan Christie, Ricardo Patricio, Sam Royston, Von Huata, Alex Maile, Keane Williams, De-Villa Pirihi-Coutts (c). Reserves: Lyric Tahau, Hunter Tangira, Benito Barry, Tonihi Raureti.

Gisborne BHS under 15s (1-22): Chrysler Mark Stevens, Matariki Kaa, Nathaniel Hauiti, Tyler Keelan-Phillips, Nick Patumaka, Saylahr Paaka, Jackson MacDonald, Lochi Mead (c), Kyran Russell, John Horua, Caleb Billington, Irie Eyles, Whetu King-Taufa, Mikaere Marino-Moore, Western Poutu. Reserves: Siope Fakahokotau, Silas Brown, Reweti Ropiha, Hayze Nepia, Henare Kepa, Drake Wanoa, Eni Sinoti/Rukea Hiroti.

Gisborne BHS under 14s (1-21): Lathaneal Karakia-Niwa, Riley Kururangi, Uetaha Wanoa, Hikurangi Reid, Dylan Bronlund, Reuben Whaitiri, Ben Phelps, Xavier Henare, Israel Fox, Carlos Hihi, Wiremu Maxwell, Taimana Teneti, Xavier Tuapawa, Izaiah Fox, King Maxwell (c). Reserves: Danye Cross, Zeke Collier, Geordie Sawyer, Troy Wharepapa, Kaia Gate, Steven Huata.

Home has never looked so good.

Gisborne Boys’ High School first 15 rugby returns to the Rectory field tomorrow for the first time since April 14 as Boys’ High prepare for Round 4 of the Super 8 tournament.

The visitors, 2017 Super 8 co-champions Hastings Boys’ High, are bringing their first and second 15s, under-15s and u14s. The u14s will play at 9.30am on Rectory ground No.2 and the u15s will kick off at 9.30am on R1. The second 15s play on R1 at 11am and GBHS first 15 play last year’s Top 4 winners at 12.30pm.

Gisborne head coach Mark Jefferson knows the transformative effect playing at the Rectory can have on GBHS players: he was captain and fullback in 1995. That year, the team beat Rotorua Boys’ High to defend the Moascar Cup 11-3 during an eight year-span in which the first 15 never lost an interschool game at the Rectory.

“We’ve had great support from a core of loyal parents who have travelled to games during the past eight weeks” he said.

“That said, the boys are elated to be back in Gisborne: they can’t wait to play on their turf.”

There are three changes to the side who played Rotorua away last Saturday. Jordan McFarlane moves from No.8 to loosehead prop for the injured Nikau Maxwell (right shoulder), with former blindside flanker Sione Ki-niua now at No.8, and Matt Proffit moving from the reserves bench to the right wing in place of Michael Fox.

Gisborne have so far lost to Palmerston North (23-21), Napier (47-20) and Rotorua (41-5) in Super 8 competition. Captain and openside flanker Dylan Hall led by example in those games, as he did against Kelston (a 29-23 loss), St Edmund’s and in the Tranzit Festival.

“The intensity levels at training this week have been high because we have to perform if we’re going to notch up our first Super 8 win of the season,” Hall said.

Hastings, Super 8 champions in 2016, won the last game here 22-8 that season and last year at Akina beat Boys’ High 68-0.

They won five out of six games in eight days at the Sanix Invitational Tournament in Japan this year and have a three-from-five record in domestic rugby, having beaten Palmerston North at home 17-15 in their first Super 8 game a fortnight ago but having lost 27-7 at home to Napier last Saturday.

They have nine of the 22 (but none of last season’s six New Zealand Secondary Schools representatives) who won last year’s Top 4 back from 2017. They are led by third-year man, first-year captain No.8 Liam Udy-Johns.

The GBHS second 15 have as their captain this weekend fullback De-Villa Pirihi-Coutts, with regular skipper and No.8 Blake Beard suffering two injuries against Rotorua.

The second 15 have yet to win a Super 8 game despite gutsy showings against Palmerston North and Napier, while the Hastings seconds under No.8 James Green have won five out of six and are coming off a 43-0 victory against Napier.

Fifteen-year-old hooker Manahi Boulton and left-footed first five-eighth Hoera Stevenson will be key players for the visitors: Stevenson can punt the ball 40 to 50 metres.

The Hastings u15s, led by second-five Cooper Flanders, have won six out of seven, while Year 9 hooker Vikta Tavita’ s u14s have won five from five.

Gisborne BHS u15s captain and No.8 Lochi Mead’s crew were pipped 17-15 by Rotorua but trained well this week, while there has been no shortage of enthusiasm from fullback King Maxwell’s u14s, who beat Rotorua 55-24.

The referees for this weekend’s games are Damien Macpherson (first 15s), Adam Tapsell (second 15s), Horowhenua-Kapiti’s Sam Thompson (u15s) and Dave Stevenson (u14s).

Gisborne BHS first 15 (1-19): Jordan McFarlane, Billy Priestley, Amanaki Tonga, Ofa Tauatevalu, Khian Westrupp, Amos Roddick, Dylan Hall (c), Sione Ki-niua, Quintony Ngatai, Quinn Collard, TK Reihana, Poumana Gemmell, Niko Lauti, Matt Proffit, Moses Christie. Reserves: Seth Lundon, Salesi Niuvao, Tyrin Wyllie, Tonihi Raureti.

Gisborne BHS second 15 (1-21): Isaiah Kiwara, Sitiveni Tuilautala, Sione Mafelio, Kauri Waitoa, Tamati Horua, Fano Tolu, Tatau Te Whata, Henare Brooking, Jordan Christie, Ricardo Patricio, Sam Royston, Von Huata, Alex Maile, Keane Williams, De-Villa Pirihi-Coutts (c). Reserves: Lyric Tahau, Hunter Tangira, Benito Barry, Tonihi Raureti.

Gisborne BHS under 15s (1-22): Chrysler Mark Stevens, Matariki Kaa, Nathaniel Hauiti, Tyler Keelan-Phillips, Nick Patumaka, Saylahr Paaka, Jackson MacDonald, Lochi Mead (c), Kyran Russell, John Horua, Caleb Billington, Irie Eyles, Whetu King-Taufa, Mikaere Marino-Moore, Western Poutu. Reserves: Siope Fakahokotau, Silas Brown, Reweti Ropiha, Hayze Nepia, Henare Kepa, Drake Wanoa, Eni Sinoti/Rukea Hiroti.

Gisborne BHS under 14s (1-21): Lathaneal Karakia-Niwa, Riley Kururangi, Uetaha Wanoa, Hikurangi Reid, Dylan Bronlund, Reuben Whaitiri, Ben Phelps, Xavier Henare, Israel Fox, Carlos Hihi, Wiremu Maxwell, Taimana Teneti, Xavier Tuapawa, Izaiah Fox, King Maxwell (c). Reserves: Danye Cross, Zeke Collier, Geordie Sawyer, Troy Wharepapa, Kaia Gate, Steven Huata.

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