Super 8 final: Napier swept away by wave of Hamilton tries

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The Napier Boys’ High School first XV challenging Hamilton BHS before Napier’s win in Napier on July 9. It was a different story in the Super 8 final in Hamilton on Saturday, with Hamilton winning 56-22. Photo / Ian Cooper

The Napier Boys’ High School first XV’s dreams of a first Super 8 schools rugby title in 20 years evaporated in a mid-match wave of four tries against them as they were beaten 56-22 by Hamilton Boys’ High School in the final in Hamilton on Saturday.

Down by just three points at 8-5 with 10 minutes until halftime, Napier, which had beaten Hamilton 17-15 in the mud in Napier last month, saw the score balloon in much better conditions to 25-5 at the break and 32-5 just two minutes after the resumption.

The eight-tries-to-four victory was the 14th by Hamilton BHS in the 18 Super 8 finals since 2006, and it shared one other.

Hamilton went to an early 8-0 lead with a penalty and a try in the first six minutes, with Napier getting its first points, the first of two tries to left-wing Eneri McGrath in the 18th minute.


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Napier’s other tries went to substitutes Hunter Kinney and Riley Mullany, the latter converted by first five-eighths Luke Thomas, making it 42-22 with eight minutes to go.

The Napier and Hastings first XVs remain in the running for another bid at the national championship, with the Hurricanes region Top 4 qualifier to be decided over the next three weeks.

The national finals, with a team each also from the Blues region, the Chiefs Region and the South Island, will be held at Massey University on September 1-3.

Doug Laing is a senior reporter based in Napier with Hawke’s Bay Today, and has 50 years of journalism experience in news gathering, including breaking news, sports, local events, issues, and personalities.


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