School Pride At Stake On Finals Day In Dunedin

Jeff CheshireAnalyst IIAugust 13, 2009

Saturday the 15th of August marks finals day in Otago Secondary Schools rugby for 2009 and what a day it will be.

Nine finals, all at the University, will lead up to the big clash between Otago Boys and Southland Boys in the last round of the inaugural Highlanders first XV competition.

The two first XV's go into Saturday's game evenly matched.

Good wins over Christchurch Boys and South Otago have also showed Otago Boys are capable of beating the best. An upset loss to Waitaki Boys last weekend is what leaves some doubt.

Southland Boys on the other hand have looked to be on good form with a close win over Waitaki Boys and a demolision of South Otago have seen that they lead the top four table on nine points. They need not look far for motivation for this weekend after having previously lost to Otago Boys 14-8 in the traditional interschool fixture which took place in Invercargill earlier this year.

The Otago Boys forward pack boasts seven Otago Under 18 rep's and will be key in the main event on Saturday.

In the Under 18 Final, Otago Boys second XV takes on Upper Clutha in what should be a tight clash.

The two sides met in the third round of competition with Otago Boys coming out on top 27-12. Otago Boys has a number of top quality players capable of turning the game.

Lance Taylor has the X-Factor and has a brilliant kicking game, capable of pinning his opposition in their own half the whole game. Flanker Brodie Hume will be all over the park as will hooker Dan Acklin. 

The Colts Grade Final sees South Otago 2nd XV take on West Otago. South Otago will enter this match as favorites, but could be toppled by a solid West Otago side.

The talking point of Otago rugby this year has been the success of the South Otago first XV and the second XV will definately be looking to make sure that the school is not a one team wonder.

In the Under 16 Division 1 Final, we see two fierce rivals clash in the Otago Boys Colts and the Kings Lions. This will be a very good battle indeed, with nothing separating the teams.

Otago Boys came out of a form slump last week with a 36-10 victory of the Waitaki Boys Colts and will look to be carrying that excellent form through to the final on Saturday.

The sides have met twice already this year with Otago Boys coming out victors 14-0 and 12-3. 

Otago Boys have a very good all-around team with a very strong forward pack that has the potential to cause Kings some serious problems as long as they get busy.

In the backs, half-back Scott Hunter has had a superb season, kicking eight-for-eight last weekend. Fred Blanchard is another key player who is capable of doing anything from anywhere.

In the midfield and out wide we see a very dangerous set of backs for Otago Boys.
Kings boast a very dangerous backline with numerous players capable of breaking the line. The key for them, as is for Otago Boys, will be how well the forwards play.

The Under 16 Division 2 final will be played between Bayfield first XV and Upper Clutha. This should be a closely contested game although if Bayfield use their key players to good effect they should run in winners.

The Under 15 and Under 14 finals will also be held at the University Oval this weekend, so if you're in the area be sure to get down and support your team.