It's the traditional grudge match of Dunedin Secondary Schools Rugby.Otago Boys High School versus Kings High School. One of the biggest cross-town rivalries in New Zealand and certainly the biggest game for each of these schools.
This was the 71st annual interschool between the two schools. In the first XV game, Otago Boys have come out on top 46 times, the Kings 21 times, and four draws. On this occasion, Otago Boys finished up victors 23-13 in game that was very scrappy but didn't really live up to the hype surrounding it.
Otago Boys were heavily favoured heading into the game, many saying that they would be too strong up front while their backs would be too good also.
It seemed no one had told Kings this though, as they started strongly, looking lively on attack and seemed to have more commitment than Otago Boys, who opted to kick for territory almost the whole half.
Despite this, Otago Boys did get on the scoreboard first thanks to a brilliant individual try from second five Michael Collins, who cut through the Kings backline to touch down for a try. The conversion was missed making the score 5-0.
Kings hit back almost straight away with a penalty kicked by fullback Gifford Henry after applying good pressure to Otago Boys while trying to clear.
After dominating territory and possession for the whole first half, Kings finally managed to score towards the end of the half as Tyron Pelasio crashed over the line after a strong run finished with a well-worked drive. The conversion was missed but Kings managed to maintain the 8-5 scoreline and went to the break deservedly in front.
With the wind behind them in the second half, Otago Boys came out firing, looking like a different team as their forwards began to gain dominance and cracks started to appear in the Kings defense. Two penalties kicked by Lance Taylor saw the score go to 11-8 before winger William Scorgie scampered up the sideline and crossed the line to give Otago Boys an eight point buffer.
Another try to Otago Boys by Makasua Tanuvasa put the result beyond doubt as the score went to 23-8.
To their credit, Kings kept on fighting and were rewarded as winger Jade Wilson scored a try in the corner in the closing stages of the game. The conversion was missed to take score to 23-13.
It was a very error-ridden game with a lot of dropped balls and poor kicks. The strong wind proved to be hard to play into, shown by the fact that the team playing with the wind behind them won each half.
For Otago Boys, flankers Brodie Hume and Josh Reid stood out, both proving very effective in the loose. Liam Edwards was tidy at the back looking dangerous whenever he got the ball, making a couple of his trademark runs on the counter attack.
Openside flanker Ben Dolan had a good game for Kings while prop Ayden Lloyd displayed a high work rate. In the backs, Tim Tolovae was strong on defence while Gifford Henry kicked for territory efficiently.
The win sees that Otago Boys will almost certainly finish in the top two of the Highlanders 1st XV competition while Kings will still likely qualify in third.
The two teams now have a two week break over school holidays before their next games where Otago Boys meet Waitaki Boys and Kings meet Dunstan High.