Wellington Schools out to impress at Nationals
Story courtesy of College Sport Media
After winning back-to-back Trevor Rigby Cup Championships, Wellington College will headline the six Wellington Schools at next week’s Premier New Zealand Secondary Schools Boys’ Football tournament in Napier.
Wellington College didn’t attend last year, a shaky grading performance saw them finish second to Whangārei Boys’ High School at the Rex Dawkins Tournament held in Taupo.
Sacred Heart College, Auckland are the defending National Champions. They beat Auckland Grammar School 2-1 in the final. Sacred Heart goalkeeper Declan Viljoen saved a second-half penalty with Auckland Grammar leading 1-0.
The five-day National tournament for 2022 will be held at Park Island in Napier with the final to be played at Bluewater Stadium, home of Napier City Rovers.
Wellington College starts their National campaign against locals Napier Boys’ High School, coached by Napier City Rovers veteran Bill Robertson. The Napier squad includes Rovers, Oscar Mason and Sam Lack.
Wellington also play Whangārei Boys’ High School and Macleans College who will contest the Auckland Knockout Cup Final against Sacred Heart following Nationals.
Trevor Rigby Cup runners-up Hutt International Boys’ School (HIBS) have been pooled against 2012 national winners Mount Albert Grammar School, St John’s College (Hamilton) and Cashmere High School who HIBS beat 2-1 in pool play at the 2019 Nationals.
Scots College find themselves in Pool B with their toughest task on Tuesday morning against Auckland Grammar School, coached by former All White Kris Bright. Timaru Boys’ High School and St Paul’s Collegiate comprise the remainder of the pool.
St Patrick’s College, Silverstream will be hoping for a better showing than their 2019 display which saw them finish 28th out of 32 teams.
Silverstream are pooled with Canterbury champions St Thomas of Canterbury College, Rosmini College, a team they have already met once this season, and New Plymouth Boys’ High School who they beat 2-1 in an annual traditional fixture at Maidstone Artificial.
Rongotai College are enjoying an eight-game winning streak and face Canterbury runners up St Bede’s College on Monday afternoon, following a tussle with Lindisfarne College in the morning. Westlake Boys’ High School are their final group opponent on Tuesday.
Rathkeale College have been drawn in the toughest pool of all the Wellington teams. They face Auckland Premier League champions Sacred Heart College, striving for a third consecutive National title. Palmerston North Boys’ High School and Shirley Boys’ High School also represent stiff challenges.
Super 8 champions Tauranga Boys’ College, Saint Kentigern College, and Nelson College are three teams that could pose a serious threat.