Mason Kinzett and Peter Armstrong played integral roles in South Island Marist's 36-31 upset win over their North Island counterparts in the under-13 clash in Auckland on Saturday.
The Athies players were nominated by their coaches before being assessed by NZ Marist's Liam Halpin to make the cut for the clash and proved their worth on the big stage.
North Island were first out of the traps, taking a 12-nil lead in the opening five minutes, but the South Islanders clawed their way back into contention at 12-7, with Mason Kinzett heavily influencing proceedings from halfback.
The two sides traded tries in a display of end-to-end all-action rugby, with the South taking a 24-17 lead into the break.
The underdogs dominated the opening 10 minutes of the second half, with Armstrong's barnstorming runs causing defensive headaches for the opposition.
The South side extended their lead, scoring close to the posts to make it 31-17, but then went try for try in a nervy period to bring it to 36-24.
The North Island managed to regroup and forced another try for a nail-biting final two minutes but any chance of a late comeback was snuffled out by the forwards, with the ball being kicked into touch for a South Island victory.
Coach Wayne Kinzett was pleased with the team's achievements and the experience of the trip.
"It was great. The New Zealand Marist men's team were there, they gave the boys all their gear and sat with them at meals," he said.
"It was good for the small town boys, they got to see the big city and the entertainment in the city centre."