Oamaru First XVs repelled Dunedin challengers in the opening round of the Otago premier secondary schools rugby competition last weekend.
Waitaki Boys’ High School beat the Otago Boys’ High School Second XV 20-10 at Milner Park, and St Kevin’s College thumped Taieri College 54-36 at Murrayfield.
It was a nice taste of revenge for Waitaki, which twice lost to the Otago Boys’ Second XV last year.
Waitaki made a spectacular start to the season by racing to a 14-0 lead inside 10 minutes through tries to rampaging prop Tonga Malafu and nuggety winger George Parker.
But that exciting spell proved something of a false dawn as Waitaki lost its way for much of the rest of the first half, and led just 14-10 at the break.
Two Mason James penalties – his kicking in general play was poor but his goal kicking was superb – were the only scoring moments in the second half.
Malafu was prominent around the field and anchored a dominant Waitaki scrum, lock Jack Willans started his season with a fine effort, and debut prop Jacob Davies made a big impression.
In the backs, second-year centre Bayley Sullivan led a fantastic defensive effort, and halfback Ikenasio Taefu showed some lovely touches.
Across Oamaru on Saturday, St Kevin’s opened its season with an entertaining win that was never really in doubt.
St Kevin’s led 36-12 at halftime and the final score arguably flattered Taieri College.
Promising prop Tupou Fifita led the Oamaru school with a barnstorming performance up front, carrying the ball with vigour and showing impressive technique in the set piece.
Flanker Paea Fifita scored two tries, halfback Ramesh Khatri had one of his best performances in the jersey, and Ben McCarthy helped himself to 19 points, kicking seven of eight goals.