It’s finals time for Waitaki Boys’, St Kevin’s First XVs

Leaders . .. St Kevin’s College captain Ben Kay (left) will lead his side into its final against Otago Boys’ seconds, while Tyree Manaia will lead Waitaki Boys’ into its final against Dunstan tomorrow. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

Secondary school rugby finals are here. Tomorrow, Waitaki Boys’ High School will play Dunstan High School in the Ritchies Cup final, while St Kevin’s College will host Otago Boys’ High School 2nds in the bottom four final. Kayla Hodge checks in with the coaches.

Waitaki Boys’ High School is defending the Ritchies Cup under the roof.

The boys in black will play Dunstan High School in the middle four final at Forsyth Bar Stadium in Dunedin tomorrow.

Coach Mark Wilson said his players ‘‘didn’t believe it’’ when he said they were heading to the Highlanders’ home ground.

‘‘For some of them it’ll be a once in a lifetime opportunity,’’ Wilson said.
Waitaki Boys’ comes into the final after a 31-19 semifinal win against Mt Aspiring. The team won the match in its ‘‘last play’’ and Wilson was proud of the players’ resilience.

‘‘It was probably a bit of get out of jail stuff, but you’ve got to win those close ones.’’ Dunstan was a good ‘‘scrappy’’ side that never went away and Waitaki Boys’ would need to be on its game to win, he said.

‘‘Our boys are just going to have to execute the opportunities when they come and hold on to the ball.’’

It was great Waitaki Boys’ was getting the opportunity to defend the Ritchies Cup after last year’s win, he said. ‘‘The boys need to be incredibly proud of doing that.’’

Kick off is at 12.15pm.

St Kevin’s College is peaking at the right time of the season.

The team struggled to find form early in the season, but the relatively young and inexperienced group has come home strong.

St Kevin’s hosts the bottom four final tomorrow against Otago Boys’ High School 2nds. The boys in blue come into the match after a 29-8 semifinal against South Otago High School last Saturday.

Coach Justin Fowler said the semifinal match was one of the team’s best all season.

‘‘They had beaten us three to four weeks beforehand. Things went quite well, really. [They] came together quite nicely,’’ Fowler said.

Captain Ben Kay returns to bolster the ranks this week after being sidelined for three weeks. Beau Beadle has been solid at centre and Max Fatafehi has anchored the team around the park at halfback.

Fowler said the team was ‘‘really looking forward’’ to the final and was excited about the opportunity.

Kick off is at 12.45pm at St Kevin’s College.