Thursday, May 18, 2017
The Bethlehem Coachlines Secondary Schools competition enters the halfway mark with teams tussling for positions in their respective divisions as the 1st XV round 1 finals day on June 3rd at Western Heights High School draws closer and the race to make the premier grade of age grade divisions.
This week Trident High School 1st XV take on Rotorua Boys’ High School 2nd XV at home in a must win game for Trident to position themselves with the opportunity of a semi-final spot. Rotorua Boys’ High School 2nd XV are the Pool B favourites and hold top spot while Trident High School has a one win one loss record. This will be a tough physical encounter won up front with the Rotorua Boys expected to come out on top. However Trident at home is always a tough proposition but will need to stick to their patterns to upset the favourites.
Across in Pool A Te Whare Kura o Mauao host Bethlehem College. Both teams remain unbeaten and Saturday will determine the number one ranked team in the pool. Based on current form Te Whare Kura o Mauao play an expansive style which may prove too fast paced for the gutsy Bethlehem College team.
Whakatane High School in Division two of the 1st XV grade takes on John Paul College in another top of the pool battle. Whakatane High School have surprised many with two good wins but will face a tough and well drilled John Paul College crew determined to head to Division one. Across the Pool three teams still vie for the two semi-final spots with Tauhara College hosting Te Puke High School in Taupo while Papamoa College take on Otumoetai College.
Tauhara College may have the edge on Te Puke High School due to the travel factor but Te Puke remains a hot pick to make finals. Papamoa College are rebuilding having lost most of last year’s team and will struggle to contain Otumoetai College unless they reduce the number of basic mistakes and stick to their game plan.
The 3rd XV division has seen Reporoa College take the field after a two year absence. While being dominated by the Rotorua Boys’ High School U15A team we expect the tables to be turned in round two as the other schools settle combinations and build team patterns.