The Blues v Hurricanes game was launched with an exciting 1A competition between St Peter’s College and Massey High School tonight, with St Peter’s pulling off a late minute win 14-13.
It was round two of the KFC Curtain Raisers, where local high school first xv teams duke it out on Eden Park prior to the Blues’ home games.
Massey High School brought excitement throughout the 70 minutes, their backs making plenty of line-breaks to keep the friends and family on their feet. But St Peters’ defence proved too strong, holding Massey back from the try line and creating penalty opportunities and turnovers.
St Peter’s second five Dhynzel Pritchard kicked his side’s first penalty goal and 21 Josh Loveday kicked his side’s final two penalties. Massey fullback Miracle Naititi kicked his side’s two penalty goals and conversion.
Second five Sebastian Teilu scored Massey’s only try in the 66th minute, but St Peter’s responded promptly with a try of their own from number 8 Luteru Tolai, right on full time. The try went unconverted, but St Peter’s’ previous three penalty goals put them up one point by the final whistle.
Massey suffered from a number of ball handling errors and ill-discipline, but head coach Jarrod Framhein was confident that his team will perform once the season kicks off.
“We’re only four weeks in and we don’t play until the 7th of May for actual points,” he said. “We’ve got a whole lot of really good athletes at our school, it’s just a matter of giving them that structure to work off. The boys are slowly learning the systems in place and that’s allowing those athletes to express themselves.”
St Peter’s coach Herman Tauata said the trial match was a good way to select the team’s First XV heading in to the season and its location added something special.
‘The big thrill of the game was being able to run around Eden Park, which the boys will remember for a long time,” said Tauata.