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Boys’ High dust themselves off

A blip, anomaly, aberration . . . call it what you will.

A skilful, pacy Scots College beat the Gisborne Boys’ High School first 15 50-0 in Porirua last Saturday.

“It was a good day at the office for us — not too much went wrong,” Scots head coach Sam Rasch said.

The Wellingtonians scored three tries in their 19-0 lead by the break and five further tries in the second half.

Gisborne Boys’ High head coach Mark Jefferson said it had been “a big few weeks” for the young players who had had to step up in the absence of injured senior players.

“And Scots punished us for our mistakes,” he said.

Boys’ High finished the Tranzit Coachlines Festival of Rugby with one win, 47-24 against Wellington College at Rathkeale College, Masterton, three weeks ago.

In Game 2 in Gisborne, a 35-metre penalty goal from St Patrick’s College, Silverstream, first five-eighth Tom Mannix three minutes from fulltime meant the visitors left the Rectory 22-21 winners.

The first 15 are committed and capable. Their effort leading into this season and improvement since their 66-12 win in the season opener against Lindisfarne College on April 6 have been consistent. Six days after that, it was Kelston Boys’ High 26 GBHS 17 away, and the Gisborne team have been without regular captain and loosehead prop Jordan McFarlane and blindside flanker Ofa Tauatevalu since then.

Lock Tiaan Barbara-Hei scored a hat-trick of tries against Lindisfarne on a day in which 11 players debuted for Gisborne Boys’ High, and his absence through injury has also been felt.

These are not excuses. Jefferson’s team need none, and they will front up in the Super 8 opener against Palmerston North Boys’ High at the Rectory this Saturday.

It has been a busy week for Gisborne Boys’ High, who expect to have at least three of five players back from injury for the 12.30pm clash.

Tuteari Te Rauna-Lamont and Kitini Taihuka, the three-try-scoring loosehead prop in the game against Wellington College, are in the mix again.

The Tranzit Festival provides a strong pre-season build-up for the best school teams in the Hurricanes Zone, but Saturday was the end of the beginning.