This is just some "Quick Thoughts" about the National Weekend coming up and just what I have been thinking could happen. This weekend has come pretty fast and the rugby season is coming to an end, Year 13’s have played their last games for that "Crest on their Chest", guys will play their last game with players they have played along side of since they were 5 and the most important right now we will have a New National Champion and maybe a NEW Coed Champion. This is the first four things I thought of after seeing the schedule for the weekend.
First thing I thought of was they have 3 Hamilton teams rep’n in all the 3 Title games with Hamilton BHS in the National Top 4, St Peters School in the Coed and also Hamilton GHS in the Top 4 Girls Nationals. Now I haven’t looked this up or anything but could this be the first time that all 3 Trophies could be in one city after this weekend? This has to be some what a first thing to happen, right? What this also shows and me being from Hamilton I love this, but that it shows that Hamilton/Cambridge is in very good condition when it comes to rugby development in their schools. This year St Pauls Collegiate, St Peters School, St Johns College, Te Awamutu College a real big surprise also came through on a National scale as well and could have been a good challenge this year for most teams Cambridge HS also were not a push over team with only I think 4 Year 13’s in the squad. I dont think Hamilton (Cambridge/Te Awamutu) schools have been in a better position as they are right now and it looks to be getting better over the next year or so, so keep watch on this place cause they are building nicely here in Hamilton.
Second thought I wanted to point out was the raise of the Rangitoto College 1st XV, and for people like myself I have known them to be a Basketball school but not rugby. For the last 3 years they really started making something happen there and its really paying off, I think with Rangitoto College getting better and better it begins to lift the Comp over the bridge and it will start to get closer and closer to the 1A Comp which is what they need to be striving for in the future. Beating Aorere College was not something that happens every year and even yesterday watching it it took everything that Rangitoto College had to beat such a huge and physical Aorere College side. I hope the Sports Director and Sports Department and Coaches keep the good work up because we could see a yearly battle over there with the big 3 schools in Westlake BHS, Massey HS and Harbor Champs Rosmini College getting better and better, and closer and closer in talent. This Comp could be one to watch out for.
My third thought was more on the side of the individual players and what they could get out of this Top 4 Nationals. This weekend is cool because we get to see new teams to the "Throne" but there are some top rated players this weekend that are also out to prove that they deserve to be in that "Black Jersey" in the next coming months. There are players out there coming this weekend that will play for their team mates and that "Crest on their Chest" first and then for the opportunity to put their name forward for NZSS. I will be putting out "My NZSS Team" and also "My Barbarian Team" so that you can get a look at where Im thinking in terms of players but as I always do I will explain the reason for why I pick players. If you have a look at how many High School players from last year have already played in an ITM Cup game these past few weeks it tells you how close these boys are to being Pro players and that them getting there is not 5-6 year down the line but 5-6 months down the road so this counts for those who are serious about making Rugby their career. The talent levels of the players we have now is something we have never seen and "Old Heads" like myself and your dads, uncles and older cousins trying to tell you "Boy, we were hard back in our day" trust me they might be right but they were not more skilled, more talented, stronger, not as fit, explosive, knowledgeable about the game then you guys are today, you guys are far far ahead of us when we were back at school.
This was my 4th thought that came to mind when finding out that schedule. Last year I was expecting to see the Girls rugby Nationals on the same fields as the boys at Massey and was keen to cover their game and see who’s coming through. I was then messaged that I should come to the stadium so I could see the Girls play, and I got confused and I got to the fields and the Girls were not there but at the stadium. The other thing that bugged the hell out of me was that no one was really covering them at all and no one knew what the scores were and everyone was asking me and I had no idea either. This year though I get to watch them go at it and I get to see the very high skill level of these players. It was so cool watching them at the Condor 7’s last year cause that skills level their was very high and so I have high hopes for National Championship games. I am from Hamilton and Proudly I might add and even though I think St Mary’s College from Wellington will take it out I am still keen to see how Hamilton GHS go against the other top schools in the country.
Im hoping to get there this weekend and trying hard to find funding because this is such a massive Tournament and the "Super Bowl" for me so for me it’s a have situation. I look at these players as Pre Super Stars already and that’s just to me cause I study them so much and know how good these players can be. I will also pick my "National Top 4 Team", "My Top 4 Coed Team" and "Top 4 Girls National Team" if I can find a roster for them at the end of the weekend. IM LIT ALREADY!!!