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Quick Thoughts 2018 Part 1

Happy New Years everyone I hope everyone has had a great holiday so far and that you have consumed more than enough food and family time to last you for 2018. We are coming into 2018 with Hastings BHS as our 2017 National Champs for 1st XV Rugby and Hamilton BHS our 7’s National Champs, St Peters School Cambridge the Co-Ed National Champs and St Mary’s College the Girls 1st XV Champs, but it will change. The best thing about the New Years is that everything starts again and we get to “Crown” new Champs and New Teams take the “Throne” for the year. We also have a new “Crop” of talented Year 13 players looking at that No.1 Ranking and if they will land in that No.1 spotlight. Players are looking at making NZSS this year and making a name for themselves for the future, Year 12 players looking to get a jump on their NZSS selection hoping to get selected earlier and the NEW Year 11 Ranked players coming into the Top 200 Scouting “Light” and ready for me to put their name out in the world, planting them in the minds of Rep Selectors, Scouts, Recruiters and Agents to be our next Super Stars.

This year we will have a new National Champ and Im saying that because we have just witnessed a Hastings BHS team that I personally think is one that should be one to remember and is not a something we will see even close to that in the next 15 years. That Hastings BHS is the best team I have seen since doing High School Top 200. With all that talent leaving, it is not easy to recover from that so for me Hastings BHS is going to have a very small drop off and will be back in 2019 with a National contending Squad. The schools off the top of my head that I am looking at is St Kentigerns College, well actually the 1A has to me 3 Nationally strong teams St Kents, Auckland GS and Kings College. All 3 teams have rosters full with talent in most positions and all 3 teams have a lot of experience in their squads and all could be National winners but St Kentigerns is the strongest to me at this stage. Sacred Heart College is also up there and depending on who is returning for MAGS they should be there and St Peters College is a year out from a team I think is going to be a serious contender with the youth of talent they had 2017. Others to be talked about would easily be Hamilton BHS and Rotorua BHS, St Pats Silverstream and Scots are very interesting with Hastings BHS, Napier BHS and Gisborne BHS is a school that can be very scary this year. Christchurch BHS and Otago BHS to me right now have the “Grip” on the South and as we have learnt don’t miss out Southland BHS because they get offended and then prove everyone wrong.

Along with pickling the best team in the country comes with the question “Well who is the best player in the country then?” Usually when you have the best players in the country and you attend a rugby strong school they would usually be contenders for best school in the country. So for example Quinn, Charles and Tautau from Hamilton BHS both making NZSS and making the finals. Devan, Lincoln, Danny, Folau, Josiah, Kianu, Jeriah and Kini with Hastings and Etene and Tamati with St Kentigerns College. So we will have a little look at it and say well guys like Rivez Reihana and Tamati Williams from St Kentigerns College will be looked at as No.1 contenders, Saula Mau from Auckland GS a good look, Taufa Funaki from Sacred Heart a strong players to look at as well as and Josh Southall from St Pats SIlverstream is a great player to look forward to this year. I really like Isaiah Punivai who is either going to St Kents or Christ College Im not sure which one it is he hasnt confirmed it to me so we’ll see what happens. For me every year I look at at least 15-20 players that could fill that No.1 spot because our talent pool in NZ is just so much and with a very high talent ceiling as well. One thing for sure is that we will have some Year 12’s Ranked very high this year because of how good they did last year so expect to see some Year 12’s real high on the Top 200 Rankings.

The Chiefs Region has really been tied up by the fact that Hamilton BHS will pretty much take it every year and it has become the “Norm” and the National Top has only seen 3 teams from the Chiefs Region. Teams like Tauranga BC, St Pauls Collegiate, New Plymouth BHS, Francis Douglas MC and up and coming St Peters School Cambridge find it hard to break that hold Hamilton BHS have. This year however I think Rotorua BHS have a real strong chance to take it this year with the young group they have coming back. Raukura have lost a Super Star in Hayze Perham but they do have other guys that

can fill the position as well as a more well rounded team that can really put that pressure on Hamilton BHS. Now Im not sure much longer Hamilton BHS can hold this up because there are some strong Rugby Programs developing in the Waikato as well as in the Cheifs Region as so I think the talent as a whole in the Chiefs Region is going to lift and Hamilton BHS may not be the first option for all talent in Hamilton.

I have been thinking different kind of rivals around the Regions, schools as well and also Comps as a whole too and how they stack up. For me the 1A has one of the hardest Comps week in and week out this year. Every team will lose this year and could end up with 2 loses with how many hard teams there are in the 1A. Me picking St Kents as one of the best or the best team in the country this year doesn’t mean they will never lose it just means talent for talent and adding Coaching staff talent and schedule I would think they would be right up there at the end of the year. So I have talked about Auckland GS and their chances led by Saula Mau at Prop, one of the best midfield combos this year in Matt Timoko and Simeon Latu, also the fact they have Corey Evans and Ryeli Samuela to choose from as 1st 5/8’s is such a blessing for any team. Kings College have some of the most talented backs in the country with Zarn Sullivan, Meihana Grindlay, Aidan Morgan, Lucas Halls and forwards like Mills Sanerivi, Judda Turahui, Kamani Paasi, Noah Perelini, Zoan Patua and Isaiah Mapusua they just have that kind of team to take it all out. Like I said Sacred Heart are right there, MAGS, ST Peters College, Dilworth School, Kelston BHS have a young group of talent ready to make a run in a year or so and they will turn some heads this year too with De La Salle College.

This is just the first one’s thoughts and quick ones to note down and so Part 2 is coming up soon.

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