2 September 2023
The much anticipated 2023 NZRL National Secondary School Tournament has been full-on as schools from throughout the country gathered at Bruce Pulman Park, for three days of rugby league action. Day 1 saw some thrilling pool games and Day 2 produced intense semi finals across all 4 grades, with finals set to be played tomorrow.
NZSST Day 2 Major Semi Finals recap:
Semi Final 1 – St. Thomas of Canterbury College v Southern Cross Campus
Final score: St. Thomas of Canterbury College 30-6
The Cantabrians showed dominance in the first half of the game, chalking up 4 unanswered tries to put them in the lead 20-0 at halftime. Southern Cross fought hard to stay in the game with Emosi Ravosai crossing the line to put the team on the board, followed by a successful conversion. Jackson Stewart of St. Thomas finished the game with a hat-trick as the team proved too strong for the Aucklanders, booking their ticket to the finals.
Semi Final 2 – St. Paul’s College v De La Salle College
Final score: St. Paul’s College 6-0
In a re-match of the Auckland College Premier Boys finals, the two heavyweight rugby league schools battled for a spot in the NZSST finals. The game was a highly physical match-up with players putting their bodies on the line in an intense back-and-forth, all 40 minutes. Ultimately, a first-half try by John Matini successfully converted by Sio Kali was all the difference to put reigning St. Paul’s College, through to the finals.
Semi Final 1 – Auckland Girls Grammar School v Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Kaikohe
Final score: Auckland Girls Grammar School 32-0
Reigning Auckland championships Auckland Girls Grammar School displayed their skill and strength, keeping the Kaikohe side from scoring. Seriah Palepale finished with a hat-trick, as the Aucklanders comfortably secured their place in the Girls Championship grand finals.
Semi Final 2 – Southern Cross Campus v McAuley High School
Final score: Southern Cross Campus 26-10
This game between the two Auckland girl’s schools featured heavy contact and speed to match, tying the score up to 10-all at halftime. An outstanding second half of rugby league was played by Southern Cross, with Shanthie Lui scoring a double and converting 3 tries as her team claimed the victory.
In the Boys Championship grade, Aorere College and Wesley College topped the two pools qualifying them for grade’s grand finals. Also in Pool A, Ngā Kura ā Iwi o Aotearoa Taikura finished with equal total points to Aorere, however, Aorere finished the round robin games with a better points difference. Taikura will instead face Westlake Boys High School in contention for 3rd place.
The U15s Boys Carnival grade will feature St. Paul’s College and Western Heights High School from Rotorua going head-to-head for 1st place. Tamaki College finished with equal total points to the Rotorua side but were beaten by points difference. Tamaki will instead see Manurewa High School in the 3rd place final.
NZRL NZSST Major Finals – Sunday 3rd September
U15s Boys Carnival
Grand Final – St. Paul’s College v Western Heights High School 10:00 am (Pulman Park Field 1)
3rd/4th place final – Tamaki College v Manurewa High School 9:00 am (Pulman Park Field 2)
Grand Final – Aorere College v Wesley College 11:15 am (Pulman Park Field 1*)
3rd/4th place final – Westlake Boys High School v Ngā Kura ā iwi o Aotearoa Taikura 10:15 am (Pulman Park Field 2)
Grand final – Auckland Girls Grammar School v Southern Cross Campus 12:30 pm (Pulman Park Field 1*)
3rd/4th place final – McAuley High School v Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Kaikohe 11:30am (Pulman Park Field 2)
Grand Final – St. Paul’s College v St. Thomas of Canterbury College 1:45 pm (Pulman Park Field 1*)
3rd/4th place final – De La Salle College v Southern Cross Campus 11:30 am (Pulman Park Field 5)
*live-streamed game on NZ Rugby League youtube.com/playlist
For the entire NZSST finals day draw and to keep up with all the tournament action, visit linktr.ee/nzrlgrassroots