History Repeats For Rotorua Boys’ Touch Team

Rotorua Boys High School

At the 2012 Touch Nationals, Shaquille Stone of Rotorua Boys’ High School broke the hearts of Hamilton Boys’ High School.

Stone scored a try in the extra-time “drop-off” to win the title for Rotorua.

Two years later Shaquille and Maurice Stone (the latter the brother of All Black Arthur) combined to hurt Hamilton again by coaching a National title winning team. What’s more Rotorua won in a drop off. Ngarohi McGarvey-Black, Rotorua’s left-link, explains what happened.

“The drop-off means it becomes five on five. Hamilton started with the ball and dropped it. We had an average set. Hamilton then failed to score. I then got the ball from dummy-half and ran into space and passed to Corbin Selwyn who got the winning try.”

For McGarvey-Black (Chiefs under-18 rugby) it was his second national title in two weeks. At the Condor Sevens he scored two tries in the final as Rotorua outpaced Scots College. McGarvey-Black says the last fortnight has been surreal.

“It’s been real busy, but real good. We were confident we could win the title with the team we had.”

McGarvey-Black was a member of the 2012 team and says this year’s cohort was much more experienced than that of three years ago.

“Being an old fella I had to step up. I was vice captain and Damien Darlington was the captain. I was more of a leader this time.”

Rotorua won the Bay of Plenty and Chiefs Zone titles to earn qualification for the nationals. As expected Rotorua won all their day one matches easily and entered the crossover matches as the highest seed.

Black Rotorua Touch 1

On day two Rotorua beat Hastings Boys’ (7-5), Kelston Boys’ (5-2), St. Paul’s College (10-2) and St. Kentigern College (6-3). Hastings finished third, but McGarvey-Black says the St. Kent’s game was really tough.

“St. Kent’s had Sam Nock (NZ Schools’ rugby halfback/Tournament Team) and he was really good. It was a hard game, but they were a bit dependent on Sam.”

St. Pats Silverstream who finished fourth was also over reliant on one key player. In the semi-finals, Rotorua beat the Connah Pamatatau  (Tournament Team) led side 8-3. McGarvey-Black says, “Silverstream was real young and I reckon in a couple of years they’ll be real good. Connah was mean for them.”

In the final Rotorua started nervously and slipped two points behind Hamilton, but McGarvey-Black says Rotorua stayed composed.

“We knew we could win if we stuck to our patterns. It’s a great feeling to go through the year unbeaten.”

Rotorua BHS National Touch Champs

Rotorua had five boys selected for the tournament team: Jayden Turei-Bidios, Jayden Sargent, Isaac Te Aute, Darlington and McGarvey-Black. The later three were also members of the Condors Sevens side. Shanan Tomuri from Hamilton Boys’ High School was named player of the tournament

McGarvey-Black whose cousins are professional rugby players Otere Black and Beaudein Waaka is returning to school in 2015.