St Peter’s U14 A won the Steve Gordon Shield for 2017, beating Hamilton Boys’ High School (HBHS) in the Waikato Secondary Schools (WSS) Championship final at Steele Park in Hamilton East on Saturday.
HBHS had the home field advantage, having beaten St Peter’s in the top 4 round robin games (the only loss for St Peter’s this season).
However, notes Coach Ian Stewart, it was a challenge this group of young men had prepared for, making it a much-anticipated final clash.
Stewart describes the match as a “game of two halves” in which St Peter’s made a very strong start. “Attack was abundant and well executed" he said.
“Wave after wave of players clearing rucks, moving the ball and running into the line.
“And for the little ball HBHS had in the first 15 minutes they were met with fearless defence by the wall of blue St Peter’s jerseys.
“Confidence has never been an issue with this group of young men and we believe this is due to them being very comfortable with doing their own roles in a game and more importantly having confidence in their team mates, inside and outside them, to do the same.
“That, with some very good processes and systems in place makes for a very capable team.”
The second half of the game saw the HBHS team start with a seemingly determined mind-set, throwing everything they had at St Peter’s and putting them under immense pressure.
The boys had to dig deep to hold them off.
“It was good to see that St Peter’s never lost faith” says Stewart.
“Body language was positive throughout the game, and every conversation was around getting the job done for each other.
"Pleasingly, that’s exactly what they did, defending strongly for the last 20 minutes and tirelessly making tackle, after tackle, after tackle!
“It was a gusty effort by St Peter’s and a great finale to an outstanding season” concludes Stewart.
"Special thanks to our fantastic supporters who cheered the boys on, week after week. The success of this team is a tribute to you too."
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