The NZ Barbarians Schools side made it a 5-0 record over three seasons after their two latest internationals in Porirua earlier this month.
A merited 39-21 win over Australian Schools, who played almost all the clash with 14 men, was followed by a tight 22-16 victory over a resurgent Fijian Schools to maintain their spotless record and once more fully justifying the existence of this team, which is sponsored by the club.
Head coach Darren Larsen, who also guides the Hurricanes Development XV, along with assistant Ryan Martin, the coach of Otago Boys’ High First XV, assembled a strong squad after the NZ Schools had taken the first pick.
Wing Luther Hirini, who had impressed in the national co-ed Top 4 tournament in Rotorua with the Feilding High First XV, was called in as cover for Jarrod Adams, who was not fit for the first game. Hirini is the son of Horowhenua Kapiti legend, all-time leading tryscorer and appearance leader, Paul Hirini.
In sparkling conditions on September 30 at Porirua Park, the NZ Barbarians Schools kicked off the international programme in the best possible style with a five tries to two victory.
Captain Tom Hardy, the hooker from King’s College, called for “typical Barbarian rugby” and his side duly delivered after a stirring haka.
In fairness, the outcome of the game was virtually decided in just the fourth minute when Australian No 10 Jordan Jackson-Hope was red-carded for a very dangerous tackle on Barbarians halfback Liam Howley.
The Barbarians then ripped into their work, leading 20-9 at the break. First five D’Angelo Leuila showed fine stepping ability to notch the first try and he slotted six from six off the tee in an accomplished display.
The pack warmed to their task, with No 8 Marino Mikaele-Tu’u to the fore with some prominent surges. A nice move, featuring a miss pass, a double-round and good hands saw wing Losi Filipo score. Leuila combined well with his second five Alex Nankivell, while Isaia Walker-Leawere asserted himself in the lineouts.
Australia fought back gallantly in the second spell, scoring tries through fullback Jordan Fulivai and halfback Hamish Goddard. But the Barbarians scored three slick tries of their own to fullback and vice-captain Caleb Makene, wing Shelford Murray (off a chip by replacement halfback Lisati Milo-Harris), and lock Paripari Parkinson, who plonked the ball down after good phase play.
On hand were Barbarians president Bryan Williams, committee member Ron Williams and new member Dave Rennie, while member Keith Quinn called the game for TV.
NZ Schools hammered Fijian Schools 58-0 with 10 tries.
In their second fixture against Fijian Schools, the Barbarians had to work harder for the entire match. Makene had been promoted to the NZ Schools bench and Murray took the No 15 jersey. He scored the opening try too, a superb effort from a two double three move where No 12 Alex Nankivell did all the right things to manipulate space. The Fijians presented a solid scrum and in wing Edward Sawailu they had one of the game’s most dangerous backs. The Barbarians scored another two nicely-taken tries to Murray and Jarrod Adams off slick hands and passing before heavy rain hit just before fulltime. They would have been relieved when the referee finally blew no-side.
On hand were Bryan Williams (and his wife Lesley) along with Barbarians Terry Horne, Murray Mexted and Dave Loveridge, who presented the jerseys.
The NZ Barbarians Schools again did the jersey proud. They had real depth in certain positions, such as halfback and openside flanker, and many of them would not have been out of place in the top NZ Schools side. They scored some slick tries which showed their cohesion and good coaching.
We look forward to the continuation of this programme in 2015.
The NZ Barbarians Schools squad of 23 was:
Antonio Ripata (prop, Auckland Grammar School)
Alex Nankivell (midfielder, Christchurch Boys’ High School)
Tui Samuelu (midfielder, Christchurch Boys’ High School)
Fin Hoeata (lock, Dilworth School)
Isaia Walker-Leawere (lock, Gisborne Boys’ High School)
Jahrome Brown (loose forward, Hamilton Boys’ High School)
Mason Kean (prop, Hastings Boys’ High School)
Marino Mikaele-Tu’u (loose forward, Hastings Boys’ High School)
Tom Hardy (hooker, King’s College)
Shelford Murray (wing, King’s College)
Caleb Makene (utility back, Napier Boys’ High School)
Sione Asi (prop, Otago Boys’ High School)
Matt Heffernan (loose forward, Otago Boys’ High School)
D’Angelo Leuila (first five, Papatoetoe High School)
Sam Tufuga (prop, Rathkeale College)
Daniel Lee (midfielder, Rosmini College)
Liam Howley (halfback, Southland Boys’ High School)
Paripari Parkinson (lock, St Kentigern College)
*Jarrod Adams (wing, St Patrick’s Silverstream)
Losi Filipo (wing, St Patrick’s Silverstream)
Samisoni Taukei’aho (hooker, St Paul’s Collegiate)
Lisati Milo-Harris (halfback, St Peter’s College)
Brendan Bond (loose forward, Westlake Boys’ High School)
*Adams was injured for the opening game and replaced by Luther Hirini of Feilding High School.
September 30, Porirua Park:
NZ Barbarians Schools 39 (D’Angelo Leuila, Losi Filipo, Caleb Makene, Sheldon Murray, Paripari Parkinson tries; Leuila 4 con, 2 pen) Australian Schools 21 (Jordan Fulivai, Harrison Goddard tries; Goddard con, 3 pen) Halftime: 20-9 Barbarians
NZ Schools 58 (Hapakuki Moala-Liava’a 2, Rieko Ioane 2, Lui Okeamoa-Luamanu, Sam Nock, Alex Fidow, Malo Tuitama, Jonah Lowe, Jordan Trainor tries; Trainor 4 con) Fiji Schools 0 Halftime: 31-0 NZ Schools
October 4, Porirua Park:
NZ Schools 34 (Sam Nock 2, Jonah Lowe, Patelesio Tomkinson tries; Jordan Trainor 4 con, 2 pen) Australian Schools 24 (Izaia Perese, Connor Moroney, Gavin Luka tries; Hamish Goddard 3 con, pen) HT: 17-0 NZ Schools
NZ Barbarians Schools 22 (Shelford Murray 2, Jarrod Adams tries; D’Angelo Leuila 2 con, pen) Fijian Schools 16 (Edward Sawailu, Jona Tuva tries; Manasa Mataele pen, Sefo Toga pen) HT: 7-6 NZ Barbarians Schools