Photo troy Baker D8852-075

HISTORY was made on Saturday in Whakatane with Trident’s first XV rugby team taking out the Baywide first XV Division One final and the first XV Division Three final.
Whakatane High School also won the Baywide Under-16 title.

Trident 1st XV beat John Paul College 30-20 in a heart-stopping final which didn’t let up until the full-time whistle when the elation of players is clear as celebrate with mascot Tane the Tiger.

TRIDENT High School first XV finished the season with a win over John Paul College in Whakatane on Saturday to clinch the Baywide first XV Championship title.

Held at Rugby Park, the final kicked off at 2pm after a morning of finals and semi-finals in the girls, 2nd XV, under-14 and under-16 grades.

Earlier in the day, Trident 2nd XV won the Baywide division three first XV final against Bethlehem College 26-7. (Match report and photos will published in tomorrow’s Beacon.)

Whakatane High School also bagged a Baywide title in the under-16 division and their under-14 team had a tight semi-final against Rotorua Boys’ High School, which eventually took the game 31-24.

Proud of the effort by his team, Trident first XV coach Brett Wharewera said, “It’s surreal – it’s a dream at the start of the year and you work towards a goal.”

“Keeping calm and holding the reins back somewhat but still enjoying the moment,” was Wharewera’s advice before the game. The night before the team had a sleepover at Trident which was “really cool and we had a few laughs and set the scene for the final”.

A huge crowd assembled at Rugby Park in Whakatane to watch the spectacle of rugby which culminated with Trident facing off against John Paul College from Rotorua.

Knowing it was going to be a tough match, Wharewera said he was confident going into the game and encouraged the players to try things and use their vision in what he described as “a heart-stopping game”.

At half-time Trident led 23-5 and Wharewera told the boys to “look up and see the support in the crowd”.

With 20 minutes to go, Wharewera put on fresh legs and John Paul scored two easy tries.

“We are fortunate that we have a squad of 25 players and that’s been a key to our season that everyone has contributed”.

Wharewera said the team dug deep and scored again to surge ahead to their 30-20 final score. It is the first time Trident has claimed two first XV titles.

This Saturday, Trident advances to the first round of play-offs to secure a position in the New Zealand Secondary Schools finals when they play Hawera at home.

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tania.humberstone@thebeacon.co.nz