With the Zone 1 Premierships (National Championships Qualifying Tournament) completed and a wet Monday driving me to the record books I’ve taken a look at the past performances of Auckland Schools at National Championships.
Here goes with the boys (girls to follow) bearing in mind on-line records only go back to 2004 when four future Tall Blacks were named to the Tournament Team that year.
Tom Abercrombie (Westlake Boys), Jeremaia Trueman (Nelson College), Alex Pledger (Hamilton Boys High) and Benny Anthony – 24 points for Avondale College in their Grand Final win against Mana College – were the recipients.
Since then Westlake Boys (5), Rosmini (3), Rangitoto (2), St Kentigern (1) have won 11 of the last 15 championships emphasizing the dominance the Auckland Schools have engineered since ’04.
Westlake Boys head to Nationals as the only team from the region to compete at every championship since ’04. In addition to the 5 championships, 2 silvers, and 2 bronze medals they have only finished outside the top ten once and that was a creditable 11th in 2018. That is some record.
Rangitoto College, National champions in 2015 and 2016, have only failed to qualify twice (06 and ’12) in the last 17 years. In addition to the two championships they have two silvers and a bronze with a total of 10 Top-10 finishes.
Like Rangitoto College, Auckland Grammar have only missed two championships since ’04. You have to go back to 1979 to find the only time Grammar have won the title although since claiming bronze in 2010 they have been a model of consistency with an impressive ten straight Top-10 finishes. Could this be their year to convert that consistency into a championship?
Attending just their 8th National Tournament Rosmini College boast a formidable record in that short time. They were crowned champions at their first appearance in 2011 and subsequently have finished 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 11th, 1st, 1st and 2nd.
Mt Albert Grammar are headed to the National Champs for a 7th straight year hoping to at least match the performance of 2017 when a 3rd place finish was the best in the school’s history.
St Kentigern College, lest we forget, are the defending champions! They defeated Rosmini in an all-Auckland final in 2019 and, having claimed bronze in 2018, will be hoping to medal again in their 7th championship appearance.
For Sacred Heart College the 2022 National Championships will be the school’s first ever appearance at the ‘Big Dance’. What a way for all the Year 13 students to end their collegiate careers!
In a trip down memory lane here is a list of the Auckland champions and MVP’s (bracketed) noting records from pre 2004 are less detailed.
1979 Auckland Grammar
1983 Kelston Boys High
1999 Avondale College (Lindsay Tait)
2004 Avondale College (Tyrone Davey)
2005 Westlake Boys (Corey Webster)
2006 Westlake Boys (Corey Webster)
2009 Westlake Boys (Rob Loe)
2011 Rosmini College (Ana Haku)
2012 Westlake Boys (Tai Webster)
2013 Westlake Boys (Jaylen Gerrand)
2015 Rangitoto College (Tai Wynyard)
2016 Rangitoto College (Sam Waardenburg)
2017 Rosmini College (Mitch Dance)
2018 Rosmini College (Mitch Dance)
2019 St Kentigern College (Shalom Broughton)