A traditional school with a contemporary heart

National First XV Champions!

Our Go Bus First XV won the National Secondary School First XV Rugby Championship title for 2023!

Our inspirational Go Bus First XV won the National Secondary School First XV Rugby Championship against Westlake Boys' High School in Palmerston North on Sunday 3 September. 

The team took out the 32-29 win with an incredible performance. In the journey to the final, the team first played Otago Boys' High School, winning 22-10. They then went on to challenge Christchurch Boys' High School for the South Island title - taking it out 29-28 and making the Top 4 - qualifying for the National Secondary School First XV competition! The team then flew to Palmerston North for a semi-final against Palmerston North Boys' High School - winning 20-19 - before facing Westlake Boys' High School in the final. Rector Simon Coe, and family and friends of the boys, travelled to Palmerston North to support the team.

Their win set off headlines the length of the country, and propelled the boys into the spotlight - with a ticker-tape parade planned (and sadly cancelled due to the weather) and culminating in a mayoral reception at the Invercargill City Council held in their honour. 

On their return to Southland, a crowd of 250 people met them at Invercargill Airport, where their school mates performed a haka to welcome their champions home. This was followed by a pōwhiri held at school on Tuesday 5 September with a full school haka, and with news cameras and reporters in attendance. 

As Mr Coe said in an article for the Southland Times: 'What makes me especially proud is this is genuinely a school team, they have been at the school a number of years, we haven’t put this team together [from other schools]. There’s been a really strong team ethic around the group, they have had each other’s backs through some tough times. They showed massive heart and got across the line.'

We are so proud of you all. Congratulations gentlemen.


Welcome for the team at Invercargill Airport 

Southland Times:

Country's best: Southland Boys' First XV national champion and Moascar Cup holder

Ticker-tape parade may be held for victorious SBHS rugby team

Parade to honour Southland rugby champions

Stay humble? Doesn't appear to be a problem for SBHS First XV

1News - including video:

'Hillbillies' to NZ champs: Southland Boys' First XV make history

New Zealand Herald:

Jubilation as Southland Boys’ win First XV title

Pacific Days Show - Pacific Media Network

Radio Interview


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