Christchurch Boys’ High will meet Otago Boys’ High on Saturday after winning the UC Championship in a match that ended up being a fizzer due to a World Rugby law.
A large amount of confusion surrounded the UC Championship final, which ended in an 18-18 draw between CBHS and Christ’s College.
CBHS were awarded the title and advanced to Saturday’s South Island final because they scored three tries compared to Christ’s two.
An IRB law states that under-19 matches cannot be played for longer than 70min, and in the event of a draw, extra-time is not permitted for player safety reasons.
When the announcement was made at full-time that the match had been decided on the rule, it was met with disappointment from the thousands of fans who attended the match and were anticipating extra-time.
“From my point of view, if I was on the receiving end of that loss I wouldn’t feel great and I’d probably want the rules to be changed. But I guess it’s the law that we’re not allowed to play over a certain amount of time and they can’t go to extra time,” said CBHS captain Louie Chapman.
“At the end of the day, both teams were playing to the ruling. We knew the ruling and I’m assuming they did too.”
Christ’s College rugby development manager Stephen Dods confirmed the Christ’s players knew about the rule going into the game. However, he didn’t go as far as to say he agreed with it.
“I could talk to you about IRB rules until I’m blue in the face,” said Dods.
In the match, Christ’s jumped out to a 13-3 advantage, courtesy of two long distance Shun Miyake penalties and a George Coull try.
CBHS No 8 Corban Harding barged over the line in the 47th-minute to reduce the deficit before Coull scored again to make it 18-8.
A try quickly after the restart to CBHS’ Sam Caldwell set up an exciting finish to the game which saw replacement Ryan Barnes score the equaliser with 3min to play.
Christ’s had one final crack at victory. However, first-five Kurtis Weeks’ drop goal attempt came up 3m short of the posts.
•Saturday’s South Island final will kick off at CBHS at 12.30pm.
•Meanwhile, Rangiora High School will travel to play Gore High School for a spot in the national co-ed secondary school finals.