Rangitoto rugby has been given a new lease of life over the last few years due to the passion and dedication of keen whānau, staff, and kaiako.
This year saw the number of students wanting to play rugby increase immensely. For the first time, we had an Under 15 Girls team, with many involved playing rugby for the first time. We were also able to field two teams in our Youth 14 Boys grade, along with fielding teams in all other boys’ grades.
Rangitoto’s Premier Girls team, coached by Mark Simpkins, Joel Rea, and Caitlin Windress, has had an exceptionally excellent 2023 season. Playing in the North Harbour Youth Rugby competition, the girls won almost all round-robin games against various schools, with one 5-12 loss against formidable competitors Westlake Girls High School. Late June saw the competition final against Westlake Girls, held on a cloudy day in front of supporters from both sides. The tight game saw Rangitoto coming away with a 19-5 win. This success allowed the team to go on to challenge Northland winners, Bay of Islands College. The players enjoyed the experience of travelling up to Kawakawa and going head-to-head against such a talented team. Bay of Islands College took the win with a 12-48 final score.
Our Premier Boys team were lucky to have Rangitoto College alumnus, former Head Boy, and 1991-winning First XV captain, Boyd Gillespie, along with Craig Hewttson, as coaches for this year. Boyd’s extensive playing and coaching experience has been an invaluable addition to our rugby programme.
This year we are also took an Under 15 Boys development team to Wellington to compete in the Hurricanes Under 15 Tournament. This team is coached by James Fuiava and Ryan Borthwick. This is an amazing opportunity and one that we hope to grow and continue for our kura moving forward.
A huge success of Rangitoto rugby over the last few years has been our Youth 15 Boys team, coached by Brent Bibbie and Wade Kirkland. They were undefeated in 2022 and went on to win the 2022 North Harbour competition in this grade. The coaches have taken a similar group of boys into the Youth 16 grade this year, once again winning their final.
Tino pai to the dedicated players and ngā mihi to all involved in this fantastic season!