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Ex-All Black Carlos Spencer's son Peyton shines in Hamilton Boys' national title

By Sam Smith
(Source/Sky Sport NZ)

Hamilton Boys High School secured their fifth national 1st XV title in dramatic fashion in Palmerston North when a last minute try to winger Caelys Putoko snatched a 17-15 win.

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They trailed the Hawkes Bay school for the entirety of the match before they hit the lead in the final twenty seconds to spark jubliant celebrations and despair for Napier Boys, who ended up runners up for the sixth time.

Hamilton Boys drew level with Kelston Boys High School and Wesley College for the most 1st XV rugby national titles with their win.

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The perennial champions are no strangers to producing top rugby talent, with Quinn Tupaea and Sevu Reece two of their more recent All Blacks.

Another famous All Black’s son was involved in their latest national title win, former first five Carlos ‘King’ Spencer’s son Peyton starred at fullback in the national title as part of a talented backline.

Hamilton Boys showed a willingness to run it out of their own 22 in both playoff games using the skill and speed at their disposal out wide.

Captain Aki Tuivailala led from the front at centre, while Spencer was part of a dangerous back three along with Putoko and speedster Brodie Robinson. Sharp stepping first five Rangiwai Lunjevich looked threatening with every touch.

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In the semi-final 48-14 win over John McGlashan College, fullback Spencer scored 23 points including eight from eight off the tee and had a hand in a number of tries.

He showed skilful hands and acceleration into the gap to set up his left wing while demonstrated a high level of awareness to sneak down the blindside to score Hamilton Boys’ last try.

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In the final against Napier Boys, Hamilton Boys fell behind as they couldn’t quite execute the opportunities they created.

Spencer had a miraculous offload from a set-piece scrum play that just bounced in front of his winger, making it difficult to bring in with the line begging.

Down by 15-5, a try to captain Tuivailala gave his side some hope with 12 minutes remaining and they managed to pull off the comeback when Putoko – who scored an incredible length of the field try in the semi-final on Friday – completed his memorable weekend with a try in the corner after six phases.

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