A look at the 2019 NZ Secondary School Ki o Rahi National Draw

A look at the 2019 NZ Secondary School Ki o Rahi National Draw

2019 NZ Secondary School Ki o Rahi Nationals

2019 NZ Secondary School Ki o Rahi Nationals

The draw for the 2019 NZ Secondary School Ki o Rahi Nationals was released on Sunday night, since then there has been one minor adjustment, but it looks like things are locked in to place now.

It’s always a nervous but exciting time sitting around waiting for the draw to be sent out.

You’re hoping you get placed in a pool that is not too difficult so that you can progress through to Day 2, you’re also hoping that there are some teams in there who can give you a bit of a challenge so that you are also better prepared come Day 2.

So what did we learn from the release of the draw?

2019 will be the biggest ever NZ Secondary School Ki o Rahi Nationals, biggest by far, over the past 5 years we have had around 20 - 24 teams.

This year we have a massive 35 teams registered which means for the first time there will be 6 pools. (5 pools with 6 teams and 1 pool of 5.)

To guarantee you a spot in the Top 8 you have to finish 1st in your pool on Day 1, win all your games on Day 1 and you’re there.

Other than that you are hoping to finish second and be one of two teams with the best differential (for and against). Basically you can only afford one draw or one loss, but you have to score lots of points and have not many scored against you. The next two best teams with the best differential will then move into the Top 8.

Below is a look at the teams in each pool as well as our pick as to how things could go.

Pool A - Rāpanga i te ati nuku - Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Horouta Wānanga, Tawa College, Te Waha o Rerekohu, Karamu High School, Manawatu College, Tai Wānanga Tū Toa.

Awesome seeing new comers Manawatu College, but I believe all other schools have been along to Ki o Rahi Nationals before - I know Rerekohu were in Gisborne 2015 and am thinking that Tawa could possibly have been to Wellington in 2014, if not then welcome to you guys too! Our pick to do well in this pool would have to be last year’s 3rd place TKKM o Horouta Wananga, but I also wouldn’t be suprised if locals Karamu High School don’t make a move off the back of their local support!

Pool B - Rāpanga i te ati rangi - Lincoln High School, Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Wānanga Whare Tapere o Takitimu, Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Kōkōhuia, Te Kuiti High School, Tarawera High School, Fielding High School

Again we’re not the total experts but a big welcome to Lincoln High School from Christchurch, TKKM o Te Wānanga Whare Tapere o Takitimu as well as Tarawera and Fielding High Schools. This pool has a whole heap of newcomers so hard to say but I’d give Te Kuiti High School the nod based on experience but could really go to anyone in this group!

Pool C - Mānini Kura - Lytton High School (Rītana), Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Waiū o Ngāti Porou, Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Hōani Waititi, Hamilton Boys and Girls, Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Kaikohe, Rotorua Boys and Girls

All these teams have been to Nationals before, there are also a few really strong teams in this lot - favourites would have to be out of Lytton and Hamilton but Rotorua could also push into that first place spot - definitely a pool to follow closely.

Pool D - Mānini Aro - Gisborne Boys and Girls (Tūranga Wāhine, Tūranga Tāne, Mana College, Ngā Puna o Waiōrea, Hastings Boys and Girls, Tokoroa High School, Te Wharekura o Tupoho.

The Mānini Aro pool is another tough one - all teams also having been to Nationals before, we’re picking TWTT to finish first however there are some teams here that will be looking to upset Gisborne - Mana, Hastings, Tokoroa or Waiorea could take that top spot.

Pool E - Tangi Wīwini - Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Ara Hou, Te Wharekura o Rākaumangamanga, Te Kura o Ngāpuke, Palmerston North Boys and Girls, Pātea Area School, BYE

Welcome to Patea and Ngapuke. The favourites from Tangi Wiwini have to be Rakaumanga, they’re always strong! However keep an eye out for Te Ara Hou at home, as well as Palmerston North Boys and Girls.

Pool F - Tangi Wāwana - Tolaga Bay Area School (Ūawa), Te Kura Māori o Ngā Tapuwae, Te Aute Boys and Hukarere Girls, Ōkaihau College, Ōpōtiki College, Te Kura o Hīrangi

Welcome to Okaihau and Opotiki as well as Te Aute Boys and Hukarere Girls. Nga Tapuwae must be favourites amongst this group however Uawa have plenty of experience at Nationals and are previous winners, also Hirangi and Okaihau won their regionals so they’ll push for top spot.

Each and every year teams push for the top spot, everyone stands a chance at bringing their trophy home! All our thoughts are based off previous years and from results from around the country at all the different regionals - anything could happen at Nationals and we wish every single team all the best - take no notice of what we have to say - it really could be any team on the day - good luck to all teams!