Rugby League is a developing sport at Westlake Boys High School having only been around for the last nine years. In those years, the school has produced many strong results; we won the Open Weight North Harbour Competition title four out of last six years – the first competition victory being in 2008 against an Orewa College side that featured Kiwi and Warrior’s superstar Shaun Johnson. It’s another exciting year for the sport fielding its first ever 2nd XIII side.
We competed in 2013 in the inaugural Auckland CRL Premier Competition which showcased the 18 best schools in the Auckland region. The Premier League team exceeded all expectations and finished fifth in the competition and were agonizingly one win away from making the semi-finals and finishing top of the table. Westlake students James Waterson and Wiremu McCarthy were included in the tournament team of the year and co-coaches Heath Nola and Jamie Williamson won the coach of the year award for the tournament. Westlake also competed for the first time in the New Zealand Rugby League Nationals held in Papakura in which the team finished 10th in New Zealand.
2015 saw the return of Heath Nola and Jamie Williamson to the coaching roles of the Premier side and the results this year were outstanding. The team finished 9th in Auckland only missing out on the top six by points for and against. In the National competition the boys finished sixth in New Zealand narrowly missing out on the semi-finals by drawing with the eventual champions Otahuhu College and missing out on points for and against. The year saw some exceptional individual rewards with both Zae Wallace and Fine Inisi being named in the CRL team of the year and also both being selected to represent New Zealand in the New Zealand Rugby League Secondary Schools team.
2016 proved to be the most successful year for Rugby League at Westlake finishing 3rd in New Zealand at the National Secondary Schools Competition. Jamie Williamson and Peter Hurst commanded the coaching front as Zae Wallace led the boys in the field. The team unfortunately went down to Kelston Boys in a thrilling semi-final which sent them to a decided for 3rd and 4th against St. Pauls. Westlake beat St. Pauls in a convincing performance and recorded the first ever win over their opponents. The team look to build on that achievement into the 2017 season.
Some notable achievements from former Westlake Boys High School students within the Rugby League world are Sam Cook, who was in the 2013 NZ Warriors U20 team and Vinnie Anderson who played for the New Zealand Warriors and also represented the New Zealand National team. Zae Wallace, who left us last year has recently starred in the Gold Coast U20’s side and looks to have a promising career ahead of him.
We are hoping that whilst Westlake Boys High School has a side competing in the Auckland competition, more of our students will impress selectors of representative teams, learning their trade in the prestigious NRL Holden Cup U20’s competition, such as our very own Zae Wallace.
The highlight of the year is split between the Auckland Secondary Schools’ Competition and the well-respected New Zealand Secondary Schools Rugby League Nationals which both showcase the best young rugby league talent within New Zealand.
Director of Rugby and Rugby League: Hugh McGahan
Teacher in charge of Rugby League: Jamie Williamson
Coaches: Jamie Williamson, Sam Cook and Peter Hurst