Te Aute College Deputy Principal and rugby coach Robin Fabish will be departing the school on a high, after his team won the final of the Unison Challenge Shield 20 - 8 against Wairoa College on Sunday.
Played as the curtain raiser to the Magpies’ successful Ranfurly Shield defence against Northland, the result was a fitting farewell for Mr Fabish, who is leaving Te Aute College to take on a new position as Principal at Tamatea High School.
“This is the best leaving present the team could have given me – I’m so very proud,” said Mr Fabish.
“They have worked hard this season, together as a team. I couldn' have asked for more.”
Following the presentation of the Shield, Te Aute College students who were watching from the stands performed a haka for the winning team as they left the field.
Te Aute College had previously played a Challenge Shield final in 2013, losing to defending champions, Central Hawke’s Bay College in a closely fought match.
It was the first time playing in the final for Wairoa College.
The Challenge Shield is part of Unison’s sponsorship with the Hawke’s Bay Rugby Union, and an extension of its junior rugby programme.
In presenting the Shield on behalf of the Unison Group, Customer Care Manager, Danny Gough, said Unison was proud to support the regions’ rising rugby stars.
“The focus and determination displayed by these young players shows the future of New Zealand rugby is in good health.
“Our future All Blacks start here, at the grass roots level, and Unison is proud to be able to support players and coaches to excel in their sport.”
In addition to the Shield, Mr Gough also presented each player of the winning team with a medal and a $500 R80 Sports voucher for Te Aute College, with Wairoa College also receiving a $200 R80 Sports voucher.