Torrential rain did nothing to dampen the mood as Aucklands new-look College Rugby League Premier First XIII Competition announced its arrival on the sporting landscape on Wednesday.
The joint venture between the Auckland Rugby League, the Vodafone Warriors and ASB College Sport brings together 18 secondary schools striving for the Warriors Cup.
With the teams split into three zones of six, the feature clash on opening day pitted New Zealands dominant St Pauls College against neighbouring Mount Albert Grammar School.
There was much anticipation about the game with MAGS, coached by rugby league legend Steve Price, one of the few schools to have beaten St Pauls over the years.
While MAGS led 6-4 at one point, St Pauls went on to win 18-6 with standoff and player of the day Jamon Peua scoring two tries and hooker Semisi Havili younger brother of Vodafone Junior Warrior Siliva also scoring, along with second rower Bunty Afoa. Prop Timothy Smith scored Mount Albert Grammars try.
All three games in Pool B were hard-fought affairs with Tangaroa College beating Aorere College just 6-0 and Mt Roskill Grammar School and Papatoetoe High School drawing 10-10.
There was also a draw in Pool C, Papakura High School and Sir Edmund Hillary College finishing level at 8-8.
Results from the opening round of the new competition were:
Avondale College v Westlake Boys High School 0 12
Kelston Boys High School v Western Springs College 38 10
Rutherford College v Henderson High School 0 28
Aorere College v Tangaroa College 0 6
Mt Roskill Grammar School v Papatoetoe High School 10 10
St Pauls College v Mt Albert Grammar School 18 6
James Cook High School v Manurewa High School 10 18
Papakura High School v Sir Edmund Hilliary Collegiate 8 8
Southern Cross Campus v Otahuhu College 10 30