Jayden Sargent is a middle man in the Rotorua Boys’ High School touch team. He explains his role is to create play and control his troops.
“My role is to talk a lot, get angry and try and motivate the boys. I have been in the team for four years. I am one of the seniors and I guess the players respect me,” he says.
Prior to the semi-finals of the National Championships in Auckland, Rotorua required a riot act reading.
The defending champions, after breezing through pool play, nearly tumbled out before the semi-finals. They got casual and they got humbled by Palmerston North Boys’ High School.
“We got through to the semis on a count back, us and Hastings, Palmy missed out. The Palmy loss was the best thing for us. It forced us to switch on,” Sargent admits.
In the semi-finals Rotorua demolished Westlake Boys’ High School 12-3. Sargent has been a member of Rotorua’s premier side for four years and he believes it’s the best performance he has been a part of.
“It was amazing, everything went right, it was like playing the perfect game of touch. Westlake was a really good side,” he acclaims.
Hamilton Boys’ High School are a really good side. The perennial contenders were Rotorua’s opposition in the final, as they were in 2014. The decider was a typically tight tussle.
“It was a mean game. It was real hard to get points. Hamilton are a sharp side,” Sargent says.
Rotorua scored the opening two tries and was never headed, eventually prevailing 4-2.
Ngarohi McGarvey-Black, Joshua Taylor and Sargent all made the tournament team, the former was named player of the tournament.
“It was an awesome weekend. I was speechless to win a second national title and then make the tournament team,” Sargent says.
Sargent singles out McGarvey-Black for particular praise.
“Ngarohi is a big time player for us. He is in the Touch Blacks. He got a bit of stick about his age because of the rugby thing, but he is too good.”
Sargent has played rep touch for the Bay of Plenty senior team. Additionally he is a standoff in league and halfback in Union. He hopes to travel to Japan with the Rotorua First XV in 2016.
Rotorua BHS: National Touch Champions Results
Round Robin: St Pats Silverstream, 11-2
Round Robin: Whangarei BHS, 6-4
Round Robin: Trident High School, 10-1
Round Robin Crossover: Palmerston North BHS, 4-6
Round Robin Crossover: Hastings BHS, 6-3
Semi-Final: Westlake BHS, 12-3
Final: Hamilton BHS, 4-2
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