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Players, coaches, managers and match officials from the 2019 SAS College Rugby League competitions were recognised on Monday afternoon at an awards ceremony held at Mount Smart Stadium.
St Paul's College playmaker Michael Angelo Taufa was the big winner, picking up the Premier 1st XIII Player of the Year award after helping his school to the title last Friday.
The 16-year-old also topped the competition in points scored.
Taufa's St Paul's College teammate Jonah Palota-Kopa was acknowledged as the top try scorer, while Southern Cross Campus mentor Rod Ratu claimed Coach of the Year and Katie Spraggon (Manurewa High School) Manager of the Year.
Taufa and Palota-Kopa were also among those selected in the Team of the Year, with that side to face a Vodafone Warriors invitational squad on Wednesday, August 21 at Mount Smart Stadium #2.
Matthew Grannis was named the premier competition's top referee after taking control of last week's final at Mount Smart Stadium.
Fifteen-year-old Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate star Monika Fakaosilea claimed the Girls' MVP award, capping off a big year in which she also won the Auckland U16 Girls' club title with Otahuhu.
Fakaosilea's school coach Rowena Pati was recognised as the competition's best.
Leon Marsters (Birkenhead College) and Feao Asiata (Lynfield College) were the second-tier Senior A competition's top points scorer and top try scorer respectively, with Whangaparaoa College winning the Fair Play Award.
The on-field dominance of St Paul's College at U15 level carried through to the awards, with Jessiah Tanoai named the Player of the Year and the coaching duo of Sam Tanielu & Geraint Tagalou winning Coach of the Year.
Westlake's Penny Fletcher took out Manager of the Year.
Vodafone Warriors prop Bunty Afoa, a St Paul's College old boy, and NRL Women's players Tanika-Jazz Noble Bell and Georgia Hale spoke at the awards, along with Warriors' general manager of football, Brian Smith.
2019 SAS COLLEGE RUGBY LEAGUE AWARD WINNERS:
Manager of the Year | Marie Sua (Aorere College)
Coach of the Year | Rowena Pati (Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate)
Most Valuable Player | Monika Fakaosilea (Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate)
Girls' 9s Team of the Year | Ashley Porter (Papatoetoe High School), Melody Magele Fuli (Auckland Girls' Grammar School), Charlie Kamuhemu (Auckland Girls' Grammar School), Monika Fakaosilea (Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate), Holly Spargo (Green Bay High School), Mary Solovi (Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate), Glory Aiono (Aorere College), Shyna Ugapo (Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate), Losalina Moala (Manurewa High School)
Top Try Scorer | Feao Asiata (Lynfield College)
Top Points Scorer | Leon Marsters (Birkenhead College)
Manager of the Year | Kau Tepaki (Western Springs College)
Coach of the Year | Nathan Stockman (Whangaparaoa College)
Fair Play Award | Whangaparaoa College
Boys' U15 9s
Manager of the Year | Penny Fletcher (Westlake Boys' High School)
Coach of the Year | Sam Tanielu & Geraint Tagalou (St Paul's College)
Most Valuable Player | Jessiah Tanoai (St Paul's College)
Premier 1st XIII
Referee of the Year | Matthew Grannis
Top Try Scorer | Jonah Palota-Kopa (St Paul's College)
Top Points Scorer | Michael Angelo Taufa (St Paul's College)
Manager of the Year | Katie Spraggon (Manurewa High School)
Coach of the Year |Rod Ratu (Southern Cross Campus)
Premier 1st XIII Team of the Year: Moala Graham-Taufa (Mt Albert Grammar School), Kiardyn Hatch (Westlake Boys' High School), Lani Graham-Taufa (Mt Albert Grammar School), Levi Atiga (St Paul's College), Junior Moli (Southern Cross Campus), Xavier Stevens-Teo (Southern Cross Campus), Michael Angelo Taufa (St Paul's College), Xabian Payne (Kelston Boys' High School), Vaka Sikahele (St Paul's College). Isaac Matalavea-Booth (Pakuranga College), 11 Jonah Palota-Kopa (St Paul's College), Kina Kepu (Aorere College), Shade Shepherd (St Paul's College).
After a highly successful Talent Development Programme held in Cambridge last month, New Zealand Rugby League wishes to announce and congratulate those players who have been selected in the New Zealand Resident 16s and 18s, 26-man squads.
80 of the best 16s and 18s players in the country were put through their paces both on and off the field at the three-day camp, with everything they learnt culminating in two trial matches on the final day. The talent on display left selectors with some difficult decisions to make as players battled it out in hopes of catching the coaches’ eyes.
These squads will assemble on the first Monday of the school holidays, 15 April and 8 July, with a game in October to be announced in the coming months.
New Zealand Resident 16s Wider Squad
AKARANA; Benaiah Ioelu, Zion Maiu'u, Paaua Papuni-Abbott: AUCKLAND; Nathaniel Tangimataiti, Nathaniel Cama, Stanley Iongi, Heneli Luani, Sione Vaihu, Filipo Whitehouse-Opetaia Tovio, Sione Fotuaika: COUNTIES MANUKAU; Ali Leiataua, Ben Peni, Carlos Tarawhiti, Salesi Ataata, Francis Manulelua. MID CENTRAL; Arama Kite, Fatiauma Moeahu-Leota: NORTHLAND; Tea-Rani Woodman-Tuhoro: SOUTHERN; Felix Fa'atili, Jaedon Wellington, Ethan Faitaua, Nikau Waikato, Uriah Tuli: UPPER CENTRAL; Manaia Ngataki-Matthews, Cassius Cowley: WELLINGTON; Joshua Williams.
Head Coach: Bejay Hewitt
Assistant Coaches: Eugene Davis and Chris Langley
Trainers: Sean Witanga
New Zealand Resident 18s Wider Squad
AKARANA; Caleb Pese, Luani Tavake Naufahu Whyte, Moala Graham-Taufa, Jyris Glamuzina, Lani Graham-Taufa, Matthew Palu, Temple Kalepo, Totive Junior Tuileisu: AUCKLAND; Eteru Ropati: COUNTIES MANUKAU;Otukinekina Kepu, Peesi Vailangi Kepu, Semisi Sikei, Taniela Otukolo, Paea Fotu, Quinnlan Tupou, Semisi Tapa, Sione Moala, William Fakatoumafi: MID CENTRAL; Brooklyn Herewini, Tyson Chase: SOUTHERN; Jordan Coleman, Levi Pascoe, Caius Fa’atili. UPPER CENTRAL; Sean Field, Tukimihia Simpkins. WELLINGTON; Dallas McEwan.
Head Coach: Tusa Lafaela
Assistant Coaches: Cody Walker and Daniel McEwan
Trainers: Lee Paru and Jasen McCarthy
Manager: Tania Harris
Physio: Allan Horn
It was a third-time lucky fairy-tale ending for Kelston Boys’ High School who were crowned National Secondary Schools title winners today at Pulman Park. The boys in red finally put the heartache of 2016 and 2017’s finals losses behind them, sealing a sweet 16-14 victory over St. Paul’s College.
Kelston Boys' High School captain, Kadiyae Ioka was named MVP of the Permiership final and was pleased his team could get the win to round-off his final year at the tournament as a year 13 student.
"For two years now we've come up against Southern Cross Campus in the final and been runners-up. This year we can finally take the shield home,"
"It's been one of the best weeks of my life. Our team have really bonded and this tournament is always an amazing experience but this one has to be the best yet," he said.
However, Ioka was the first to admit the match was no easy win.
After several minutes of back and forth, St Paul’s College put first points on the board, a reward for their composure and power up front in the first 10 minutes of the game. Their promising start was matched by Kelston when half Konrad Tu’a dummied to take a try for himself, which unlike St Paul’s first try, was converted successfully.
Kelston drew strength from their two-point lead which was bad news for their opposition whose energy tanks were depleting by the minute. The score remained unchanged, Kelston going into the halftime break up 6-4.
The second half seemed to deal blow after blow to St Paul’s as their metres gained were more often than not, doubled back by the skillful maneuvers of Kelston’s halves and wingers.
St Paul’s looked set for a change in momentum only three tackles into their set when Kelston’s left winger, Raymon Tuaimalo Vaega intercepted the ball running 50 metres to touch down near the posts.
A heavy percentage of possession had Kelston get across the line minutes later too, the scoreboard reading 16-4 after a successful conversion.
But, St Paul’s weren’t down and out yet. The footwork of Sione Moala punched a hole in the Kelston defence to send his teammate Jonah Polota-Kopa over the chalk. Moala then converted taking the score to 16-6.
Minutes away from the final whistle, the Polota-Kopa try proved to be the spark they needed. Powerhouse Antonio Aufai bulldozed through the Kelston defence to send his supporters into hysterics, all they needed now was a successful conversion to take Kelston to golden point.
The unthinkable happened though – the ball bounced off the post with a sigh of relief heard from the Kelston camp. At 16-14 on the final whistle, Kelston were finally victorious.
A new winner also rose to the top in the Development Grade final with Howick College defeating Onehunga High School in their final, 16-10.
Premiership Final MVP: Kadiyae Ioka
Development Final MVP: Dray Roberts
1st/2nd Kelston Boys’ High School 16 St Paul’s College 14
3rd/4th Rotorua Boys’ High School 4 Mt Albert Grammar School 26
5th/6th Wesley College 20 Manurewa High School 18
7th/8th Manukura School 16 St Thomas of Canterbury 20
9th/10th Southern Cross Campus 28 Westlake Boys’ High School 20
11th/12th Otahuhu College 24 Tokoroa High School 22
13th/14th Whangarei Boys’ High School 16 James Cook High School 30
15th/16th Howick College 16 Onehunga High School 10
17th/18th Whangaparaoa College 20 Papakura High School 26
19th/20th Manawatu College 24 Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate 26
21st/22nd Naenae College 44 Haeata Community Campus 21
Kelston Boys’ High School are the kings of Auckland secondary school league once again, after powering past Mt Albert Grammar School 14-6 to claim the 2018 SAS College Rugby League title on Wednesday night.
The west Auckland school scored two converted tries in the first half and kicked a penalty in the second, to claim their first title in four years, in front of a vocal crowd at Mt Smart Stadium #2 on Wednesday night.
Centre Mark Rasmussen opened the scoring on five minutes, grabbing onto a looping Konrad Tu’ua pass to crash over in the corner, for a try which Tu’ua converted.
A well-constructed set play 10 minutes later then saw Tasi Lotima barge over from close range to double Kelston’s lead at the break.
Mt Albert flew out of the gates in the second stanza, and within five minutes Uelese Levasa got onto the end of a pinpoint Emmanuel Kelly kick, with Sam Kamu converting from the sideline to halve the deficit.
Both sides traded blows over the ensuing minutes, with a number of dropped balls and periods of poor discipline meaning neither side was able to assume control of the contest.
With two minutes to go, a penalty just to the right of the uprights, from 20 metres out, presented Tu’ua with an easy two points, which he converted to put the result beyond doubt.
Post-match, Kelston fullback Connor Lopesi spoke of the joy of experiencing Grand Final success, 12 months on from a defeat at the hands of St Paul’s College in the same game.
“It feels good, coming off last year we just knew what we had to do to win the game,” he said.
“In that final ten minutes or so, I was thinking about last year, I’m just happy we did it.”
Earlier in the day at Mt Smart Stadium #2, Southern Cross Campus won a golden point thriller 26-22 over St Paul’s to claim the U15 title, before Sir Edmund Hillary ran away with the girls’ title ahead of Aorere College, 30-8.
St Paul’s College won the Senior A (second-tier) title 16-6 over James Cook High School.
In the semi-finals, Kelston had beaten Wesley College 16-12 and MAGS had defeated St Paul's College 22-4.
Kelston Boys’ High School 16 Wesley College 12 (Kelston through to the Grand Fi
Kelston 14 (Mark Rasmussen, Tasi Lotima tries; Konrad Tu’ua goals x3) def. Mt Albert 6 (Uelese Levasa try; Sam Kamu goal). At Mt Smart Stadium #2v
New Zealand 18s 8 (Mawene Hiroti, Dylan Tavita tries) Australian Schoolboys 40
MVP New Zealand 18s: Dylan Tavita
MVP Australian Schoolboys: Tanah Boyd
The New Zealand U18s missed out 8-40 to the Australian Schoolboys in their schools rugby league international at a soggy Trust Arena in Auckland this afternoon.
In a game that promised to be a physical one, Australia snatched their second victory of the week, after beating a NZ U18 select side 26-18 earlier in the week, but this time blew the scoreboard wide open.
Auckland’s wet conditions came to the party bringing countless knock-ons to both sides and handling errors that made for a slow start.
It was looking like the New Zealand 18s would score 20 minutes into their encounter after a knock-on from an under pressure Australian team, but the over-eager New Zealanders came up short inches from the try-line
The Australian Schoolboys opened the scoring after almost half an hour, when a missed tackle from the New Zealanders cost them. A conversion to Zac Lomax, the Australian centre who went into the game with a 100 percent success rate at goal from Tuesday night’s clash, took the Australian Schoolboys out to a 6-0 lead.
The sheer speed of the visitors’ play the balls had them gaining 40 metres with a tackle count of only three, and it was that quick pace which brought in the Australian second-rower, David Fafita, for his first try of the match. The score would remain at 10-0 – Zac Lomax’ first and only missed conversion of their two-match campaign.
Just as halftime was looming, the NZ 18s scored their first try with winger, Mawene Hiroti, crossing the line on the right wing – the NZ 18s go into the changing rooms trailing by 10-4.
Refreshed and ready for another 40 minutes, the New Zealanders came out firing. Their second try came when they capitalised on their opposition’s dropped ball with captain, Dylan Tavita, scoring just right of the post. However, the captain didn’t manage to convert his own try falling short of levelling the scoreboard – 10-8.
The New Zealand 18s may have closed the gap, but give the Australians an inch and they’ll take a mile. That’s exactly what they did as Tanah Boyd went in for his second try of the game which was then converted by Zac Lomax extending their lead to 16-8. Boyd would go on to earn himself MVP of the Australian Schoolboys side.
Then came David Fafita’s second try. NZ found themselves struggling to read the play as Fafita received a fantastic cut from Boyd slipping through an absent defense taking the score to 22-8 after another successful Lomax conversion.
Australia’s next try went much the same way set up by an outstanding grubber from the classy, Tanah Boyd which was taken across the line by Jesse Cronin. Lomax converting the try to make it 28-8.
As the New Zealand missed tackle count increased, the Australians took full advantage with a further three more tries on the board, all successfully converted by Zac Lomax.
Rewarded for their never-ending forward momentum, the Australian Schoolboys took home an impressive win with seven tries to two and a score of 40-8. Australian co-captains, Zac Lomax and Campbell Graham, credited their successful camp for their victory.
“We’ve had a really good camp with incredible coaching staff which put us in an ideal place,”
“It was a tough game, their line speed was fast and aggressive but all credit to our boys – we got the job done,” they said.
New Zealand 18s captain, Dylan Tavita, said “it was a great arm wrestle in the first 40 minutes but in the second half, fatigue really got to us and we lacked discipline.”
The Australian Schoolboys return home with two wins to nil over New Zealand 18s and New Zealand 18s Select.
The New Zealand U18s side was:
Upper Central: Hayze Perham; Akarana: Matt Timoko, Tyler Slade, Soane Hufanga; Northland: Paul Turner; Southern: Jordan Riki; Counties Manukau: Dylan Tavita (Captain); St George Illawarra Dragons: Steven Marsters; Gold Coast Titans: Jackson Paulo, Darius Farmer; South Sydney Rabbitohs: Mawene Hiroti; Parramatta Eels: Joseph Taipari, Vallance Harris; Cronulla Sharks: Fine Kula; North Queensland Cowboys: Peter Hola, Sean Mullany; Melbourne Storm: Kelma Tuilagi; Sydney Roosters: Phillip Makatoa
New Zealand U18 rugby league teams play the Australian Schoolboys in two internationals this week, in Rotorua on Tuesday 26 September and again in Auckland on Saturday 30 September.
The New Zealand teams have been selected following match in the weekend that saw the NZ Residents team beat the Taurahere team (players currently playing in Australia originating from New Zealand) 28-10.
The select side will play the touring Australians on Tuesday 26 September, 6pm at Puketawhero Park, while the 18s will play them on Saturday 30 September, 11:30am at Trust Arena.
New Zealand 18s squad
Darius Farmer (Gold Coast Titans)
Valance Harris (Parramatta Eels)
Mawene Hiroti (South Sydney Rabbitohs)
Peter Hola (North Qld Cowboys)
Soane Hufanga (Warriors/Akarana)
Fine Kula (Cronulla Sharks)
Phillip Makatoa (Sydney Roosters)
Steven Marsters (St George Illawarra Dragons)
Sean Mullany (North Qld Cowboys)
Jaxson Paulo (Gold Coast Titans)
Hayze Perham (Warriors/Upper Central)
Jordan Riki (Southern)
Tyler Slade (Warriors/Akarana)
Joseph Taipari (Parramatta Eels)
Dylan Tavita (Warriors/Counties Manakau)
Matt Timoko (Akarana)
Kelma Tuilagi (Melbourne Storm)
Paul Turner (Warriors/Northland)
New Zealand 18s select squad
Ranapiri Baker (Canberra Raiders)
Bayleigh Bentley-Hape (Sydney Roosters)
Kayal Iro (Warriors/Akarana)
Awatere Kiwara (Mid Central)
Dray Ngatuere-Wroe (Brisbane Broncos)
Kea Pere (Melbourne Storm)
Javvier Pitovao (Warriors/Akarana)
Sheldon Rogers (Warriors/Upper Central)
Daniel Sakisi (Southern)
Lewis Sio (Warriors/Akarana)
Dredin Sorensen-McGee (Warriors/Counties Manakau)
Seth Tauamiti (Warriors/Southern)
Aublix Tawha (Canberra Raiders)
Mark Tepu-Smith (Manly Sea Eagles)
Emmanuel Tuimavave-Gerrard (Akarana)
Wesley Veikoso (Mid Central)
Zaan Weatherall (Manly Sea Eagles)
Mikey Williams (Akarana)
New Zealand Rugby League have named their New Zealand Resident 18s and Taurahere squads for their September 23 match-up.
The two sides will face off against each other in hopes of earning a spot in the New Zealand 18s team who will take on the Australian Schoolboys later this month.
Seven of the nineteen players in the NZ Resident 18s squad, Hayze Perham, Sheldon Rogers, Lewis Sio, Javvier Pitovao, Awatere Kiwara, Nitoa Kairau and Jordan Riki, come off the back of being selected in the National Secondary Schools Tournament team last week.
This young side includes seven players who are also still eligible to play for New Zealand 18s next year.
The last time a NZ 18s fixture took place in 2015 the NZ Resident 18s were defeated by the Australian Schoolboys in both encounters.
This year presents the first opportunity for players at 18s level to wear the black jersey. The selection for this team will include not only the best of those residing in New Zealand (NZ Residents 18s), but also New Zealanders currently playing in Australia (Taurahere) to create a New Zealand 18s side that represents the best of New Zealand.
New Zealand 18s Head Coach Ezra Howe says the fixtures will further strengthen the NZRL pathways for those wanting to reach the pinnacle of rugby league in New Zealand.
“This is a great opportunity for the boys to put their best foot forward playing against Australia while enjoying being in an elite environment.
“Players like James Fisher-Harris who was part of the Taurahere programme when it first started back in 2014, show that these pathways provide a good foundation to then go on and represent New Zealand at the highest level.
“I know this fixture will see a good standard of football being played from both teams with many talented boys to take the field.
“Being a part of these programmes is just as rewarding for the coaching staff as it is for the players so I am thankful to NZRL for this opportunity,” he says.
The 19-man NZ Resident 18s squad will be reduced to 18 after a full squad training camp this Friday and Saturday.
New Zealand Resident 18s v Taurahere
Saturday 23 September
Bruce Pulman Park, Auckland
New Zealand Resident 18s team:
*last zone represented as per LeagueNet
Upper Central: Hayze Perham, Sheldon Rogers; Akarana: Mikey Williams, Matt Timoko, Emanuel Gerard Tuimavave, Soane Hufanga, Lewis Sio, Javvier Pitovao, Tyler Slade, Kayal Iro; Mid Central: Awatere Kiwara, Wesley Veikoso; Counties Manukau: Dylan Tavita, Nitoa Kairau, Dredin Sorenson-McGee; Southern: Seth Tauamiti, Jordan Riki, Daniel Sakisi; Northland: Paul Turner.
Head Coach - Moehewa Armstrong
Assistant Coach - Alan Ettles
Manager - Ben Vaipaata
Trainer - Marrin Haggie
Physio - Ulima Tofi
Brisbane Broncos: Dre Ngatui-Woe; Cronulla Sharks: Fine Kula; Gold Coast Titans: Darius Farmer, Jackson Paulo; Manly Sea Eagles: Semisi Kioa, Zaane Weatherall, Keith Titums, Mark Tepu-Smith; North Queensland Cowboys: Murray Taulagi, Peter Hola; Parramatta Eels: Joseph Taipari, Oregan Kaufusi, Vallance Harris; South Sydney Rabbitohs: Mawene Hiroti, Tyrone Taukamo; St. George Illawarra Dragons: Steven Marsters; Melbourne Storm: Kelma Tuilagi; Sydney Roosters: Baylee Bentley-Hape.
Head Coach - Rangi Hiroti
Assistant Coach - Tim McIntyre
Manager - Antony Bosley
Trainer - Lee Paru
Physio - David Close
Originally published on NZRL.co.nz
Tom Ale moved from Mount Roskill Grammar School to Wesley College in a bid to improve his rugby. That ambition was further enhanced when in late 2015, Ale earned a scholarship to Rotorua Boys’ High School, then the national champions
Ale spent two years in the Rotorua BHS First XV and the flanker was good enough to earn a place in the Chiefs Under-18 squad.
Rotorua’s season ended several weeks ago, leaving Ale with the chance to play at the NZSS league Nationals last week.
Ale performed so strongly for semi-finalist Rotorua he was named MVP of the tournament.
“It was a surprise. They had the prize giving a night before the final and I was happy and humbled to get it,” Ale says.
Ale plays in the second row and is noted for his athletic running and tough tackling. He was satisfied with how Rotorua performed.
“We lost to Kelston Boys’ in the semis. Our start was too slow and it cost us. Our best game was against Wesley. We beat them 20-14 and used the ball well,” Ale recalls.
Ale first played league when he was 11 before switching to Union. After his success at the League Nationals he aspires to a career in the NRL.
“I like both sports, but I enjoy running the ball and league gives me more chance to do that. My favourite NRL team is the North Queensland Cowboys,” Ale states.
Ale is a cousin of Highlanders and North Harbour wing Tevita Li who has been an important mentor.
“He visits me a lot in his spare time. He is a real cool guy. He has told me a lot of hard work is the key to making it as a pro,” Ale concludes.
2017 National Secondary Schools Tournament team:
1. Konrad Tu'ua (Kelston BHS)
2. Jonathan Aumua-Falelua-Malio (Kelston BHS)
3. Aiden Aue (Kelston BHS)
4. Awatere Kiwara (Manukura)
5. Javvier Pitova (Mt Albert Grammar School
6. Kayal Iro (Mt Albert Grammar School)
7. Hayze Perham (Rotorua BHS)
8. Selesitino Ravutaumada (Rotorua BHS)
9. Tom Ale (Rotorua BHS)
10. Tukimihia Simpkins (Rotorua BHS)
11. Samuel Nati (Southern Cross)
12. Nitoa Kairau (Southern Cross)
13. William Fakatoumafi (Southern Cross)
14. Star To'a (St Pauls)
15. Sione Moala (St Pauls)
16. Christian Tuipulotu (St Pauls)
17. Lewis Sio (St Pauls)
18. Caius Fa'atili (St Thomas')
19. Patrick Elia (St. Thomas')
20. Jordan Riki (St. Thomas')
21. (Lotu) Mateaki Inisi (Westlake BHS)
Southern Cross Campus win back to back premiership titles in an outstanding display of football at this year’s National Secondary Schools Tournament at Bruce Pulman Park.
It was a repeat of last year’s final where Kelston Boys’ High School were defeated at their final hurdle with a scoreline most predicted would be much closer than the 44-0 final score.
The 2017 premiership title winners sent a message to their opposition that they meant business from the beginning scoring their first try within a minute of the game commencing.
Their second try came when the Southern Cross Campus player, Dawson Mele, crossed the line making the score 12-0 after a successful conversion in the 16th minute. Kelston Boys’ High School fought back with impressive energy levels but just couldn’t control the ball to complete their sets.
Southern Cross Campus ended their stellar first half with a try scored by their number four off the back of a beautiful grubber kick going into halftime with a 16-0 lead.
A massive second half was needed from the boys in red if they were to close the three try gap. That was not to be as Kelston Boys’ High School struggled to reduce their climbing penalty and unforced errors count.
The second half started much like the first – a try to Southern Cross Campus in the opening few minutes. Once their momentum was in full speed there was no stopping Southern Cross Campus who managed to get seven tries in, and kept their opponents scoreless to win their second successive national title.
In the development final, the battle of the debutants Marcellin College and Haeata Community Campus, saw Marcellin College victorius 30-8. Former Marcellin College students, Monty Betham and Joseph Parker would have been proud of their outstanding performance.
Emanuel Tuimavave-Gerrard was dominant in the number six jersey all week and finals day was no different. After catching his own chip kick five metres out from the try line to score, he kicked his own conversion and was dominant at stand-off.
A tight Marcellin defensive line was finally cracked by Haeata who capitalised on their numbers out wide to take the score to 12-4 at halftime. Despite some moments of brilliance from Sua Ailoilo, the Christchurch school couldn’t catch up.
Not only did Marcellin College win the development grade title, but they also took home the 2017 More Than Just a Game team award for their remarkable performance and attitude on and off the field.
2017 National Secondary Schools Tournament team:
1. Konrad Tu'ua Kelston
2. Jonathan Aumua-Falelua-Malio Kelston
3. Aiden Aue Kelston
4. Awatere Kiwara Manukura
5. Javvier Pitova Mt Albert
6. Kayal Iro Mt Albert
7. Hayze Perham Rotorua Boys High
8. Selesitino Ravutaumada Rotorua Boys High
9. Tom Ale Rotorua Boys High
10. Tukimihia Simpkins Rotorua Boys High
11. Samuel Nati Southern Cross
12. Nitoa Kairau Southern Cross
13. William Fakatoumafi Southern Cross
14. Star To'a St Pauls
15. Sione Moala St Pauls
16. Christian Tuipulotu St Pauls
17. Lewis Sio St Pauls
18. Caius Fa'atili St Thomas
19. Patrick Elia St. Thomas
20. Jordan Riki St. Thomas
21. (Lotu) MateakiInisi Westlake
It’s not OK Best and Fairest Award, Developing Winner - Blake Patterson – Trident High School
It’s not OK Best and Fairest Award, Premiership Grade Winner - Jonathan Aumua Falelua-Malio – Kelston Boys High School
Fair Play Team of the Tournament 2017 – Wesley College
2017 Match Official Development Grade – Taylor Waenga – Northland
2017 Match Official Premier Grade – Paki Parkinson – Coastline
2017 Trainer of the Tournament – Tanu Aumua – Manukura
2017 Manager of the Tournament – Brian Stephenson – Marcellin College
2017 Coach of the Tournament – Safotu Filipo – Onehunga High School
2017 Cultural Salute of the Tournament - James Cook High School
2017 More Than Just a Game team award - Marcellin College
Player of the Tournament - Tom Ale – Rotorua Boys High School
St Paul's College have captured a third-straight SAS College Rugby League Premiership title, beating Kelston Boys' High School 16-4 in Wednesday night’s final.
A frantic opening left both sides scrambling with early errors but it was Kelston that struck first with a try out wide for a 4-0 lead.
Four minutes later and St Paul's were given full use of the ball inside the attacking 20.
St Paul’s went close to scoring twice, through second rower Christian Tuipulotu and centre Star Toa, before prop Sione Ngahe stormed through the pack carrying up to four players to score under the posts. Halfback Jaelin Murray kicked perfect off the boot to take a 6-4 lead over Kelston at halftime.
It took 10 minutes before points were scored in the second stanza.
St Paul's second rower Matthew Palu accelerated down only to be held up just short of the line. A quick play of the ball and shuffle to the left saw centre Timor Williams score in the corner extending their lead 10-4. Standoff Sione Moala converted to get up 12-4.
With just ten minutes remaining, Kelston gave away a penalty which ultimately cost them the match.
St Paul's hooker Lewis Sio kicked a chip up over the top putting the game beyond doubt when Timor Williams collected his second extending the lead to 16-4.
"We knew it was going to be a tough game," said Kelston captain Johnny Falelua-Malio.
"St Paul's were just the better team tonight. All we can do is learn from it [and] come back bigger, faster and stronger as we look forward to Nationals in a couple of weeks."
St Paul's captain Daetyn Tanuvasa said he was proud of the boys' efforts.
"The boys have worked really hard for this win tonight," he said.
"We needed to learn from our previous games against them [Kelston] and bring all of our teachings onto the field tonight."
"We're just really overwhelmed right now," he quipped.
Kelston Boys' High School 4 (Kenneth Fonoti x1 try) St Paul's College 16 (Sione Ngahe, Timor Williams x2 tries; Jaelin Murray, Sione Moala goals) HT: 4-6 at Mount Smart Stadium #2.
Wesley College 17 - Manurewa High School 16
Wesley College won their first ever piece of SAS College Rugby League silverware last night, edging past Manurewa High School in a golden point grand final 17-16.
Wesley College 17 (Apenisa Sailo, Mesa Saukuru, Larenz Tupaea tries; Tuhi Pompey, Larenz Tupaea goals; Larenz Tupaea x1 drop goal) Manurewa High School 16 (Faafili Faafili, Daylee Dutton, Tyrone Siua tries; Daylee Dutton x2 goals) HT: 12-0 at Mount Smart Stadium #2.
James Cook 8 Pakuranga College 18
It was another thrilling grand final performance for Pakuranga, winning the SAS College Rugby League Bowl title 18-8 over James Cook High School.
James Cook High School 8 (Jason Tokareta x2 tries) Pakuranga College 18 (Tupe Taefu, Andrew Mana x2 tries; Jacob Tuisalega x2 goals/ x1 penalty goal) HT:8-8 at Mt Smart Stadium #2.
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