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.
St Paul’s College Christian Tuipulotu has been named the 2017 SAS College Rugby League Player of the Year at the Auckland Rugby League awards breakfast this morning.
The 16-year-old year 12 student has played a starring role for the school this year, advancing through to the premier championship grand final to be played at Mt Smart Stadium #2 this Wednesday August 16 (7.00pm kick-off).
Tuipulotu was also awarded second rower of the year in the SAS College Rugby League 1st XIII Team of the Year.
"I'm really enjoying the college competition this year," said Tuipulotu.
"There's a lot of history behind St Paul's - especially playing rivalries Kelston Boys' in the grand final - so I'm sure it will be a good game this Wednesday."
A valued member in his second year of playing for St Paul's 1st XIII team has seen him embrace the vice captaincy role for 2017.
Other accolades include being named in the under 16s NZ Merit Team (2016) MVP for the National Youth Finals (2016) and captain of the under 16s NZ Resident Team (2017). He is also part of the Vodafone Warriors' Development which has seen him train with the under 20's side.
Junior Fiu from St Paul's College was awarded Premier Coach of the Year for the second year straight, while Wesley's Rob Short was awarded Manager of the Year.
St Paul’s centre Mike Williams who was named in the 1st XIII Team of the Year also won top try scorer with 8 tries, while Jaelin Murray took home top goal kicker with 24. Konrad Tu'ua from Kelston Boys' was awarded top points scorer with 54.
Southern Cross swept the major awards in the Senior A competition with Damien Murgatroyd winning top try scorer (5 tries) and Ropati Tupai winning top goal kicker (14 goals) and points scorer (38 points).
Sir Edmund Hillary were awarded the fair play school award for the division while Jacob Tuisalegi from Pakuranga College was awarded MVP.
The SAS College Rugby League Premier Championship, Plate and Senior A grand finals will be played this Wednesday August 16 at Mt Smart Stadium #2.
Full list of winners below.
Manager of the Year – Sam Tanielu (St Paul's College)
Coach of the Year – Faataloga Vaeluaga (Manurewa High School)
MVP – Sione Moala (St Paul's College)
Top try scorer (5 tries) – Damien Murgatroyd (Southern Cross)
Top goal kicker (14 goals) – Ropati Tupai (Southern Cross)
Top points scorer (38 points) – Ropati Tupai (Southern Cross)
Manager of the Year – Kevin Long (Sir Edmund Hillary)
Coach of the Year – Nicole Jensen (Pakuranga College)
Fair play school award – Sir Edmund Hillary
MVP – Jacob Tuisalegi (Pakuranga College)
Premier 1st XIII
Referee of the Year – Raima Koti
Top try scorer (8 tries) – Mike Williams (St Paul's College)
Top goal kicker (24 goals) – Jaelin Murray (St Paul's College)
Top points scorer (54 points) – Konrad Tu'ua (Kelston Boys' High School)
Manager of the Year – Rob Short (Wesley College)
Coach of the Year – Junior Fiu (St Paul’s College)
Team of the Year
1. Star Toa (St Paul's College)
2. Okusitino Taahafe (Papatoetoe High School)
3. Mike Williams (St Paul's College)
4. Paea Fotu (Southern Cross Campus)
5. Talesi Lovo (Wesley College)
6. Kadiyae Ioka (Kelston Boys' High School)
7. Konrad Tu'ua (Kelston Boys' High School)
8. Sione Ngahe (St Paul's College)
9. Johnny Falelua-Malio (Kelston Boys' High School)
10. Antonio Aufai (St Paul's College)
11. Christian Tuipolotu (St Paul's College)
12. Aiden Aue (Kelston Boys' High School)
13. Larryon Tavita (Kelston Boys' High School)
2017 SAS College Player of the Year
Christian Tuipulotu (St Paul's College)
Southern Cross Campus have been given an extra life and a chance to advance to the SAS College Rugby League grand final in two weeks, after taking down fourth-placed Mt Albert 28-10 in their semi-final (Game B) yesterday afternoon.
Wet conditions left both sides struggling with ball control, but it didn’t take long for the home side to gain momentum and make their way down field.
Southern Cross standoff Eric Poiri Wichman kicked high to the right with centre Paea Fotu receiving the ball to put first points on the board. Halfback Samuel Nat converted for an early 6-0 lead.
The south Auckland school scored another in quick concession. Again, off the boot of Wichman left-centre Samuela Fisiitalia was quick on his feet grounding the ball in goal to collect their second.
Ten minutes into the first half and Southern Cross were up 10-0 with 15 minutes to go.
Finally holding onto the ball, Mt Albert scored a last minute try to reduce the deficit to 10-4, but the conversion went out wide leaving the score 10-4 to Southern Cross at the break.
There was no stopping the home side who - in front of a large and very vocal crowd at Southern Cross in Mangere - were straight out the gates in the second stanza adding another 12 points to their score board to lead 22-4.
With ten minutes remaining Mt Albert looked destined for defeat, but a powerful and determined Lewis Afeaki stormed through the pack presenting an opportunity for standoff Anotnio Wulf to cross over the line. Halfback Emmanual Kelly converted to get up 10-22.
It looked like the game was over, but in the final seconds of the match, Southern Cross hit back with one last try to claim a 28-10 victory at full-time.
Southern Cross coach Rod Ratu said his side were better prepared for this week's game following their defeat against St Paul's last Wednesday.
"After the long break - school holidays and what have you - it was hard for them to find their rhythm… last week's loss was a bit of a wake-up call," he said.
"Today's performance is what's expected of them."
"They've played consistently throughout the season and there's no reason we can't make this year's grand finale."
Southern Cross 28 (Paea Fotu, Samuela Fisiitalia, Spencer Poimatagi, Samuela Lauhingoa, Nitoa Kairau tries; Samuel Nat x4 goals) Mt Albert Grammar 10 (Venuka Mausala, Anotnio Wulf tries; Emmanuel Kelly x1 goal).
Meanwhile in the SAS College Rugby League Game of the Round (1 v 2) Kelston Boys' have advanced through to this year's premier championship grand final, edging past defending champions St Paul's College 10-4.
Southern Cross's win coupled with St Paul's loss will see them go head-to-head in next week's major final.
"It's always a tough game when we come up against Kelston," said St Paul's captain Daetyn Tanuvasa.
"We've got another physical battle against Southern Cross next week… all we can do is keep our heads up and look at what we need to bring to next week's game.
Kelston Boys' 10 (Joseph Onyeke, Anderson Mafi tries; Konrao Tu'ua x1 goal) St Paul's 4 (Matthew Palu x1 try).
The SAS College Rugby League Game of the Round St Paul's v Southern Cross' will be streamed live next Wednesday August 9 on www.aucklandleague.co.nz from 4pm.
In other games, Aorere took down Papatoetoe 20-4 to secure the fifth position in the premier championship final placings.
Wesley College will play in this year's premier plate grand final following their win over Manurewa 16-10 yesterday. Manurewa will play Western Springs next Wednesday August 9 to see who will advance to play Wesley the week following.
SAS College Rugby League results for Wednesday August 2
Kelston Boys 10 St Paul's 4
Southern Cross 28 Mt Albert Grammar 10
Aorere 20 Papatoetoe 4
Wesley 16 Manurewa 10
Western Springs 12 Westlake Boys 10
James Cook Puutake 12 Southern Cross 10
Pakuranga 20 Sir Edmund Hillary 16
Papakura 16 Lynfield 34
Selwyn v Aorere (Aorere default)
Westlake Boys bye
Avondale 22 Southern Cross 16
St Paul's 44 Sir Edmund Hillary 12
Aorere v Onehunga (Aorere default)
Manurewa v Henderson TBA
SAS College Rugby League semi-final fixtures
SAS College Rugby League points tables
New Zealand Rugby League have named their New Zealand Resident 18s and Taurahere wider 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 in late September.
2015 was the last time a NZ 18s fixture took place where 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 those 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 youth 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.
Both sides will be cut down to 18-man squads by September 12 ahead of the fixture.
New Zealand Resident 18s v Taurahere
Saturday 23 September
New Zealand Resident 18s wider squad:
*last zone represented as per LeagueNet
Akarana: Chanel Harris-Tevita, Elijah Sufia, Emanuel Gerard Tuimavave, Javvier Pitovao, Lewis Afeaki, Lewis Sio, Matt Timoko, Reagan Mclennan, Soane Hufanga, Starford Toa, Tyler Slade, Vito Tevaga; Auckland Development: Tutuki Kamana-Pou; Counties: Asu Kepaoa, Dredin Sorenson-McGee, Israel Ogden, Keanu Laumati-Paki; Mid Central: Awatere Kiwara, Wesley Veikoso; Northland: Paul Turner; Southern: Daniel Sakisi, Jordan Riki, Seth Tauamiti; Upper Central: Hayze Perham, Sheldon Rogers.
Head Coach - Moehewa Armstrong
Assistant Coach - Alan Ettles
Manager - Ben Vaipaata
Trainer - Marrin Haggie
Physio - Ulima Tofi
Taurahere wider squad
Brisbane Broncos: Dre Ngatui-Woe; Canberra Raiders: Sebastian Kris; Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs: Lauchlan Talau, Tommy Talau; Cronulla Sharks: Cruise Topai-Aveai; Gold Coast Titans: Moeaki Fotuaika, Darius Farmer, Jackson Paulo, Reihana Marsh; Manly Sea Eagles: Semisi Kioa, Zaane Weatherall, Keith Titums; Newcastle Knights: Will Finau; North Queensland Cowboys: Murray Taulagi, Sean Mullany, Peter Hola; Parramatta Eels: Haze Dunster, Joseph Taipari, Oregan Kaufusi, Vallance Harris, John Fonua, Tui Afuola; Penrith Panthers: Sean Blore; South Sydney Rabbitohs: Mawene Hiroti, Tyrone Taukamo; St. George Illawarra Dragons: Steven Marsters ; 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
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