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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