The Wellington Condor 7s rugby tournament qualifying tournament was held at Naenae College on Labour Day Monday. The four teams that qualified for the finals were Scots College and Rongotai College (Boys) and St Mary's College and Aotea College (Girls).
Results of knockout matches were:
Boys: Silverstream: 59 v St Bernard's College: 7
Boys: Scots College: 61 v Taita College: 7
Boys: Rongotai College: 14 v Wellington College: 12 * More than 5 subs
Boys: St Pats Town: 34 v Porirua College: 0
Girls: Aotea College: 17 v Poirurua College: 12
Girls: St Mary's College: 34 v Wainuiomata: 0
Boys: Rongotai 31 v St Pats Town: 7
Boys: Scots College: 22 v St Pats Silverstream: 12
Girls Cup: St Mary's College: 41 v Aotea College: 7
Boys Cup: Scots College: 21 v Rongotai College: 19
Boys Plate: Wellington College (2): 24 v Naenae College: 12
Boys Bowl: Wellington College: 21 v St Bernard's College: 0
Girls Bowl: Wainuiomata High School: 22 v Porirua College: 20
Video clips of many of the tries scored in the knockout rounds below:
Josh Southall was in a perpetual state of injury last year. The openside flanker from St Pat’s Silverstream recalls his various ailments.
“Early in the season I took a hit on my shoulder and was out for four weeks. Later I returned for the Rongotai traditional and their big centre Denny To’o stepped on my ankle so that was another four weeks. At the Hurricanes Under-16 tournament I got concussion. It was pretty frustrating,” he mourns.
This year Southall is relaxed and chatty having recently returned from Australia as a member of the successful New Zealand Secondary Schools team. Southall was one of only five Year 12 boys on tour. In 2016 Southall was a Hurricanes Under-16 Development player.
“My goal at the start of the year was to make the Hurricanes Under-18 camp that was the furthest thing I could achieve. I was shocked when they picked me to start the Crusaders match and when that went well I thought I was a shot at the New Zealand Schools,” Southall reflects.
Southall scored two tries in that Crusaders fixture. Scoring tries was something Silverstream’s First XV was extremely adept at in 2017. In 18 games the side crossed the chalk 157 times while recording 17 wins. Silverstream scored a record 606 points in winning the WelTec Premiership and swept their six annual traditional fixtures for the first time since 1988.
“The boys have been together for a while and I think that experienced counted. Last year we were winning pretty much every game at halftime, but couldn’t finish the job. This year we were more composed and our coaches did a great job,” Southall acclaims.
Southall identified the 46-17 win at the Gully against New Plymouth Boys’ High School as his favourite.
“The Gully haka is awesome. I have never seen anything like it. That game was our first traditional and important for building momentum.”
The New Zealand Schools had plenty of momentum across the Tasman. All three matches were won by big margins. Southall was the victim of a disgraceful spear tackle coming off the bench against Fiji. He enjoyed a strong hour against the Australian Barbarians before a solid 25-minute cameo in the test against Australia.
“I was pretty happy with the amount of game time I got. I am only Year 12 and Jeriah Mua is an awesome player so I expected a lot less to be honest. It was a pretty intense trip. There was a lot of training and whiteboard sessions. If you weren’t switched on, you were found out pretty quick.
Southall was named Silverstream’s Forward of the Year, an award that somehow eluded Wellington NPC sensation Asafo Aumua. In the summer Southall will take a break from rugby and focus on Waka Ama.
His father Todd is a police office and mother Tracy works in kitchen design. Josh’s younger brother Mitch Southall was a member of the Hurricanes Under-16 development team that won the Saracens Cup in the last school holidays.
Above: Josh Southall playing for the Hurricanes U18s earlier this year - watch his two tries including 35-metre solo try from a lineout drive and maul from 1.40 mins.
New Zealand: 34 (Jeriah Mua, Tupou Vaa’i, Etene Nanai, Leicester Faingaanuku, Isaiah Punivai, Lincoln McClutchie tries, Danny Toala 2 con) Australia: 11 (Darcy Breen try; Will Harrison 2 con)
The New Zealand Secondary Schools’ have extended their unbeaten run against Australia to five consecutive years after winning the annual Trans-Tasman test 34-11 in Sydney on Saturday.
The hosts started brightly, forcing New Zealand to repel nine phases. Openside Jeriah Mua won a turnover inside his own 22 and a short time later scored the first try after a powerful burst by wing Leicester Faingaanuku allowed the New Zealand forwards to swing onto attack and finish emphatically.
In the 14th minute Tupou Vaa’i made an emphatic tackle which jolted the ball free from Australia’s grasp. Sixty seconds later another Aussie knock-on resulted in the big Wesley lock crashing over to double the Kiwis lead.
Two busts by centre Isaiah Punivai resulted in no profit for New Zealand, but Australian first-five Will Harrison punished two lapses in discipline by the tourists to make the halftime score 10-6.
Australia ventured into New Zealand territory to start the second-half, but another fumble was seized upon by fullback Etene Nanai who collected a spillage in the midfield and galloped 60-metres.
The rampant Faingaanuku was held up as New Zealand punched regular holes in the Australian defence; however the hosts would soon close the gap to 17-11 when reserve flanker Tom Kibble made a storming charge and prop Darcy Breen touched down out wide.
Down 17-11, Australian optimism further increased when wing Albert Hopoate pulled his finger out and boldly ran 50-metres from his own in goal area.
However Kibble was yellow carded three minutes later for a head high tackle on Faingaanuku and Australia would concede two tries undermanned.
Faingaanuku exacted his revenge by ploughing through close to the posts and Punivai barley dived a metre in supporting a destructive carry by substitute wing Danny Toala.
Punivai created the last try for reserve pivot Lincoln McClutchie after a deft touch realeased the Hastings Boys’ flyer in to the clear.
No.8 Devan Flanders was named winner of the Jerry Collins Bronze Boot award as New Zealand’s player of the test. Locks Vaa’i and Naitoa Ah Kuoi were busy and abrasive and blindside Charles Alaimalo grew in stature after a tentative beginning.
Punivai oozes class and Faingaanuku would never be short of lunch money.
New Zealand won all three matches on tour scoring 137 points and conceding 24, after previously beating Fiji Schools’ (54-7) and Australian Schools’ Barbarians (49-6).
New Zealand Schools’ coach Jason Holland said he was pleased with the way his team continued to attack a strong Australian team.
“I think we wore them down. At halftime we encouraged the team to use the width and it was satisfying to see they backed themselves and it came off in the second half,” said Holland.
Holland agreed with the choice of Flanders as Player of the Match and commended his performance.
“Devan is a workhorse. He does a lot of things people don’t see; his tackle count was huge and he carried well throughout the match,” said Holland.
The New Zealand Under-18 Maori have ended their week together with a 38-26 victory over Tonga Schools at Jerry Collins Stadium in Porirua.
The fixture followed a similar course to the Tongan’s match against the New Zealand Barbarians last Thursday.
Tonga was tentative from the outset and fell behind 19-0 after ten minutes and 26-7 at halftime before fighting gallantly in the second-spell to reduce the deficit and earn the respect of their superiorly resourced opponents.
In the first minute Tonga fumbled the ball meekly on halfway and were made to pay when fullback John Cooper crossed in the corner supporting a bust by centre Austin Brown.
A few moments’ later first-five Stewart Cruden kicked for wing Coel Kerr to snaffle inside the visitors 22. New Zealand recycled swiftly and prop Jonas Pomare crashed over.
A hiding looked like a distinct possibility when lively halfback Shamara Brooks darted over for try number three, punishing more hapless handling from the visitors.
However Tonga rallied and powerhouse prop Hiliau Latu opened the tourists account after 15 minutes when he muscled over near the posts. Latu has exhibited exceptional form for Tonga in starting all three internationals.
New Zealand’s fourth try was exceptional. The ball was juggled and parried hurriedly close to the sideline, but remained in play for powerful No.8 Terrell Peita to claim a meat pie.
New Zealand blindside Keelan Whitman scored a soft fifth try and Kerr was gifted the sixth after Tonga made a hash of an attempted defensive clearance.
Tongan reserves Heimuli Taufa and Nawruz Kanongata’a were rewarded for their toil finishing robust and sustained forward surges and Alofaki Fihaki strode 30-metres for the last say in an outstanding solo effort.
New Zealand will be pleased to win, but the real story is Tonga. No.8 Apitoni To’ia was a superb captain for a side that has delighted and surprised supporters with their infectiously positive, organized, aggressive and competitive approach to the game.
Tonga was assisted in the coaching department today by All Black Vaea Fifta.
Video highlights of the tries below:
New Zealand Schools’ will be looking to make it three from three in their 2017 campaign when they meet Australian Schools’ in Sydney tomorrow (kick off 3pm NZT).
The New Zealand Schools’ team is;
1. Tamaiti Williams (St Kentigern College)
2. Sam Cooper (St Paul’s Collegiate)
3. George Dyer (St Paul's Collegiate)
4. Naitoa Ah Kuoi (Wellington College)
5. Tupou Vaa’i (Wesley College)
6. Charles Alaimalo (Hamilton Boys' High School)
7. Jeriah Mua (Hastings Boys' High School)
8. Devan Flanders (Hastings Boys' High School)
9. Taufa Funaki (Sacred Heart College)
10. Rivez Reihana (St Kentigern College)
11. Leicester Faingaanuku (Nelson College)
12. Quinn Tupaea (Hamilton Boys’ High School)
13. Isaiah Punivai (Christs College)
14. Kini Nasolo (Hastings Boys’ High School)
15. Etene Nanai (St Kentigern College)
16. Shilo Klein (St Andrew’s College)
17. Fatongia Paea (Sacred Heart College)
18. Josiah Tavita-Metcalfe (Hastings Boys' High School)
19. Quade Tapsell (Gisborne Boy’s High School)
20. Josh Southall (St Patrick’s College – Silverstream)
21. Humphrey Sheild (Napier Boys' High School)
22. Lincoln McClutchie (Hastings Boys' High School)
23. Danny Toala (Hastings Boys' High School)
The team arrived in Australia last week and have won matches against Fiji Schools’ (54-7) and Australian Schools’ Barbarians (49-6).
Coach Jason Holland said on the back of two impressive performances he was forced to make some tough selection calls.
“What we have gone with is the best guys to start the match and we know we have good players coming off the bench to finish the match.
“The team have proved they are accurate with the ball and good at taking opportunities but we know tomorrow will be a completely different challenge to what we have faced so far.
“This week we’ve concentrated on our set piece; that needs to stand up tomorrow and we need to be strong at the break down because we know they’ll attack us there,” said Holland.
While the New Zealand Schools’ team have scored some classy tries, their defence has been just as impressive, conceding one try in two matches.
“We’ve been trying to bring line speed into our defence which is different to what a lot of these players do back at school. We’ll have to make sure we get it right tomorrow,” said Holland.
Quinn Tupaea will again lead the team from the midfield, pairing up with Isaiah Punivai, while Leicester Faingaanuku, Kini Nasolo and Etene Nanai will form a dangerous back three.
Up front, George Dyer, Tupou Vaa’i and Devan Flanders retain their starting positions from the Australian Schools’ Barbarians match.
The match will be live on SKY’s Rugby Channel, kick off 3pm (a replay will air on SKY Sports 1 at 9.30pm).
A great video by the Waterboy featuring the skills and talents of Tau Kapea. Make sure you subscribe to Waterboy by clicking here
New Zealand Schools: 49 (Etene Nanai 2, Isaiah Punivai, George Dyer, Tupou Vaa’i, Leicester Faingaanuku, Abraham Pole tries; Danny Toala 7 con) Australia Barbarians: 6 (Campbell Parata 2 pen)
Two years ago present Canterbury wing Josh McKay scored all his side's points as the New Zealand Schools’ battled manfully to foil the Australian Barbarians 23-22 in oppressive Brisbane heat.
Today at Knox Grammar School, Sydney there were fewer dramas as New Zealand cruised to a 49-6 victory against the same opposition.
New Zealand led 28-6 at halftime and added three tries in the second-half to record their second victory on tour following Thursday’s 54-7 trouncing of Fiji.
Isaiah Punivai (Christ’s College) opened the scoring for New Zealand after a strong maul drew in the Australian defense and left the centre unmarked out wide.
Punivai would play a hand in the next two tries. Prop George Dyer (St Paul’s Collegiate) finished a combined break by Punivai and wing Etene Nanai (St Kentigern’s College).
Nani then scored after an angled run by Punivai created a 3- on-2 in favour of the visitors.
New Zealand’s performance wasn’t without blemish. Lock Tupou Vaa’i (Wesley College) was yellow carded in the first-half for a dangerous tackle and the visitors struggled with the referee's interpretation of the breakdown. Additionally some of the passing in the second-half was ragged as the quality of the spectacle deteriorated.
However when things stuck for New Zealand they showed they could score from any part of the field. Moments before the break Vaa’i atoned for his indiscretion supporting a break by fullback Danny Toala (Hastings Boys’ High School).
Reserve lock Naitoa Ah Kohi (Wellington College) broke bodily from his own 22 and set up Nanai’s second and Josh Southall (St Pats Silverstream) won a clean turnover which allowed wing Leicester Faingaanuku (Nelson College) to fend off three players and dash 60-metres.
The last try was scored on the siren by substitute hooker Abraham Pole following a series of aggressive forward rumbles.
New Zealand haven’t lost any match since 2013 and will be favourites to win Saturday’s test against Australia.
New Zealand Schools Barbarians 28 (Kienan Higgins 2, Fergus Burke, Siave Seti tries; Burke 4 con) New Zealand Maori Under 18s 24 (Terrell Peita, Stewart Cruden, Josh Hill, Coel Kerr tries; John Cooper 2 con) HT: 21-12.
The New Zealand Barbarians' Schools side was pushed all the way by the New Zealand Maori U18s side before running out 28-24 winners in their match at Massey University this afternoon.
In blustery conditions, the New Zealand Maori side came home with a wet sail to score two tries and ensure a close finish, capitalising on a sinbinning and one-man advantage to come back from 12-28 behind.
The player sin-binned, second five-eighth Kienan Higgins, had earlier scored two key tries for the Barbarians either side of halftime that ultimately set up victory. Combining well with flyhalf Fergus Burke and with both tries coming off first phase from attacking scrums, his first try just before the interval had the Barbarians ahead 21-12 at the turnaround.
Ten minutes ino the second half, he scored his second which put the Barbarians comfortably ahead at that point. Both sides made changes from the bench and the Maori found confidence attacking from deep. Denied twice, and now with a one-man advantage, lock Josh Hill crossed for a try. The Barbarians burst up-field again, leading to a well-worked final try of the match to replacement wing Coel Kerr.
Earlier, following a stirring haka, the Maori had made a top start, No. 8 Terrell Peita darting over after a forwards drive.
The Barbarians responded with the game's next two tries, first five-eighth Burke dancing through traffic and right wing Siave Seti crossing after some good lead-up work and with loosehead prop Ollie Norris prominent.
The Maori side then responded with a terrific solo try to hometown first five-eighth Stewart Cruden, whose chip kick forced an error in the in-goal and he collected the spoils to score. The conversion made it 14-12 ro the Barbarians.
But the Barbarians were able to score a third converted try just prior to the interval and a fourth early in the seocnd half to give them enough of a buffer to hold on and claim their second victory of the series after beating Tonga Schools 33-19 last week. In the other match today, Tonga Schools edged the Wellington U18s 26-24.
Video highlights of the tries that were scored below:
This time last year Charles Alaimalo was playing rugby league in Melbourne. Twelve months later he returns to Australia as a member of the New Zealand Secondary Schools rugby team.
The flanker/lock was a standout for Hamilton Boys’ High School who won the Super 8 title and narrowly lost the National Top Four final against Hastings Boys’ High School. Alaimalo explains how he ended up in the Waikato.
“My Dad got a good job in Melbourne so that’s why we moved from Christchurch to Australia. I missed the atmosphere of First XV rugby in New Zealand. When my brother Solomon got in the Chiefs I decided to come home,” he says.
In year 11, Alaimalo started every game for St Bede’s College who won the UC Championship. Since Alaimalo left, St Bede’s hasn’t made the top four.
Solomon’s lifestyle in Hamilton wasn’t conducive for hosting a schoolboy. When the hostel at Hamilton Boys’ was full, Charles was homeless.
“I was blessed to be taken in by the Gordon family. They have looked after me very kindly. I am grateful,” Alaimalo accalims.
Former All Black Steve Gordon has three sons, Mac, Baxter and Arie, who have passed through Hamilton Boys.’
Hamilton coach Nigel Hotham was delighted to welcome Alaimalo to his squad, describing him as “a piece of gold that stumbled into our arms” and praising his worth ethic.
“Charles is a great kid who arrived here after a year of no rugby. It took him a while to adapt to tough trainings, but he 'got it' by the middle of Super 8 and was consistently our hardest working ball carrier all season. We couldn’t keep him off the field even when he was injured,” Hotham praised.
Alaimalo agrees there was a period of adjustment while settling into Hamilton.
“It's different to St Bede’s, way more intense. We train eight times a week which is tough, but the hard work pays off.”
Hamilton won the Super 8 by scoring a record number of points after a shock loss to Rotorua Boys’ High School in the Chiefs Cup final.
“It took us a while to find our combinations, but we had a really good culture. I am real happy for Tauterangi marie Kapea and Quinn Tupaea who also made the New Zealand Schools.” Alaimalo enthuses.
Tupaea has recovered from an injury sustained in the top four semi-final. Alaimalo has mixed emotions about the final.
“It was a tough game and Hastings is a real good team who deserved their win. There was a period midway through the second-half where we were attacking in their half and lost the ball. I wish I had involved myself more in that play.” Alaimalo rues.
Solomon Alaimalo played for the Chiefs against the British Lions and has appeared for Northland 16 times scoring four tries on the wing.
Hamilton BHS Record 2003-2017
Top Four Appearances: 2007 (Third), 2008 (Won), 2009 (Won), 2010 (Second), 2012 (Third), 2013 (Won), 2014 (Won), 2016 (Third), 2017 (Second)
Super 8 Winners: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017 (Shared)
NZ Schools Players: 32 (Includes All Black Tawera Kerr-Barlow)
Moascar Cup Holders: 2008-2010, (17 defences), 2013-2014
Sanix World Youth Champions: 2010, 2011, 201
Condor Sevens Winners: 2006, 2008, 2015, 2016
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