Kerikeri High School and Kelston Boys’ High School are the respective Under-15 YouthTown Condor 7s champions after a thrilling pair of finals in bright sunshine at Sacred Heart College in Auckland this afternoon.
Debuants Kerikeri High School pipped Hamilton Girls’ High School 21-20 in the female decider while Kelston Boys’ High School overcame a fast-finishing New Plymouth Boys’ High School 19-10 in the male finale.
In the last minute of the girls decider, Kerikeri was down 20-14 when Kerikeri Rangimaria Waiatarere received the ball on an angle 35-metres out from the line. She changed direction with searing speed and avoided the retreating defense to touch down under the sticks. The successful conversion propelled Kerikeri ahead by a solitary point, despite being outscored four tries to three.
Kerikeri only had to kick the ball out to terminate time, but failed to do so. Hamilton launched a desperate final attack, but after multiple phases lost the ball and Kerikeri celebrated widely.
Earlier there were two lead changes in a vibrant affair which turned in Hamilton’s favour shortly after halftime when they scored two unanswered tries. Chyann Kaitapu was exceptional for Hamilton scoring two tries. Captain Mia Anderson and Andrea Cotton scored the other tries for Kerikeri.
In the boys decider, New Plymouth Boys’ High School conceded the first try for the first time all tournament and then fell further behind when Kelston captain Naufahu Whyte made it 12-0 at the break.
New Plymouth gradually grew in stature and closed the gap to 12-10 by punishing Kelston mistakes. Mason Milham and Jone Rova scored tries for New Plymouth.
Soane Mapa Jr was always a threat for Kelston and when he soared into space for the last time, New Plymouth’s defense was unable to prevent him from scoring his second try and winning Kelton the title.
Kerikeri High School blanked Aorere College from Auckland 17-0. K-Lee Going was the hero for Kerikeri scoring all three tries. In a tough and messy tussle, Going skipped away for her first try after a quick tap following a high tackle penalty. Her double was completed on the stroke of halftime when she pounced on a loose ball and darted away. Later in the second-half good teamwork resulted in further solo glory. K-Lee’s uncle is the great All Black halfback Sid Going;.
Hamilton Girls’ High School thrashed Lytton High School 32-7. Lytton had the last laugh, but were resoundingly beaten by the National First XV top four runners up. Chyann Kaitapu scored three tries for Hamilton.
New Plymouth Boys’ eliminated Hamilton Boys’ 31-5 with a well organised and polished display. Mason Milham, Matua Robinson and Liam Wano all scored tries and impressed with their hustle, posie and skill for New Plymouth.
Kelston Boys ’overcame a spirited Westlake Boys’ High School 24-12. Kaleb Emile-Vagoa and Soane Mapa Jr each scored two tries as Kelston enjoyed superior individual flair.
The home crowd suffered early disappointment when Sacred Heart College was eliminated by Kelston. Sacred Heart started in a promising fashion by crossing for the first try. Kelston soon gained the ascendancy with their superior height and physicality telling. Kaleb Emile-Vagoa shoved aside two players and burst 65-metres for Kelston’s first try. Emile-Vagoa added another in the second spell, before Faith Kalekale bullied his way through to seal the hosts fate.
Manurewa were disappointingly inaccurate against Westlake, failing to score any points. A more committed and polished Westlake earned a whitewash victory. Chlayton Frans scored the winning try and Etienne Piere was robust defensively for Westlake.
Palmerston North Boys’ High School led Hamilton Boys’ 7-5 at halftime, but faded after the interval to lose heavily. Logan Love scored a converted try on the hooter to nudge the Manawatu visitors ahead. Hamilton pulled clear with three unanswered tries in the second-half. Westyn Cobb, Harry Russ, Noah Hotham and Dean Christensen crossed the chalk for Hamilton.
New Plymouth Boys’ survived a late rally to overcome St Peter’s College. New Plymouth raced ahead by posting the first three tries, but some individual brilliance by Ben Fuhiniu sparked a Catholic resurgence. Firstly Fuhiniu scored a 75-metre try gassing his marker on the outside and then he cross-kicked for Liam Wheeler to snaffle and score. Che Potaka eased New Plymouth nerves by breaching tired defense.
Boys’ Cup Quarter Final Scores:
Kelston Boys’ High School: 19 v Sacred Heart College: 12
Westlake Boys’ High School: 12 v Manurewa High School: 0
Hamilton Boys’ High School: 26 v Palmerston North Boys’ High School: 7
New Plymouth Boys’ High School: 20 v St Peter’s College, Auckland: 14
Boys Tournament Team
Brooke Robson (Westlake BHS)
Chicago Doyle (King’s College)
Piki Mihinui (King’s College)
Blake Makiri (Sacred Heart College) - MVP
AJ Falefaga (St Peter’s College, Auckland)
Terrance Graham (Feilding High School)
Asolelei Fretton (Kelston BHS)
Sione Tapuosi (Kelston BHS)
Jacob Te Huni (New Plymouth BHS)
Soane Mapa Jr (Kelston BHS)
Grady Walshe (Sacred Heart College)
Matua Robson (New Plymouth BHS)
Girls Tournament Team
Melvina Weilert (Aorere College)
Manaia Nuku (Hamilton GHS) - MVP
Keyani Leith (Hamilton GHS)
Shae Daley (Hamilton GHS)
Eva Fulton (Kerikeri HS)
Mia Anderson (Kerikeri HS)
Kelsey Teneti (Lytton HS)
Gaibriell Wainohu (Lytton HS)
Ruby Hutchieson (New Plymouth GHS)
Kylah Talamahina (Southland GHS)
Abby Lockhard (Howick College)
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