It was a New Zealand one-two at a sunny Sacred Heart College today, with the New Zealand Condors (Boys) and New Zealand U17s (Girls) sides winning their respective tournaments.
The second annual tournament featured international and invitational teams from Australia, Japan, Canada, Samoa, Tonga and the Cook Islands, as well as a Maori Invitational and three New Zealand teams.
The New Zealand Condors Boys side beat the New Zealand Fijians 27-17 in the Boys Cup final, while the New Zealand U17s defeated the visiting Australian Schoolgirls team 20-19 in a last-play thriller to claim the Girls title.
Australia had knocked out the New Zealand U18s team in the Girls Cup semi-finals, while the New Zealand Condors had thrashed Australia in their Boys Cup semi-final.
Tournament round-up and results below.
After going down to the New Zealand Condors team early, the Samoan Barbarians were convincing 43-7winners (33-0 at halftime) over the Tongan Barbarians side.
The New Zealand Condors unit came out in the next match and defeated the visiting Canadians 34-0 – Jaylen Taupola from Scots College and Rico Symes from Christchurch Boys’ High School each scoring two tries.
The defending champions Australians lost to the New Zealand Fijians in pool play, but bounced back to beat Maori Invitational side 38-7, after opening up a 28-0 halftime lead. This was to prove their tournament high point.
It was joy for the Fijians and heartbreak for the Samoan Barbarians at the end of the first Cup semi-final, with the Fijians winning 21-17 on the hooter.
JayJay Su'emai from Aorere College opened the scoring for the Samoans. Caleb MuntZ from Hamilton Boys’ High School and Issac Ratumaitavuki-Kneepkens from Francis Douglas Memorial College both replied for the Fijians to put them ahead 14-5 at the interval. Early in the second half Fiji conceded a yellow card from a high tackle inside their 22, presenting a try to Samoa to Hastings Boys’ High School’s Jeriah Mua, cutting the lead to 14-12. Mua’s school teammate Dany Toala set up a try to Auckland’s Siave Togoiu to put Samoa ahead 17-14 with 50 seconds remaining. Fiji attacked from deep inside their 22 and Rotorua Boys’ High School’s Selestino Ravutaumada scored the winner.
Fiji earned the right to play the New Zealand Condors side in the Cup final, after the latter defeated a tiring Australia side 42-0 in a contrasting second semi-final.
New Zealand made a cracking start, catching Australia napping off an attacking scrum and Taupola strolled through to the whitewash. Northland’s Scott Gregory powered through the defensive line to double the lead. Emoni Narawa from Hamilton Boys’ High School repeated the dose for their third try, while home school player Lemeki Namoa broke up the middle for their fourth on the break to make it 28-0 at halftime. Defensive pressure led to Namoa’s Sacred Heart teammate Taufa Funaki scoring the winner just after the interval, before setting up Rotorua Boys’ High School’s Taniella Fillimone for the sixth try.
Australia bounced back in style to beat the Samoan Barbarians 45-5 in the Plate final, Albert Hopoate scoring a hat-trick and setting up another try.
Captain Gregory showed his strength close to the line to open the Cup final scoring for the New Zealand Condors over Fiji. Peni Lasaqa from Saint Kentigern College scored an equaliser for Fiji, before Gregory crossed again on the shoulder of Brad McNaughten from Hamilton Boys’ High School. New Zealand led 10-7 at halftime.
New Zealand opened the second spell in final, with Gregory making a turnover near the sideline inside the 22 and TJ Ane from De La Salle College crossed the chalk to increase the lead to 17-7. Ane intercepted a loose pass and ran 25 metres to score his brace and it was now 22-7 with 4 minutes to play. Fiji weren’t done, New Plymouth Boys’ High School’s Saiasi Qiokata replying. But Fiji gifted New Zealand possession from an errant kick-off and Tauranga Boys’ College’s Leroy Carter scored the tournament winner. Fiji had the final say, Ratu Kuli Baleisomosomo, out of Saint Kentigern College, crossing for a consolation try to make the final score 27-17.
In a precursor to what was to come in the final, the New Zealand U17 girls side beat the Australian Schoolgirls team 5-0 in a round-robin thriller to top their pool, weathering all sorts of pressure to score the only try of the match to Hamilton Girls’ High School’s Montessa Tairakena in the 12th minute. Australia made a booming break on fulltime, but Manukura’s Kalyn Takitimu-Cook stopped a certain try with a covering tackle that ended the game.
In their semi-final, the New Zealand U17s weathered similar pressure from Japan, before Jazmin Hotham from Hamilton Girls’ High School scooped up a loose ball and scampered away to make it 7-0. Motueka High School’s Risi Pouri-Lane scored their second try that doubled the lead to 14-0 at halftime. Hotham and St Mary’s College’s Dhys Faleafaga ran in second half tries to make the final score 28-0.
The New Zealand U18s met the Australians in the second semi-final. Australia, featuring two full Australian Sevens representatives, scored the first try of the semi-final. Christchurch Girls’ High School’s Grace Brooker made a big run, setting up an equalising try that was scored by Aroranga Tauranga of Hamilton Girls’ High School. BoP’s Kororia Heyblom then busted over to put the home side up 12-7 at the turn. St Margaret’s College’s Melanie Puckett put captain Rina Paraone over for their third try, before Australia struck back to close the gap to 14-17. Australia lost a player to a yellow card, but scored again on the hooter to win 19-17.
The Girls Bowl final went to golden point extra time after the Tongans and the Samoan Barbarians finished at 12-12 at fulltime, with Patricia Maliepo scoring for the winner.
Feilding High School’s Georgia Ponsonby scored two tries as the New Zealand U18s beat Japan 20-12 to win the Plate final.
The New Zealand U17s hit the Girls Cup final with purpose, winning the kick-off, surging into the 22 and Hotham scoring the opening try. Courtney Hodder replied with an individual stunner for the Australians. New Zealand went wide from a defensive scrum to Dhys Faleafaga who skirted 80 metres to score to put the home team ahead 10-7 at halftime.
The Australians exerted pressure early in the second half and scored their second and third tries to push them ahead 19-10. New Zealand dug deep and Takitimu-Cook stretched over to cut the deficit to 15-19 with time for one more play.
Australia won the kick-off, the hooter went and Australia bombed a chance to kick the ball out. Instead, New Zealand won a penalty on the far side of play near halfway and launched a last-gasp desperate raid. Australia seemingly repelled this, but New Zealand squirted the ball out to Jazmin Hotham who scored the winner.
Game 3: New Zealand Fijians 29 – Maori Invitational 7
Game 4: Australia 38 v Cook Islands 7
Game 5: Tongan Barbarians 22 – Canada 17
Game 6: New Zealand Condors 26 - Samoa Barbarians 13
Game 9: Maori Invitational – Cook Islands TBC
Game 10: New Zealand Fijians beat Australia [Score]TBC
Game 11: Canada v Samoa Barbarians TBC
Game 12: New Zealand Condors v Tongan Barbarians TBC
Game 15: Samoa Barbarians 43 – Tongan Barbarians 7
Game 16: New Zealand Condors 34 - Canada 0
Game 17: New Zealand Fijians 34 - Cook Islands 7
Game 18: Australia 38 v Maori Invitational 7
Maori Invitational 28 – Canada 12
Tongan Barbarians 25 – Cook Islands 17
New Zealand Fijians 21 - Samoa Barbarians 17
New Zealand Condors 42 – Australia 0
Maori Invitational 17 – Tonga 5
Australia 45 - Samoan Barbarians 5
New Zealand Condors 27 - New Zealand Fijians 17
Game 1: New Zealand U17s Girls 22 – Samoa 7
Game 2: Japan Girls 17 - Tonga 10
Game 7: Australia 43 - Samoan Barbarians Girls 0
Game 8: New Zealand U18's Girls 40 v Tonga 0
Game 13: New Zealand U17s 5 – Australia 0
Game 14: New Zealand U18s 38 – Japan 5
New Zealand U17s 28 - Japan 0
Australia 19 - New Zealand U18s 17
Tonga 17 - Samoan Barbarians 12 (12-12 at fulltime)
New Zealand U18s 20 – Japan 12
New Zealand U17s 20 – Australia 19
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