New Zealand’s first sevens team to attend the Youth Olympic Games has been announced today.
The women’s Under 18 team qualified for the Games after winning the Oceania Under 18 Sevens Championship earlier this year, with the New Zealand Olympic Committee since confirming their inclusion as the female team to attend.
New Zealand Olympic Committee CEO Kereyn Smith congratulated the selected athletes.
“The Youth Olympic Games are part of the pathway to the Commonwealth and Olympic Games and we’re delighted that a new generation of rugby sevens players will have this experience.
“We’re excited about the sporting, educational and cultural opportunities the Youth Olympic Games provide and welcome the players to the New Zealand Team.”
New Zealand Rugby’s Chief of Rugby Nigel Cass said it is fantastic to be involved in the Youth Olympic Games for the first time.
“The Youth Olympic Games is a fantastic opportunity for our young players to continue to be inspired to play sevens and perform on the world stage.
“An extensive talent identification process went into this programme to find this group of talented athletes and they performed extremely well in Australia earlier this year.
“These players are the future of the women’s game and we can’t wait to see them don the black jersey in Argentina later this year,” said Cass.
The team is;
Tiana Davison Sacred Heart College Taranaki
Dhys Faleafaga St Mary's College Wellington
Tynealle Fitzgerald Rangiruru Rugby Club Bay of Plenty
Iritana Hohaia Opunake High School Taranaki
Jazmin Hotham Hamilton Girls’ High School Waikato
Riscshay Lemanu Papatoetoe High School Auckland
Azalleyah Maaka Gisborne Girls’ High School Poverty Bay
Risaleaana Pouri-Lane Motueka High School Tasman
Montessa Tairakena Hamilton Girls’ High School Waikato
Kalyn Takitimu-Cook Manukura Manawatu
Arorangi Tauranga Hamilton Girls’ High School Waikato
Hinemoa Watene Howick College Auckland
Head coach, and former Black Ferns captain, Victoria Grant said it was great news to learn the team had been selected to attend.
“As a group we worked incredibly hard in the lead up to the Oceania event and that showed with the on-field performance. To get the confirmation that our team would be included as part of the New Zealand team for the Youth Olympics was incredible.
“We had a wider squad of 20 players that have been training and preparing for this, selecting just 12 was a very difficult task.
“We are confident that we have a team that will push hard for a gold medal. Risi and Jazmin are involved with the Black Ferns Sevens team so bring a real level of experience and professionalism to the squad," said Grant.
The Youth Olympic Games is a multi-sport event that provide opportunities for athletes aged 15 – 18 to experience an Olympic-style environment.
The games are also designed to support athletes as they prepare for a future in elite sport, providing them with access to Olympic role models, education programmes and cultural experiences. The New Zealand Olympic Committee has selected, organised and led teams to the summer and winter Youth Olympic Games since their inauguration in 2010.
The third edition of the summer Youth Olympic Games will take place in Buenos Aires October 6 – 18 2018, and team of approximately 70 athletes will represent New Zealand.
Olympic triple medallist Barbara Kendall will lead the New Zealand Team as Chef de Mission.
New Zealand beat Australia 27-18 to confirm semi-final spot, when they will play tournament hosts France.
Vilimoni Koroi is the most accomplished international in the New Zealand Under-20’s having been a regular member of the All Blacks Sevens for the past two years.
The fullback was conspicuously quiet for most of the match against Australia, but showed his excellence when it most counted.
In the 62nd minute New Zealand was clinging grimly to a 20-18 lead. Koroi broke the defence from a quick lineout at halfway, setting up a try for wing Jamie Spowart. It was sudden, surprising and stunning bust by Koroi which won New Zealand a tough and scrappy affair.
Initially New Zealand started brightly. Openside Tom Christie was disallowed a try after two minutes, ploughing aggressively through a ruck and kicking the ball over the line failing to force. An earlier Aussie knock on was discovered on the television review and New Zealand was awarded a scrum. After three assertive phases, New Zealand hit the right side rapidly and Harry Plummer punched through.
Isaac Lucas opened Australia’s account with a penalty, but New Zealand would soon charge ahead 14-3. Matt McTaggert snatched an intercept on the left wing at the 22 and ventured into the Kiwis half. Australia looked to stretch New Zealand on the opposite side, but Devan Flanders intercepted himself and dashed 65-metres. The No.8 was a workhorse throughout.
Christie was denied again and Plummer kicked a penalty to make it 17-3 at which point New Zealand appeared comfortable.
However Australia rallied and struck in the 28th minute. Wing Jordan Petaia skilfully palmed a ball heading into touch infield and openside Fraser McCreight snaffled and strode 25-metres.
In the 36th minute New Zealand conceded a penalty try from a scrum and tighthead Tevita Mafile’o was yellow carded.
The halftime score was 17-15.
Australia failed to capitalise on their one man advantage as the heavens opened turning the contest into a cautious territorial tussle. Plummer and Lucas exchanged penalties to make it 20-18, before Korori at last sprung to life.
New Zealand have beaten Australia in all six meetings at the Under-20 World Cup and will face tournament hosts France in the semi-final. Last year New Zealand beat France at the same stage 39-26. The other semi-final features England and South Africa.
New Zealand went through group play unbeaten. In their previous match the Kiwis accounted for Wales 42-10. Billy Proctor, Bailyn Sullivan, Tom Christie, Tevita Mafileo and Xavier Roe scored tries with Harry Plummer kicking four conversions and three penalties.
An extra time goal in the First XI football broke a 0-0 deadlock and gave Wellington College the win in the match and was also the difference in the exchange in the wet at St Pat's Silverstream today.
Wellington College also won the First V basketball 76-51 but St Pat's Silverstream beat Wellington College 46-0 in the First XV rugby.
A last minute goal to Harry Cook earned Wellington College a dramatic 1-0 victory over St Patrick’s College, Silverstream in the 18th annual traditional fixture.
In referee's time, Wellington won a corner on the right side and Cook managed to soar high above the pack and header the ball past the keeper for a memorable winner.
Despite the heavy surface, it was an entertaining spectacle as both schools looked to play positively and proceedings generally flowed from end to end.
Wellington College midfielder Stefan Cordwell was instrumental in the Wellington success, replacing Ollie Petersen as captain. Head prefect Petersen was forced to leave the field with a hip injury midway through the first half.
Silverstream was denied goals three times for offside play while Tommy Joe-McIndoe and Jack Ritchie went within inches of scoring - both firing wide left. Ryan Blair and Ben Taylor caused trouble on the wings for Silverstream, but Wellington’s defense was composed and resolute.
Wellington beat Silverstream 3-1 in an earlier Trevor Rigby Cup grading fixture. The expanded eight-team Trevor Rigby Cup kicks off on Saturday with Wellington College and St Pats Silverstream featuring.
Traditional Football Head to Head
Wellington College Won: 8
St Patrick’s College, Silverstream Won: 7
St Patrick's College, Silverstream has retained the Ken Gray Memorial Trophy by trouncing Wellington College 46-0 in muddy, soggy conditions.
Silverstream's margin of victory is the largest in the annual traditional fixture which stretches back to 1931.
The host's power and athleticism up front was overwhelming for the visitors, struggling in size and confidence. Silverstream's superiority was best illustrated by their third try. Prop Chris Hemi breached the first line of defence prior to barreling the fullback like an angry bull on the loose in Pamplona. Hemi's burst ended marginally short of the line, but wing Fritz Raysi wouldn't be stopped from the next phase.
Silverstream led 27-0 at halftime and the pack was responsible for five of the eight tries. In addition to Hemi, flanker Iona Apineru and lock Neyla Masima played with authority and flair and were both rewarded on the scoresheet.
Silverstream shifted first-five Sam Clark to fullback allowing Riley Forbes (the leading points scorer in Premier I last season) a chance to run the cutter. Both boys were heavily involved and used their quick instincts to cross the chalk.
Wellington only managed one clean break in the entire match. Second-five Caleb Robson burst from his own 22, stumbling at halfway.
Wellington hooker Ridge Studd and No.8 Flynn Crampton can hold their heads high. Studd has already played at least three positions this season, starting at openside flanker before shifting into the front row and finishing this encounter in the midfield. Crampton is a whole-hearted performer.
Silverstream's biggest win before today was 34-0 in 1934. Wellington's biggest win is 43-5 in 1992. It’s the first time since 2000, Wellington has been held scoreless in the traditional and they only lost that affair 7-0. Wellington beat Silverstream 16-0 in 1999.
Silverstream improves to 3-0 in the Wellington premiership and hosts Rongotai College next Wednesday. Rongotai faces a stiff assignment on Saturday when they tussle with unbeaten St Pat's Town.
Wellington College has to front next Tuesday against UC Championship leaders Christchurch Boys’ High School.
Traditional Rugby Head to Head Played: 87
Silverstream Won: 48
Wellington Won: 32
Wellington College won the basketball 76-51, reversing a loss from a fortnight ago. The game didn’t count for Pohlen Cup points which continues for both teams on Friday night. Silverstream battles Aotea College and Wellington jousts with Hutt Valley High School.
Southland Boys' High School have been South Island First XV champions for the past two seasons and have produced more All Black captains than any other school in New Zealand.
Despite this pedigree, Southland is struggling to find opposition. The geographical isolation of Invercargill is an obvious challenge, but how does captain Sean Withy explain seven of Southland’s first ten games in the Dunedin Premier Colts competition will be away from home?
“I guess it's one of those things we’ve got used to. It's not ideal, but there's no local competition so we just have to wear it,” Withy responds.
Several clubs have refused to travel to Boys’ High, leaving Southland with a five hour return trip most Saturday's. Withy describes the typical routine.
“We usually gather at 8:30am and hit the road by nine. We travel in minivans and mix the groups up to keep things varied. We try and arrive at least 40 minutes before kick off to warm up and then play the game before going home.”
Sometimes an after match happens, but Southland aren't exactly Otago rugby’s best friend.
“It's good rugby for us. It's physical, competitive lasting 80 minutes which gives as an advantage when we play school teams,” Withy observers.
Southland haven't lost to Otago Boys’ High School in the annual traditional fixture for three years. This year the game ended in a 14-14 draw with the openside flanker scoring a try.
"It wasn't spectacular. We built some phases with pick and goes close to their line and when a defender rushed up, I managed to slip through,” Withy recalls.
In 2017, Withy played in Southland’s 13-12 victory over Otago on Land Rover First XV rugby. He described his team as “hard working,” but rues missing some chances in the recent Otago clash.
"It was pretty even as it always is, but I felt we had slightly more possession and territory, leaving some points on the field which was disappointing.”
Withy has been to the Highlanders development camp and hopes to join the likes of Mils Muliana and Paul Henderson as a prominent rugby personality from the college.
The only school with comparable travel demands to Southland is Gisborne Boys’ High School who played their first eight games on the road this year and at least three hours away from the famous Rectory Field. Others like Timaru BHS and Nelson College often travel vast distances to, but in a structured school competition at least get more regular home games.
“We usually find out on Thursday if we're at home or have to travel again. Some of the guys fall asleep, others watch devices or sing and joke. We get by,” Withy concludes.
Napier Boys' High School have continued their commanding from against Hurricanes region opponents, comfortably accounting for Scots College 33-7 in Wellington today.
On a heavy surface in Strathmore, Napier's forwards controlled territory and were never seriously threatened by the hosts, despite a brilliant solo try to wing Ethan Webster-Nonu on halftime.
Down 21-0, Webster-Nonu retrieved a kick from inside his 22 and turned rapidly beating at least four defenders on his way to the line. It was a rare bright spot in a largely forgettable spectacle.
Napier established their lead on the back of good industry by their pack. The likes of Patrick Teddy, Hayden Davis and Josh Gimblett all carried with authority and three tries were created from the 'pick and go' with Davis and halfback Angus Klimister among the first-half scorers.
Scots defended stoutly at the start of the second spell as Napier were twice denied tries, one that awarded and later overruled and another that should have been credited, but was missed.
Eventually Napier broke through when Scots attempting to clear their own goal line fired a wayward pass which was dived on by centre Jack Sheridan.
Napier No.8 Luke Russell had the final say, forwards scoring four of the five tries by the visitors.
After a winless tour to South Africa, Napier have beaten the top four sides from Wellington this year and the 2017 semi-finalists, as well as Wairarapa College 50-10 last Wednesday in their annual traditional.
Napier starts their Super 8 campaign this Saturday with a home fixture against Gisborne Boys' High School before an eagerly anticipated local derby against reigning National Champions, Hastings Boys' High School on June 16.
Scots will seek their third win on the trot in the local competition this Saturday when the hosts winless Hutt International Boys' School.
Napier Boys’ High School win against Hurricanes scores:
A commanding second-half has earned Christchurch Boys’ High School a 32-16 victory over Christ’s College this afternoon.
With 20 minutes remaining the match appeared to be in the balance with the visitors only leading 22-16. However Christchurch boasted the more potent backline and when centre George Harding cut through to score a fourth try, Christchurch settled the contest with 15 minutes to go.
Christchurch threatened from the outset with wing Yoji Yabe tackled into the corner flag in the third minute.
Christ’s scored the first points after seven minutes when second-five Shun Miyake kicked a penalty, but Yabe wouldn’t be denied a short time later finishing a bust by wing partner Brigham Riwai-Couch.
Initially Christchurch had lineout troubles allowing Christ’s to control territory. However relentless attack went unrewarded and when Ryan Barnes poached an intercept and dashed 100-metres it was 12-3 to Boys’ High after 17 minutes. Barnes scored two tries in the 2016 fixture.
A clean break by the impressive Harding resulted in no profit, but Christ’s captain Sam Darry was rewarded for his industry after half an hour, scoring a try to make it 12-10 at halftime. Christ’s eventually created an overlap after 16 phases and a somewhat fortuitous reclaiming of the ball after a kick forward from a low pass.
Miyake propelled Christ’s into a 13-12 lead with the first penalty of the second-half, but Christchurch soon regained the ascendency.
In the 42nd minute No.8 Corban Harding charged 30-metres and linked with Yabe whose leaping over a pile of bodies was a showcase of genuine flair.
Christchurch fullback Max Hughes nailed the sideline conversion and a straightforward penalty to extend the advantage to 22-13.
Miyake was dead-eye from 40-meters as Christ’s harbouded genuine hopes of victory. However Christchurch's ability to stretch the defense proved ultimately telling. With about 15 minutes to play Hughes made it 25-16. George Harding’s burst was the exclamation mark.
Hughes was named Player of the Match for his all-round excellence. Others to reveal for Christchurch were prop Ben Lopas and halfback Louie Chapman. The former was like a bull in a China shop while the latter’s astuness kept Christ’s on edge.
Darry led by example for Christ’s and openside Hunter Wilson toiled gamley.
Christchurch tops the UC Championship after five rounds and have scored an impressive 293 points. Christ’s suffered their first loss of the season.
Christchurch is unbeaten in their last 15 UC Championship matches. Their last defeat in the local competition was in the corresponding fixture last year.
Christchurch has won 91 of the 144 meetings stretching back to 1892. Christ’s have only tasted success 44 times with their last home win a 19-8 triumph in 2000. Daniel Carter was Christchurch’s first five that day.
The remainder of the UC Championship matches for this round are on Saturday.
View the UC Championship Results & Standings here
A blistering start has earned New Zealand a 67-0 win over Japan in their opening match of the Under-20 World Cup in France this morning.
New Zealand scored five tries in the opening twenty minutes and wing Jamie Spowart was denied in the 17th minute following a forward pass from a lineout.
Japan initially appeared to be frightened of Leicester Faingaanuku. The former Nelson College wing broke at will in the first quarter and created the Kiwis maiden try after only 52 seconds, bursting down the left-edge and offloading to supporting lock Will Tucker.
Faingaanuku would soon find himself on the scoresheet, finishing acrobatically after halfback Xavier Roe caught Japan napping down the short side. The same combination engineered New Zealand’s fourth try with Roe breaking from the back of a lineout at halfway.
Vilimoni Koroi is the most accomplished player in the New Zealand team with extensive experience in internationals sevens. The fullback collected New Zealand’s third try gathering a deft chip kick by first-five Kaleb Trask.
The most impressive individual effort was from centre Bailyn Sullivan who caught a kickoff from inside the 22 and dashed coast to coast, fending off the Japanese fullback with disdain.
Down 29-0, Japan managed to keep New Zealand scoreless for the next 17 minutes while being denied a five-pointer themselves at the 26 minute mark. Japan’s strong mauling from lineouts was especially eye catching.
New Zealand went to the interval with a 36-0 lead when captain Tom Christie scored.
The heavens opened making the ball exceptionally greasy in the second-spell. New Zealand committed nearly two dozen handling errors, but still managed to score five tries.
Roe continted his top form. A trademark snipe brought the Hamilton halfback within inches of the line. John Akau'ola-Laula muscled over for the finnish and then Roe illustrated his own muscle by ripping the ball from the grasp of the Japanese No.8 and scampering clear.
Spowart claimed a second-half hat-trick with his second try after an hour a real highlight. New Zealand stretched to both touchilnes and involved almost the entire team in a superior display of skill.
Trask kicked six conversions.
Wellington College hosted neighbours St Pat’s Town today in one of the country’s oldest sporting exchanges.
St Pat’s Town won the rugby in a thriller, while Wellington College took the football, basketball and golf ties.
Scores at a glance:
Wellington College led St Pat’s Town 1-0 at halftime in the football up on the school’s artificial field, doubling their advantage in the second half. The golf, played at Miramar Links, came down to the final stroke of the match play format with St Pat’s Town missing their last putt.
The 133rd rugby meeting between the two schools was a thriller.
Down 0-19, and permanently reduced to 14 players after 25 minutes (plus a sin-binning) Town rallied to win 31-26.
The winning try was scored with about three minutes remaining when reserve forward Liam McAree busted through the hosts defence at halfway and strode away like an antelope to propel the visitors into their only lead of the match.
Earlier, Town completely dominanted possession and territory but failed to break through and score and also turned down kickable penalties.
The game was turned on its head soon after when Wellington College broke out and Town second-five Sanele Aukusitino deliberately slapped the ball out when Wellington looked likely to cross.
Aukusitino was yellow carded for the offense and a penalty try was awarded. A short time later lock Dominic Bell was red carded for a senseless stomp on the head.
Predictably Wellington assumed control and established an apparently comfortable lead with tries to wing Kalin Letoa and prop Filemoni Sului. They led 14-0at halftime.
It was No.8 Keelan Whitman that inspired Town’s revival. An offload in the grasp of two defenders created a try for blindside Josh Mallon and then a storming 30-metre burst from the next kick-off saw wing Jeremiah Lokeni dash clear.
Wellington regained the ascendency with 15 minutes to go, their fourth try making the score 26-12.
However Whitman continued his devasting form scoring a Lomu like try from 30-metres out to close the gap to 26-17.
With about eight minutes left Lokeni propped up on the right wing to complete his double and make it 26-22. Boston Christie dramatically nailed the sideline conversion to make it 26-24 setting the stage for McAree’s heroics.
It’s the first time since 2015, St Pat’s Town has won the fixture and their 46th victory overall. Wellington has claimed 80 wins while there have been the five draws stretching back to 1885. The last draw was 3-3 in 1984, the first year the Centennial Shield was awarded for the encounter.
Speaking at the after-match captain Whitman captured the drama succinctly when he laconically quipped, “What a game, like far.”
Meanwhile in the other big rugby traditional fixture today, New Plymouth Boys’ High School edged Francis Douglas Memorial College 22-19. The match was level for some time until the visitors nudged ahead with a penalty.
Video highlights of the rugby below:
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New Zealand Under 20 Head Coach Craig Philpott has named his side to open their World Rugby U20 Championship campaign in France tomorrow morning.New Zealand will face Japan in Narbonne, France, kick off 7am NZT.
1. Xavier Numia - Wellington
2. Flynn Thomas - Southland
3. Tevita Mafileo - Bay of Plenty
4. John Akau'ola-Laula - Auckland
5. Will Tucker - Canterbury
6. Tom Florence - Taranaki
7. Tom Christie - captain - Canterbury
8. Hoskins Sotutu - Auckland
9. Xavier Roe - Waikato
10. Kaleb Trask - Bay of Plenty
11. Leicester Faingaanuku - Tasman
12. Billy Proctor - Wellington
13. Bailyn Sullivan - Waikato
14. Jamie Spowart - Tasman
15. Vilimoni Koroi - Otago
16. Ricky Jackson - Otago
17. Sione Asi - Manawatu
18. Rob Cobb - Auckland
19. Waimana Riedlinger-Kapa - Auckland
20. Will Tremain - Hawke's Bay
21. Jay Renton - Southland
22. Harry Plummer - Auckland
23. Scott Gregory - Northland
Philpott said the team has adjusted well in France and players were looking forward to their first match.
“We were travelling for the best part of 40 hours so arrived here reasonably jaded. We’ve had three or four days to get our feet on the ground and some really good training runs and we’re in pretty good shape to come out and perform against Japan,” he said.
In selecting the team for the first match against Japan, Philpott said workload management was at front of mind.
“We’ve got five Test matches in 19 days and a squad of 28; you need to make sure you manage combinations so that you get the very best out of all 28 players. Over these first two games we want to make sure everybody gets an opportunity to contribute and so we are managing the workload accordingly.”
The New Zealand Under 20 team will be looking to continue their form that saw them go through the Oceania Championship undefeated.
“We haven’t had a chance to see any footage of Japan play so the focus has been on us; we’ve been working on our structures in attack and defence and getting them back in place, making sure everyone is really clear how we want to play the game.”
Follow this link for an audio file of Coach Craig Philpott.
Media opportunities during tournament
New Zealand Rugby will provide audio content throughout the tournament. For any specific media requests, please contact Libby Boggs to arrange.
World Rugby U20 Championship fixtures
New Zealand v Japan
Thursday 31 May
New Zealand v Wales
Monday 4 June
New Zealand v Australia
Friday 8 June
All matches will be broadcast on TVNZ Duke and streamed live on tvnz.co.nz
The Wellington First XV Rugby Premiership kicks off tomorrow. St Patrick’s College, Silverstream are the defending champions, but there are nine other contenders and a wealth of talent to be enjoyed in 2018.
Below are 10 players – one from each team – who should go well this year.
Rocco Berry (St Patrick’s College, Silverstream) – Man of the match in his school’s televised 26-14 win over Gisborne BHS last Friday night, Berry is a versatile outside back that has represented the Wellington U16’s and has pedigree being the son of former All Black Marty Berry. Silverstream will be favoured to defend their title with the vast majority of their forward back returning, including WRFU academy members Iona Apineru and Luke Chisholm. However NZ Schools flanker Josh Southall has been ruled out for the season with injury. His likely replacement is brother Mitch Southall who accompanied Berry in the Wellington U16's last year.
Roderick Solo (Scots College) – A standout at the Condor Sevens where his school finished runners-up, Solo made the tournament team. The National secondary schools hurdles champion has speed to burn and will be a lethal finisher from fullback or the wing. Solo will be well supported in a strong Scots team by the likes of Caleb Cavubati, Sage Shaw-Tait, Jaylen Tuapola and Ezekiel Fiso, and year 11 prop Jonty Bird – younger brother of Alex Fidow.
Ish Perkins (Wellington College) – Wherever he lines up in the backline he’ll be a threat to opposing defences with his ability to step off both feet and willingness to try and beat his marker. Likely start at first-five, Perkins will have to be careful not to overplay his hand in a relatively small and young team. Year 11 prop Toby Cook is a promising prospect and openside Ridge Studd is a welcome addition.
Sam Donaldson (St Pat’s Town) - The openside is a robust defender who carries strongly. Sam’s older brother Zac played for Hawke’s Bay last year and his father Glenn coached Town to two Premiership titles. Town will be strongly led by New Zealand U18 Maori rep Keelan Whitman while Tom Walsh is another loose forward to monitor.
Steven Va’a (Rongotai College) – Powerful midfield back who brings experience and leadership, Va’a is in his third year in the First XV and was a member of the group that contested the 2017 Condor Sevens in Auckland. Rheon Paul is another outside back with an abundance of pace who is poised to excite. Rongotai had a poor season in 2017, but contested the semi finals in 2016, twice beating Silverstream on their home ground.
Sam Smith (Wairarapa College) – This year’s captain, the No.8 will look to provide plenty go forward for his side. Maybe the best prospect to come out of the school since Levi Harmon and Bruce Kauika-Petersen, both of whom have achieved representative honours. Wairarapa have made a big impression in Premiership since being admitted three years ago. In 2015 they upset Wellington College. In 2016, Scots College were toppled en route to the semi-finals and last year two wins were achieved.
Jabez Peniata (Porirua College) - The lock forward made the Wellington U16's last year and impressed with his dominance on defence and at the breakdown during the grading games. Porirua made the Hurricanes co-ed final in 2017 narrowly losing to Feilding High School who later finished runners-up nationally. Porirua’s strength was their forward play and another quality performer is Year 13 prop Taua Tonumaipe'a whose bustling carries saw him score five tries in three grading games. (This statement is incorrect since they only played two qualifying games, so ….. whose bustling carries have seen him score five tries in their games so far, including qualifying wins over Hutt Valley HS and Kapiti College.)
Drew Wagg (Kapiti College) – A natural player with great instincts, the openside flanker is only Year 12 and skilled at both the breakdown and as a link player with his backline. Kapiti won four games in the Premiership last year, including an upset victory over Rongotai College. However with no Second XV or U15 side they will be counting on few injures.
Sene Faasoa (St Bernard’s College) – In his second year in the First XV the athletic Year 12 lock/flanker will get around the park and look to spark his team both on attack and defense. Was picked in the Wellington U16 squad last year. Brad Pritchard is another tough and tall forward who clearly expressed some thoughts about his side below.
Joel Cutler (Hutt International Boys’ School) – Another openside flanker, Cutler is HIBS’ Head Boy in 2018. A tenacious player who will contest every breakdown he also has an eye for the gap with ball in hand. Garry Green, HIBS leading try scorer, will provide punch at second five and Louis Calvert is an industrious loose forward who will also line up in the front row at times.
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