Kelston & Papatoetoe take titles
Kelston Boys High School have overpowered archrivals St Paul's 20-10 to retain their grip on the NZRL National Secondary Schools crown for another year.
The two sides had emerged as expected finalists after a tough week of competition at Papakura and many probably expected another classic encounter between them.
Last month, they had battled to a standstill in the Auckland college final, with Kelston victorious.
But they never allowed St Paul's into this contest, running in four tries for a 20-0 halftime advantage. Winger Junior Pauga had a hat-trick of tries in a game-winning performance that earned him Most Valuable Player honours.
With such a wide margin in their favour, Kelson only needed to defend adequately through the final 25 minutes and although St Paul's managed two tries, they could not swing momentum sufficiently to mount a full comeback.
Meanwhile, three second-half tries carried Papatoetoe High School to victory over Wesley College in the earlier development final.
Bringing many of their renowned rugby union skills across to the 13-a-side code, Wesley had been a popular team all week and enjoyed the support of their schoolmates for the big game.
But Papatoetoe scored first and although they trailled 12-10 at halftime, they proved the more consistent down the stretch, running in two converted tries after the break to seize control of the contest.
Wesley closed to within a converted try in the dying stages, but big second row Vili Kaufonoga crashed over from dummy half to clinch the result.
Papatoetoe fullback Kelepi Holi was awarded the Simon Mannering Medal as Most Valuable Player of the final.
At the end of the tournament, the following players were named in a New Zealand team to teka on New South Wales Combined High Schools at Westlake Boys High School on September 23:
Tise Aivalu (Manurewa HS), Erin Clark (Manurewa HS), Beau Cordtz (St Paul's College), Zion Ioka (Kelston BHS), Charlie Kaipati (Kelston BHS), Nic Lui-toso (Kelston BHS), James Mafi (Kelston BHS), Tyler Mohi (Aorere College), Brandon Nangaiti (Otahuhu College), Junior Pauga (Kelston BHS), Reuben Porter (Mt Albert Grammar), Peter Scanlan (Keltson BHS), Lewis Soosemea (Aorere College), Cyrus Timo-Latu (Aranui HS), Scott Tofa-Timoteo (St Paul's College), Viliami Tosi (Rotorua BHS), David Tuisane (Manurewa HS), Eddie Wolf (Kelston BHS)
NZRL NATIONAL SECONDARY SCHOOLS TOURNAMENT
Bruce Pulman Park, Papakura
Friday, September 5
Aorere College 30 (Raiden Fonoti 2, Lewis Soosemea, Ethan Tesese, Maka Fainga'a & Tyler Mohi tries; Aluji Pange 3 goals) Manurewa HS 10 (Michael Saili-Motu 2 tries; Ualesi Fuilala goal)
Rotorua BHS 34 (Latu Vaeno 2, Leetham Rawiri, Maake Taulahi, Lacey Betham & Jaz Flavell tries; Nerehana Tarei 5 goals) Tokoroa HS 14 (Isaiah Cooper-Tetevano, Montell Maea & Toru Atua Tearoa-Natua tries; Manuia Alaelua goal); HT: 22-10
Western Springs College 14 (John Allen, Yanique Michaels & Tau Kali tries; Nikora Ngaporo goal)Papakura HS 10 (Tevita Paea & Calvin Tautari tries; Tipene Tuirirangi goal)
Mt Albert Grammar 22 (Te Reimana Parangi, Connor Purcell & Reuben Porter tries; Kahil Johnson 3 goals) Westlake BHS 15 (Willy Lea'atoa, Zae Williams & Dane Hohepa tries; Harrry Calverly goal; Williams field goal)
Otahuhu College 38 (Vincent Tofilau 2, Koli Oneone 2, Alfred Smalley, Phoenix Hunt & Maikolo Uelu tries; Komiti Vetemotu 5 goals) Southern Cross Campus 22 (Viliami Maamaloa 2 & Gordon Petersen tries; Jan Sepuloni 3 goals); HT: 12-18
Kelston BHS 20 (Junior Pauga 3 & Austin Masiutama tries; Zion Ioka & Baryden Brown goals) St Paul's College 10 (Gerar Vili & Chris Sio tries; Beau Cordtz goal); HT: 20-10
Whangarei BHS 24 (Shane Paraha, Tyson Williams, Tipara Joe, Chazz Palmer & Manaaki Tawhiwhirangi tries; Caleb Aekins 2 goals) Greymouth HS 4 (Riley Coleman try); HT: 8-4
Rosehill College 20 (Tevita Sili 2, Jordan Fereti & Caleb Heikell tries; Nathan Linford 2 goals) Taita College 12 (Jordan Gogo-Simeona & Patrick Savelio tries; Ryan Pene-Stevens 2 goals); HT: 4-6
Pakuranga College 24 (Scotty Graham, Phoenix Nicholls, Wallace Teaurima, Sem Iese & Tevita Afu tries; Walima Vila goal) One Tree Hill College 14 (Paula Maana, Dylan Lemanu & Luke Armiger tries; Jesse Keven goal)
Francis Douglas College 34 (Henry Miles 2, Tyler Feakins, Caleb Wheatley, Eli Kneepkens & Bryn Chard tries; Kneepkens 5 goals) Mt Roskill Grammar 18 (Luke Edmonds, Tom Ale, Trent Pullen-Burry & Ken Fa'aoso tries; Ale goal); HT: 22-8
Aranui HS 32 (Cyrus Timo-Latu 2, Jonho Mun 2, Oli Tailua, Anaru Houghton, Aki Tolo & Aki Tolo tries; Junior Peneli & Tailua goals) Northcote College 0; HT: 10-0
Papatoetoe HS 26 (Kelepi Holi, Charles Makasini, Lusa Crouch, Vinze Quines & Vili Kaufonoga tries; Foga Autagavaia 3 goals) Wesley College 16 (Ma Latai, Aira Cerei & Xavier Johansson tries; Cerei 2 goals); HT: 10-12