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Youngsters impress at youth trials


July 17, 2014

Youngsters impress at youth trials

Auckland second rowers Dylan Clark and Mose Esera were named Most Valuable Players at the NZRL 16s & 18s national trials at Rotorua International Stadium.

Tryscoring doubles from Clark and replacement Isiah Papalii put them in contention for higher honours in the opening game, as they led Team Vatuvei to a 34-16 victory over Team Wiki.

After three days in camp, the teenagers were eager to impress national selectors and NRL scouts, and Wiki were quickly ahead, when prop Steele Kake powered his way through three tackles for a try under the bar, converted by Bostyn Hakaroa.

But Vatuvei showed their class with three tries in response and Papalii seizing his opportunities to shine.

Papalii began the game on the bench, but made an early entrance when one of his team-mates was helped off the field with an injury.

He made a long run down the right flank and then charged over from dummy half to open his team's account, then provided the final pass for fullback Morgan Harper to cross moments later.

Papalii grabbed his second from a quick tap penalty near the line, all three tries were converted by Dylan Tavita and Vatuvei were up 18-6 after the first quarter.

Wiki could find little answer to their opponents, even as injuries further diminished the Vatuvei ranks. Clark grabbed two tries, scampering 25 metres for the first, after fielding a missed touchfinder.

Finally, with his side down 6-34, Kake showed his strength again to provide some consolation to Team Wiki, securing his double.

Team Vatuvei 34 (Isiah Papalii 2, Dylan Clark 2, Morgan Harper, Kenese Kenese tries; Dylan Tavita five goals) Team Wiki 16 (Steele Kake 2, Tuteauru Maipi tries; Bostyn Hakaroa, Kahil Johnson goals)
HT: 28-6

In the 18s contest, four tries to flying wing Ignatius Fiso was enough to get Team Jones home 42-34

Team Jones jumped out to an early lead with four tries in the opening quarter and extended their advantage to 28-6 just before halftime, with Esera notching up two tries.

But Team Mannering came storming back with four consecutive tries that got them back into contention.

Wing Tiaan Wilkins had earlier conceded a try when he misjudged a high-bouncing kick, but made up for it with a touchdown of his own and a final pass to put wing Logan Yates across.

When five-eighth Zion Ioka snuck across in the right corner, Mannering were suddenly down by just two points with a little over a quarter remaining.

Fabien Paletua-Kiri crossed for his second try to finally put Team Mannering ahead, but Jones were not done, with Fiso running in two before the final hooter to give his team the victory.

Team Jones 42 (Ignatius Fiso 4, Mose Esera 2, Amoni Tufui, Dre Melvin, David Saumolia gtries; Daniel Fulop 2, Esera goals) Team Mannering 34 (Zion Ioka 2, Fabien Paletua-Kiri 2, Tiaan Wilkins 2, Logan Yates tries; Richard Timoti three goals)
HT: 28-12

NZRL National Performance Camp Awards

Leadership - Erin Clark (Akarana)

Respect - Luke Tipene (Akarana)

Passion Fruen Samoa (Wellington)

Integrity - Enoch Tautolo (Wellington)

Courage - Rory Ferguson (Southern)

18s MVP - Mose Esera (Akarana)

16s MVP - Dylan Clark (Akarana)

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