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Contenders emerge from youth pool play

Contenders emerge from youth pool play

Central Vipers and Wellington Orcas hold the hopes of a nation, as they challenge an Auckland domination at the "Got A Trade?" NZRL National Youth Tournament in Rotorua.

After the third and final day of pool play at Puketawhero Park, Akarana Falcons and Counties Manukau Stingrays have progressed unbeaten to semi-finals in both the 15s and 17s divisions of the event.

The champion Falcons 15s and Stingrays 17s both scored big wins over South Island Scorpions on Day Three. Akarana enjoyed a 34-10 victory over their winless rivals in the younger age group, while Tamai Ioane-Niko crossed four times, as Counties overran the southerners 54-16 in the older competition.

In the 17s, injury-plagued Akarana trailed 20-8 just after halftime against Auckland Invitation, but rattled on three tries to emerge 22-20 winners. Both sides moved on to the semis regardless.

For most, though, the real interest lay in which other zones would emerge from the wild scramble for semi-final spots.

Wellington also progressed to both sets of semifinals, but needed to pull out all stops for a nailbiting 28-26 over home Wai-Coa-Bay in the older grade.

The Colts jumped out to an early 14-0 advantage and still lead 26-12 midway through the second half, but could not hold off a furious Orcas comeback that produced three unanswered tries down the stretch, including a winner after the final hooter.

In the 15s, Wellington cruising past Northern Swords 38-18 in pool play and will now face Counties Manukau in the crossover.

Vipers locked down the fourth 15s vacancy against Akarana with a come-from-behind 19-12 result over Wai-Coa-Bay.

Like their elders, the winless Colts seemed in control at the break, running in four unconverted tries for a 12-6 advantage, but they could not withstand the Vipers' second-half response - two converted tries and a field goal from five-eighth Joey Raukawa.


Puketawhero Park, Rotorua

Wednesday, October 1


Wellington Orcas 38 (Brian Smith 2, Rikeli Grey, Navada Koro, Montelle Leafa, Denzel Leota & Gerard Akavi-Ahnau tries; Kienan Delarembwe 4 & Leafa goals) Northern Swords 18 (Nikau Graham 2, Hoani Rogers-Brown & Rewi Windelborn-Clark tries; Graham goal): HT: 18-8
Player of the match - Leafa

Akarana Falcons 34 (Dakota Fa'alelea, Liews Lio, Soane Hufanga, Daymon Abbey, Hayes Okesene & Jolam Tagilima tries; Emanuel Tuimavave-Gerard 3, Cameron Iopu & Fa'alelea goals) South Island Scorpions 10 (Joseph Taipari & Sua Aiiloilo tries; Taipari goal); HT: 12-6
Player of the match - Taipari

Counties Manukau Stingrays 22 (Etene Nanai-Seturo 2, Ray Taumalolo & Alfred Smalley tries; Nanai-Seturo, Regan Wilde & Dakota Edmonds-Taimani goals) Auckland Invitation 0: HT: 6-0
Player of the match - Nanai-Seturo

Central Vipers 19 (Corey Lee Robertson, Hitaua Butler & Joey Lose tries; Maddy Fisher 2 & Jahlon Governor goals; Joe Raukawa field goal) Wai-Coa-Bay Colts 12 (Hopa Haika 2, Hayze Perham & Ken Charle Tuimaualuga tries): HT: 6-12
Player of the match - Hitaua Butler (Central)


Wellington Orcas 28 (Obeda Silva, Lance Petaia, Enoch Tautolo, Emani Vaovasa & Jordan Siamani tries; Luke Cummings 3 & Vaovasa goals) Wai-Coa-Bay Colts 26 (Morgan Harper, Wally Tipene, Donavan Briggs, Waikato Forbes & Reuben Taylor tries: Taylor 2 & Harper goals): HT: 6-14
Man of the match - Tarquinn Alatipi (Wellington)

Counties Manukau 54 (Tamati Ioane-Niko 4, Kenese Kenese 2, Giovanni Silbery, Ezra Tuli, Ethan Nukanuka & Vaipouli Anae-Edwards tries; Kirstian Petty 7 goals) South Island Scorpions 16 (Joshua Aileone, Jayzin Cleghorn & Rory Ferguson tries; Logan Woodham 2 goals): HT: 38-10
Man of the match - Kenese

Central Vipers 28 (Tre Te Wake 2, Jhai Atkin, Al Momoesea & Saxton Kennedy tries; Te Oranga Hina 4 goals) Northern Swords 6 (Stele Kake try; Duncan McIvor goal): HT: 10-6
Player of the match - Hina

Akarana Falcons 22 (Zaylin Inu 2, Austin Masiutama, Dean Kouka-Smith, Sitili Tupouniua tries; Don Broughton goal) Auckland Invitation 20 (Falaniko Manu 2, Lewis Soosemea & Bostyn Hakaraia tries; Hakaraia & Fa'atupu Lisati goals): HT: 8-14
Player of the match - Soosemea

Thursday, October 2


Game 1 - South Island Scorpions v Wai-Coa-Bay Colts, Field 1

Game 2 - Northern Swords v Auckland Invitation, Field 2


Game 3 - Akarana Falcons v Central Vipers, Field 5

Game 4 - Wellington Orcas v Counties Manukau Stingrays, Field 4


Game 5 - Wai-Coa-Bay Colts v Northern Swords, Field 3

Game 6 - South Island Scorpions v Central Vipers, Field 4


Game 7 - Counties Manukau Stingrays v Auckland Invitation, Field 2

Game 8 - Wellington Orcas v Akarana Falcons, Field 3


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