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NZ Teams Ready for Youth Trans Tasman Test Series

New Zealand Teams Ready for Youth Trans Tasman Test Series

The best up-and-coming Touch talent from Australia and New Zealand will be on display in Canberra tomorrow when the two countries meet in the 2011 Youth Trans Tasman Test Series.

The New Zealand Boys Under 19 and Men’s Under 21 and Girls Under 19 and Women’s Under 21 sides will take to the field against Australia at Viking Park, Tuggeranong from Friday, 21 January to Sunday, 23 January 2011.

After winning the last Youth Trans Tasman Series in 2009, Australia is looking to defend its title, while New Zealand is determined to reverse the result and tie it up at one series a piece.

The games will be held at Viking Park at the following times (local Australian time listed):


5.00pm – Under 19’s Girls
6.05pm – Under 19’s Boys
7.10pm – Under 21’s Women
8.15pm – Under 21’s Men

2.00pm – Under 19’s Girls
2.55pm – Under 19’s Boys
3.50pm – Under 21’s Women
4.45pm – Under 21’s Men

9.00am – Under 19’s Girls
10.05am – Under 19’s Boys
11.10am – Under 21’s Women
12.15pm – Under 21’s Men

The tour contingent arrived in Australia on Monday and literally hit the ground running with some intense training sessions, fitness testing and practice matches. It was a program designed to get players at their peak when the series begins on Friday.

Tuesday morning began with the fitness testing component; Touch NZ Coaching Support Peter McIntyre oversaw the strength testing with some coaches getting in on the action as well. Under 21s Men’s coach Paul Peawini was particularly impressive as he lead the way with his team. Stamina tests were also undertaken with Nick Smith of the Under 21 Men’s and Tyla Nathan-Wong of the Under 19 Girls showing their endurance and determination under the hot Canberra sky.

Team-specific training took place in the afternoon with coaches working on the systems and policies that they introduced at previous training camps. The players themselves were more than happy to be back on the park with their teammates and focusing on the big task at hand. It’s been a long time since initial selection in the squads until now and there’s an enthusiasm in the camp that augers well.

Four practice matches were played to round out the day and give the teams a better indication on how they were travelling. Their opposition came in the form of Touch ACT (Australian Capital Territory) invitational and Vikings Touch teams. As would be expected the scoreboard was heavily in favour of New Zealand: the Under 19 Girls won 11-1, Under 19 Boys 8-3, Under 21 Men’s 7-3 and Under 21 Women 7-0. Teams worked on combinations and players blew away any cobwebs built up during the break over the Christmas period.

Wednesday evening saw another four games played with more strong victories for New Zealand. The Under 19 Girls winning 11-3, Under 19 Boys 6-2, Under 21 Women 12-2 and Under 21 Men’s 15-5. What was more pleasing is the way in which the teams had stepped up from the previous day. The test will of course be the Australian teams on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

National coaching manager Peter Walters is happy with the build up and is looking forward to the next couple of days working with the teams as the opening matches of the Youth Trans Tasman Test Series draw near. “To win a series against Australia in this sport is no easy task. Smart planning and systems will play their part in achieving that goal."

To keep up to date with all of the latest news and information from the Youth Trans Tasmn Test Series, please visit the following website: http://www.sportingpulse.com/assoc_page.cgi?assoc=6460&pID=14


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