Same, same at NZRL Youth Nationals
Same, same at NZRL Youth Nationals
Akarana v Counties Manukau ... Falcons v Stingrays. When the dust settles on Rotorua's Puketawhero Park tomorrow, the "Got A Trade?" NZRL National Youth Tournament titles will not have left the Auckland region.
The two national rugby league juggernauts emerged largely unscathed from their semi-finals in both 15s and 17s age groups today, and will again do battle for the major prizes.
Pool play had thoroughly tested the favoured teams at times, hinting that the other zones might spring a surprise in the knockout stages.
But reality kicked home when it counted.
The closest thing to an upset came in the older division, where Wellington led Akarana 18-12 at halftime, but had no answer to Falcons fullback Dean Kouka-Smith, who grabbed four tries in a 42-18 victory.
Defending champions Counties were far more convincing in their 42-0 rout of Auckland Invitation, with Tele Nanae and Lawrence Leaupepe running in two tries apiece.
Perhaps the greatest drama of the day came in the 15s semis, where Akarana were well in control (24-6) over Central Vipers, when their match was abandoned through serious injury to a Falcons player.
The result stands and the titleholders will face Counties Manukau, 42-12 winners over Wellington. Steven Marsters and Dakota Edmonds-Taimani had tryscoring doubles for the Stingrays.
In the day's other exciting finish, South Island Scorpions 17s scored their first win of the week, 26-14 over Central Vipers.
The lower North Island team were ahead 14-12 at the break, but could not hold off the strong-finishing southerners, lead by Jordan Pinnock's two tries.
Tomorrow, the NZ 18s will face Taurahere Kiwis in the second of their two "tests", hoping to reverse their 20-18 loss on Monday.
The home team raced out to an 18-4 first-half advantage, but could not sustain their effort against athletes already playing in the New South Wales club programme.
"GOT A TRADE?" NZRL NATIONAL YOUTH TOURNAMENT
Puketawhero Park, Rotorua
Thursday, October 2
Wai-Coa-Bay Colts 22 (Preston Collins, RKelly Paekau, Sheldon Rogers & Waratana Hartley tries; Sheldon Rogers 2 & Hopa Haika goals) South Island Scorpions 16 (Dallas Onosai, Joseph Taipari & Curtis Williams tries; Taipari 2 goals); HT: 16-4
20 (Kenshi Tsutsui, Bailey Poto, Sione Lepa Tola &
Miller Leilua tries; Poto 2 goals) Northern Swords
6 (Bradley Lanigan try; Nikau Graham goal): HT:
Player of the match - Lepa Tola
24 (Mikey Williams 2, Cameron Iopu, Elijah Sufia &
Lewis Sio tries; Dylan Tavita 2 goals) Central
Vipers 6 (Jaylon Governor try & goal); HT: 18-6
Player of the match - Williams
Counties Manukau 42 (Steven
Marsters 2, Dakota Edmonds-Taimani 2, Etenee Nanai-Seturo,
Semisi Kioa, Kiani Marshall & Kayleb Milne tries:
Nanai-Seturo 5 goals) Wellington Orcas 12
(Desmond Matofai & Gerard Akavi-Ahnau tries; Kienan de la
Rembwe 2 goals); HT: 22-6
Player of the match - Joshua Uta (CM)
Colts 46 (Wally Tipene 3, Shadzz Hapi-Wise 2,
Morgan Harper, Ezkiel Cooper-Tetevano 2, Reuben Taylor &
Donavan Briggs tries; Taylor 3, Harper & Caleb McLean goals)
Northern Swords 4 (Steele Kake try); HT:
Man of the match - Taylor
Scorpions 26 (Jordan Pinnock 2, Ben Alexander &
Marvin Curry tries; Alexander 4 & Logan Woodham goals)
Central Vipers 14 (Feterika fFidow & Al
Momoesea tries; Te Organa Hina 3 goals): HT: 12-14
Man of the match - Enele Fidow (Central)
42 (Tele Nanae 2, Lawrence Leaupepe 2, Henry Pei,
Tamati Ioane-Niko tries; Pei 3 & Leaupepe goals)
Auckland Invitation 0; HT: 14-0
Player of the match - Ezra Tuli (CM)
42 (Dean Kouka-Smith 4, Junior Ugapo 2, Zaylin Inu
& Amoni Tufui tries; Don Bourghton 5 goals)
Wellington Orcas 18 (Tarquinn Alatipi,
Tristan Davis & Enoch Tautolo triesl Luke Cummings 3 goals);
Player of the match - Kouka-Smith
Friday, October 3
Wai-Coa-Bay Colts v Auckland Invitation, Field 5 (5th/6th)
South Island Scorpions v Northern Swords, Field 4 (7th/8th)
Central Vipers v Wellington Orcas, Field 4 (3rd/4th)
Akarana Falcons v Counties Manukau Stingrays, Field 1 (Final)
Wai-Coa-Bay Colts v South Island Scorpions, Field 2 (5th/6th)
Northern Swords v Central Vipers, Field 3 (7th/8th)
Auckland Invitation v Wellington, Field 3 (3rd/4th)
Counties Manukau Stingrays v Akarana Falcons, Field 1 (Final)
TEST MATCH - NZ18s v TAURAHERE 18s, FIELD 1