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Falcons fly high at NZRL Youth Nationals


October 3, 2014

NZRL Media Release - Falcons fly high at NZRL Youth Nationals

Akarana Falcons have swept both titles on offer in thrilling finishes at the "Got A Trade?" NZRL National Youth Tournament at Rotorua's Puketawhero Park.

Halfback Dylan Tavita provided the inspiration with time winding down to steer his side to a 17-16 win over Counties Manukau, successfully defending the 15s title they won last year.

With only a few moments left, the Falcons trailed Stingrays 16-10, but Tavita scored a try and converted to lock the scores at 16-16.

Then, as the match manager reached for the final hooter, Tavita was on the spot again to slot a field goal from 30 metres to steal victory. He was duly named Man of the Match for his efforts.

The Stingrays had made most of the running through the first half, leading 10-6 at the break, but were unable to withstand Akarana's fast finish and the brilliance of Tavita down the stretch.

Wing Steven Marsters had two tries for Counties, which took out the "Got A Trade? Got It Made!" Team Fairplay Award. Stingrays fullback Etene Nanai-Seturo was also named Vodafone Warriors 15s Player of the Tournament.

Akarana were more in control of the older division finale, leading their South Auckland rivals all the way. But, ahead 10-0 at halftime, they allowed the Stingrays back into the contest.

The Falcons were just 16-14 up with a few minutes remaining, but gained some breathing room with a try to Junior Ugapo in the right corner.

At 20-14, Counties still had a chance to tie the scores and were camped on the tryline when the final hooter sounded, sealing double heartbreak for Stingrays supporters.

Prop Amoni Tufui was one of Akarana's tryscorers and earned Man of the Match honours. Counties second row Tamait Ioane-NIko was named Vodafone Warriors 17s Player of the Tournament, while Wellington Orcas took the "Got A Trade? Got It Made!" Team Fairplay Award.

Meanwhile, the New South Wales-based Taurahere Kiwis never allowed the NZ 18s in the second of their two "tests", running out 30-10 winners.

Cronulla fullback Jamayne Isaako converted all five of his team's tries - including one of his own - in deteriorating conditions, while Penrith prop James Fisher-Harris was Man of the Match.

The Taurahere had taken out the first encounter 20-18 on Monday, after trailing 18-4 early.


Puketawhero Park, Rotorua

Friday, October 3


Wai-Coa-Bay Colts 22 (Ken Charlie Tuimaualuga 2, Brodie Numanga & Sheldon Rogers tries; Taitau Kapea 2 goals) Auckland Invitation 16 (Miller Leilua 2 & Nathaniel Law tries; Bailey Poto & Reagan McClean goals); HT: 16-6
Player of the match - Tuimaualuga

South Island Scorpions 30 (Jarrod Wolland 2, Leicster Faingaanuku, Darcy Moore, Seth Tauamiiti & Sua Aiiloilo tries; Joseph Taipari 3 goals) Northern Swords 10 (Kingi Rakete-Tane & Hoani Rogers-Brown tries; Brody Tamarua goal); HT: 20-0
Player of the match - Taipari

Wellington Orcas 20 (Tai Neli 2, Rikeli Grey & Broadus Melvin tries; Kienan de la Rembwe 2 goal) Central Vipers 14 (Corey Lee Robertson, Wesley Veikoso & Joey Lose tries; Jahlon Governor goal); HT: 10-4
Player of the match - Neli

Akarana Falcons 17 (Aso Kepaoa, Elijah Sufia & Dylan Tavita tries; Tavita 2 goals & field goal) Counties Manukau Stingrays 16 (Alfred Smalley 2 & Steven Marsters tries; Etene Nanai-Seturo & Regan Wilde goals); HT: 6-10
Player of the match - Tavita


Champions: Akarana Falcons

Runners-up: Counties Manukau Stingrays

Man of the Match: Dylan Tavita (Akarana)

Final match officials: Tane Kaiwai, Logan Strange & Lindsay Dunlop

Best manager: Willie Simon (South Island)

Best trainer: Jasen McCarthy (Akarana)

Best coach: Tai Arona (South Island)

"Got A Trade? Got It Made!" Fairplay Team: Counties Manukau Stingrays

Vodafone Warriors Player of the Tournament: Etene Nanai-Seturo (Counties Manukau)

Merit team: 1-Etene Nanai-Seturo (Counties Manukau), 2-Steven Marsters (Counties Manukau), 3-Cameron Iopu (Akarana), 4-Semisi Kioa (Counties Manukau), 5-Elijah Sufia (Akarana), 6-Hayze Perham (Wai-Coa-Bay), 7-Chanel Harris-Tavita (Akarana), 8-Wesley Veikaso (Mid Central), 9-Daymon Abbey (Akarana), 10-Soane Hufanga (Akarana), 11-Joey Lose (Mid Central), 12-Talem McGregor (Wai-Coa-Bay), 13-Johua Uta (Counties Manukau), 14-Joseph Taipari (South Island), 15-Caleb Uele (Akarana), 16-Wiremu Ryan (Wai-Coa-Bay), 17-Lumafale Lualua (Wellington)

Wai-Coa-Bay Colts 38
(D'Layni Perham 4, Tony Matautia, Tawhiri Matea Boynton & Nikora Rangi tries; Morgan Harper 5 goals) South Island Scorpions 16 (Leon Jordan, Rory Ferguson & Marvin Curry tries; Riley Coleman goal); HT: 10-10
Player of the match - Perham

Northern Swords 28 (Stevie Ray Haenga Albert 2, Louis Katene, Kawana Marsden & Nathan Newton tries; Duncan McIvor 4 goals) Central Vipers 12 (Taivasa Stanley, Tre Te Wake & Juani Reweti tries); HT: 18-4
Player of the match - Newton

Wellington Orcas 14 (Tristan Davis 2 & Tarquinn Alatipi tries; Luke Cummings goal) Auckland Invitation 12 (Lewis Soosemea, Chol Chol & Letuia Eliu tries); HT: 6-0
Player of the match - Davis

Akarana Falcons 20 (Josh Farrant, Amoni Tufui, Luke Tipene & Junior Ugapo tries; Don Broughton 2 goals) Counties Manukau Stingrays 14 (Lawrence Leaupepe, Kenese Kenese & Lopeti Mafi tries; Henry Pei goal); HT: 10-0


Champions: Akarana Falcons

Runners-up: Counties Manukau Stingrays

Man of the Match: Amoni Tufui (Akarana)

Final match officials: Kena Waikai, Nathan Barker Pringle & Henare Chadwick

Coaches' choice referee: Tim Walker

Best referee: Kena Waikai

Best manager: Neihana Flint (Wellington)

Best trainer: Willie Dickson (Northland)

Best coach: Keith Hanley (Akarana)

"Got A Trade? Got It Made!" Team Fiarplay: Wellington Orcas

Vodafone Warriors 17s Player of the Tournament: Tamati Ioane-Niko (Counties Manukau)

Merit team: 1-Morgan Harper (Wai-Coa-Bay), 2-Elijah Mercury (Counties Manukau), 3-Tarquinn Alatipi (Wellington), Zaylin Inu (Akarana), Dean Kouka-Smith (Akarana), 6-Bostyn Hakaraia (Auckland Invitation), 7-Luke Cummings (Wellington), 8-Ezra Tuli (Counties Manukau), 9-Rory Ferguson (South Island), 10-Kenese Kenese (Counties Manukau), 11-Tamati Ioane-Niko (Counties Manukau), 12-Sitili Tupounuia (Akarana), 13-Dylan Clark (Wai-Coa-Bay), 14-Tele Nanae (Counties Manukau), 15-Amoni Tufui (Akarana), 16-Peni Misinale (Auckland), 17-Enoch Tautolo (Wellington)

(Jamayne Isaako, Jack Williams, Paora Kemp, Faitatoa Faitatoa & Moses McGreal tries; Isaako 5 goals) NZ18s 10 (Tiaan Wilkins & Fabien Paletua-Kiri tries; Richard Timoti goal); HT: 24-0
Player of the match - James Fisher-Harris (Taurahere)

/NZ Rugby League would like to acknowledge and thank our official youth development partners - The Skills Organisation & Competenz ("Got a Trade? Got it Made!") and the Vodafone Warriors - working together to provide a bright future for our young talent, on and off the field.

© Scoop Media

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