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Falcons vs Stingrays in youth finals

Falcons vs Stingrays in youth finals

After week of possibilities, the Got A Trade? Got It Made! National Youth Tournament will again come down to a very familiar scenario - Akarana Falcons v Counties Manukau Stingrays in the finals.

Akarana made no race of their showdown with Wellington Orcas in the 15s, overpowering their opponents 64-6 and running in 11 tries along the way.

Matthew Timoko and Joseph Onyeke had two tries each, while Regan McClennan, son of former NZ Kiwis and Warriors coach Brian McClennan, kicked 10 goals.

Falcons led 36-0 at half-time and extended that run to 60 points, before allowing their rivals a consolation try.

Their South Auckland rivals were nearly as convincing in their passage to the title game, pounding Auckland Vulcans 34-6.

The Vulcans actually scored first, through a try to Xavier Tuigamala, but Counties wore them down, piling on 20 unanswered points in the second half.

Lock Potusa Fuilala had a brace of tries for the Stingrays.

Counties Manukau ended the hometown hopes of Wai-Coa-Bay Colts in the older age division, emerging 26-16 winners in the first semi-final.

They dominated the first half for an 18-0 advantage and had to hold off a strong Colts comeback over the second 30 minutes.

Auckland Vulcans came closest to pooping the Akarana/Counties party in the 17s, stunning their counterparts with a try to fullback Etene Nanai-Seturo in the opening minute and leading 10-6 at half-time.

But the Falcons hung tough, responding with two second-half tries to overhaul their challengers and book a berth in the final.

In the minor playoffs, Northern Swords stole the show with a 30-26 golden-point win over Central Vipers in the day’s first 15s game.

With the scores locked, Swords five-eighth Paul Turner provided the winning try to put his side into the game for fifth/sixth on Friday.

Later, the Swords 17s emulated that success over the Vipers, running out to a 34-0 second-half lead, before eventually prevailing 40-30.

Donald McCenon and Waitangi Neho-Mola had two tries apiece for Northern.


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