A second half fightback was not enough to get Orewa College home in an Auckland secondary schools under-85kg rugby league final.
Orewa were pipped 12-10 by Pakuranga College in the 2012 Student Horizons final at Mt Smart Stadium, which was televised on Sky Sport.
It was a difficult start to the game for the North Harbour conference winners against their Counties-Manukau counterparts.
Orewa star player Mitchell Eades was forced off the field early with a right quad injury.
Then Tevita Sifa crossed for Pakuranga a few plays later for the first try of the game.
Orewa were struggling to complete their sets and Pakuranga broke through once again to extend their lead to 12-0.
Orewa also lost centre Sam Whittaker before halftime to injury.
But they still managed to turn the game in the second half.
Orewa scored through Rocco Hill to get on the board and Jake Foster converted.
Then a well-worked set piece by Orewa put Louie Barker into space and he off-loaded the ball to Taylor Morgan to score and make it 12-10.
Unfortunately, he tripped as he crossed and wasn't able to bring the ball right around, leaving a difficult kick in the damp conditions. Foster's kick missed and Orewa were still two points adrift.
With less than a minute to go Orewa received the ball and almost made it to the line again, only to be denied by a dropped ball in the tackle.
"We were disappointed to lose, but we never gave up and stuck in there which was good to see the boys do," assistant coach Llewis Harding-Powell says.
Orewa captain Luke Waddell says it was not the result they wanted but he remains very proud of the team.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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