Kelston coming out fighting

JULIAN RAETHEL
Last updated 05:00 27/11/2012
KBHS

THREE-PEAT: From left, Kelston Boy’s sevens head coach Brent Semmons with co-captains Tuimoala Lolohea and Leon Fukofuka.

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Kelston Boys is looking to make it a three-peat on home soil on Sunday when they defend their title at the Condor Sevens national tournament.

The finals series will see the top 16 boys' and 16 girls' teams in the country do battle in 88 matches hosted at Kelston Boys'.

But the current champions aren't looking to surrender their iron grip on the competition says Kelston co-captain Leon Fukofuka.

"We've been working hard at training the last few weeks," he says.

"We're confident in our team, our fitness won't be a problem."

Kelston has produced some fine sevens players in recent years including DJ Forbes, Mils Muliaina and Lolagi Visinia.

Fukofuka, 18, played for the New Zealand Barbarians high school side this year while co-captain Tuimoala Lolohea, 17, plays for the under-18s Kiwis rugby league team and has also joined the Warriors under-20s. He is also one of two surviving members of the squad that won the title last year.

"I really like the open field in sevens, there's more opportunity to express myself with the ball," Lolohea says.

Kelston Boys has also had a very big year in union with the first XV winning the Sanix World Rugby Youth Championship in Japan and will look to continue that dominance in the sevens arena.

Sevens head coach Brent Semmons says his team look even better than last year.

"We've got a strong lineup but that can mean nothing as you play on grass, not paper.

"Sevens can be very fickle. Nobody really knew much about Nelson College last year and they came right through to play us in the final."

As for the future, Semmons says there are stars just waiting to be unearthed.

"There are going to be kids playing this weekend that will make the Rio Olympics for sevens, there's no doubt about that."

HISTORY 2011: Kelston Boys 26, Nelson College 19. 2010: Kelston Boys 26, Mt Albert Grammar 17. 2009: Mt Albert Grammar 12, Wesley College 5. 2008: Hamilton Boys 10, Mt Albert Grammar 5. 2007: Gisborne Boys 26, Mt Albert Grammar 14.

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