High school team in winning form
Not only did Feilding High School's girls' team win the national Condor sevens at Auckland yesterday, they had only three tries scored against them.
They beat Mahurangi College from Warkworth in the Rugbygirl Foundation Cup final 27-12, scoring 32 tries in the tournament and having four players named in the tournament team.
They were player of the tournament Crystal Mayes, also a full Manawatu representative, and the team's other hot player yesterday, Hayley Hutana, as well as flanker Zoe Whatarau and sweeper Cheyanna Wiperi-Graham.
The win in the first Condor girls sevens tournament staged meant Feilding won both national competitions, adding the sevens trophy to the national XVs title.
Feilding had too much skill for all of the other 15 finalists yesterday. They moved the ball across the field with ease, employing cuts and wrap-arounds and used their pace.
The only time they were momentarily rattled was in the first half of the semifinal against a physical Hamilton Girls' High School side. Despite that, Feilding led 15-0 at halftime and scored another try to win 20-7, a game which most observers agreed was the real final.
In pool play, Feilding beat James Cook High School (Manurewa) 40-0, Lincoln High School (Canterbury) 34-0 and Auckland's Tamaki College 40-5. After topping their pool, they beat Auckland's Epsom Girls' Grammar School 31-0 in the quarterfinals.
Feilding coach Rob Jones had a fraught few days. He went north with the girls, went back to Palmerston North when his wife had a baby and then shot back to Auckland yesterday.
Jamie Booth was picked for the New Zealand Condor tournament team after his Palmerston North Boys' High School side finished fifth from the 16 teams at an overcast Kelston Boys' High School yesterday.
The tournament team will have a camp with the New Zealand sevens team and coach Gordon Tietjens in January.
Boys' High had only two losses all day, beating Rotorua Boys' High School 14-12 to win the plate. In the plate semifinal, they downed Hamilton Boys' High School 25-19.
Boys' High were unlucky not to progress to the main semifinals after conceding a late try to Mt Albert Grammar School. The scores were tied at 17-all when Mt Albert got over to avoid going to extra time.
In pool play, Boys' High beat Wesley College 26-12 and Christchurch Boys' High School 26-21 only to fall to the eventual champions, Kelston, 21-5. That left Boys' High second in their pool.
Boys' High coach John Kendal said his team was competitive despite most teams being bigger. "We were exceptionally fit and had the skill," he said. "Maybe we need one or two bigger boys." His other standout players were Andrew McDougall, Jordan Bunce and forwards Tom Hayes and James Kellow.
Kelston beat Mt Albert 35-10 in the final.
Girls tournament team: Madeline Ellis (Mahurangi), Nicole Adams (Mahurangi), Shiray Tane (HGHS), Ariana Hira-Herangi (HGHS), Crystal Mayes (FHS), Hayley Hutana (FHS), Cheyanna Wiperi Graham (FHS), Zoe Whatarau (FHS), Lorettea Lealiifano (EGGS), Jacqui Chamberlain (SGHS), Jocephy Daniels (JCHS), Rahnee Wakefield (AGGS).
Boys tournament team: Brodie Lam (MAGS), Aaron McLelland (MAGS), Akira Ioane (AGS), Renata Roberts-Tenana (AGS), Te Puoho Stephens (Nelson), Mitchell Drummond (Nelson), Nathaniel Apa (KBHS), Tuui Lolohea (KBHS), Leon Fukofuka (KBHS), Trinity Spooner-Neera (Napier), Isaac te Tamaki (HBHS), Jamie Booth (PNBHS).
Tournament MVPs: Boys: Tui Lolohea (KBHS). Girls: Crystal Mayes (Feilding HS).
The Manawatu Standard