Nelson College still has the magic touch
Defending South Island champions Nelson College have qualified as unbeaten top seeds from the Tasman region and will defend a remarkable run in the March tournament.
Nelson College beat Marlborough 8-4 in the final of the Tasman Secondary Schools touch competition at Tahunanui on Sunday, with Garin College placing third.
The top two teams in each section qualifying for the South Island secondary school touch competition at Sheldon Park in Christchurch next month.
In the girls' competition, Nelson College for Girls were too strong for Marlborough Girls in the final as a 3-all pool game score was improved to a 6-2 winning margin.
In the mixed competition, Waimea College got past Motueka High School 4-2 in a tightly contested final, while Queen Charlotte College beat Nayland College 6-4 in the play-off for third and fourth.
In the boys' competition, Nelson College had beaten Marlborough Boys 10-2 in their pool game, but they were made to chase in the match that mattered most. In the first five minutes of the final, Nelson College were down by three, before recovering.
Nelson College captain Mitchell Hunt said it was satisfying to overrun Marlborough in the end.
"You can't take anything for granted against Marlborough Boys, they are a tough team," said Mitchell. "We had that realisation that anything could happen here, waking up and switching back on to the game." He said this victory had represented success in the first leg of their plan for 2013.
"That was always our goal as Nelson College, to make it through as the top qualifiers.
"We are big contenders at the South Island tournament. [Coach Phil Ave] was saying the other day that we have won that tournament since 2009, so we are going for five years now.
"It's good to know, going into that tournament that we top-seeded our region and we are ready to hopefully take out another title. There will always be work-ons and there will be a few more opportunities to sharpen up before South Islands."
Most of the players from the Tasman competition will be involved in the local touch module finals this weekend.
If you have a secondary school sports story that you'd like to see in the Nelson Mail, contact sports reporter Jonathan McKeown: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone 03 546 2873, or text 027 418 9847.
- The Nelson Mail