Southland's touch teams perform well

A massive weekend of touch for all Southland representative teams unfolded in both Christchurch and Palmerston North last Saturday and Sunday.

In the South Island champs held in Christchurch Southland was represented by eight teams, ranging from under-11 to under-17.

Two under-12 teams travelled to Palmerston North to compete in the Central North Island championships, where they played in the under-13 grade.

Although no gold medals were won this year, all Southland teams gained some valuable experience.

The under-13 boys' and under-17 girls' teams both managed to pick up a silver medal in their respective grades.

The under-17 girls' team caused something of an upset when they knocked off Canterbury in the semifinal.

However, they could not quite repeat that form in the final, going down 3-2 to Otago.

The under-13 boys' side defeated Otago in a thriller to qualify for the final.

They went down, 4-1 to a very good Canterbury side, but managed to play their best game of the tournament in the final, despite the loss.

Southland also gained 11 players in the South Island under-15 and under-17 tournament teams.

Molly Wheeley and Mckenzie Unahi gained selection in the under-15 girls' side, while Mitchell Taylor and Kaleb Talamahina made the under-15 boys' side.

Courtney O‘Callaghan, Susana Sotutu, Patricia Hopcroft, Nicole Kennedy and Arnika Thompson-Te Muunu were selected in the under-17 girls' tournament team, while Jason Bishop and George Karamaena made the under-17 boys.

Touch Southland can now focus on the Junior National Championships in March to which they will be sending under-15 and under-17 mixed teams.

The Southland Times