Age-grade rugby a hit at Maidstone
An unbeaten Hutt Valley under-13 rugby side emerged victorious at the Intra-Provincial Tournament played in Upper Hutt on July 14-16.
Played on the Maidstone Park astro which made light of the wet conditions, especially on the first-day, Friday, the annual tournament featured under-2 and under-13 provincial sides from the Western Bays, Wellington and Horowhenua-Kapiti junior competitions along with the local 22-player Hutt Valley side.
All sides played each other once and in the under-13 competition Hutt Valley's hard-earned wins against Wellington [19-5] and Western Bays [15-12] and their runaway 66-19 result against Horowhenua-Kapiti did enough to claim the annual tournament.
In the under-12 play the Hutt Valley side found the going that much tougher. While they were always competitive they were bettered by Wellington [10-14], Western Bays [10-38] and an impressive Horowhenua-Kapiti [14-28] who emerged winners.
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Eight local club players were selected in the Hutt Valley sides with Arthur Pilcher (Rimutaka) and Senio Sanele (Upper Hutt) in the champion under-13s.
Upper Hutt's Connor Vlas, Dustin Miller, Ethan McLean and Kaleb Leader turned out in the under-12s along with Jayden Maere and Jordan Caveney from Rimutaka.
Rimutaka was also strong off-field with the club's Junior Convenor Roseanne Mahuri-Tukikino heading the organising committee for an annual tournament which attracted good sideline numbers and plenty of positive support.
Meanwhile the Upper Hutt Rams returned to top of Hardham Cup premier 2 rugby on Saturday on the back of a 57-16 win over a hapless Paremata Plimmerton at the Ngatitoa Domain.
The Rams scored eight tries and easily gathered the four-try bonus for a six time in a row to lead the cup on points differential from Johnsonville, the only side to have beaten the Rams in the second-round competition.
The win came at a rollicking pace with five tries conjured up in the last crushing 20 minutes.
At centre Troy Mohr showed stern defence early and line breaking pace and incisiveness later as his long awaited return continues to be a big positive. Joyner Key was strong all game and finished with a try, seven conversions and a rare penalty for a 22 point haul.
The captain, Hayden Schrijvers, made the most of an enforced move to first-five with Paddy Cluck inside him, The pairing, though relatively untested, looked handy enough.
Up front Sio Luamanu confirmed a strong game with two tries while Vern Sosefo and Vaughan Koopu were good in the tight and appreciative of the increasing room to move as the game played out.