Rugby boys finish a close third
Missing out on a bonus point during their loss to Nelson on Wednesday denied Marlborough's under-52kg rugby team a share of the spoils at the Seddon Shield Districts primary schoolboys tournament in Westport.
The title was shared for the second straight year when Nelson and Golden Bay-Motueka emerged as joint winners on Friday.
Earlier in the week, Marlborough beat Golden Bay-Motueka 14-12, West Coast 49-0 and Buller 55-5, before going down to Nelson 28-12.
Nelson and Golden-Bay Motueka also suffered only one loss. Although Nelson were beaten 24-21 by Golden Bay-Motueka, the bonus point gained for finishing within seven points allowed Nelson to share the overall spoils with their conquerors.
Both teams had entered the final day on Friday equal on points and each completed convincing bonus point wins to claim a share of the title. It also earned Nelson their second consecutive crown after they had drawn 15-15 with Marlborough in last season's final game in Greymouth, both teams ending the tournament unbeaten.
Nelson predictably outclassed West Coast 68-10 in their final game, with Golden Bay-Motueka picking up an equally comprehensive 60-5 win over Buller. Marlborough had a bye on the final day.
On Thursday the junior Red Devils ended their tournament with a comprehensive 55-5 win over the hosts, Buller. Winger DJ Arbuckle scored three of Marlborough's nine tries and No 8 Arlyn Bull two, with Marlborough having led 31-0 at halftime.
Four Marlborough players were named in the tournament team selected at the end of the event. Jimmy Morris, Ollie Shaw, Arlyn Bull, Senetenari Ponesi and Nikau Peipi were rewarded for outstanding performances over the course of the week.
Other Marlborough players to impress during the week were midfielder Jack Burdon, halfback Hugh Robinson, and lock Luke Pannell.
Nelson year's tournament will be held in Motueka.
Thursday's result. Marlborough 55 (DJ Arbuckle 3, Arlyn Bull 2, Ollie Shore, Senetenari Ponesi, James Lindstrom, Hugh Robinson tries, Shore 3 con, Robinson 2 con) Buller 5 (Kye Neame try) HT: 31-0.
Tournament team: Ethan Swann (Nelson), Jimmy Morris (Marlborough), Jimmy West (GB-Motueka), James Fleet (Nelson), Hamish Chisnall (GB-Motueka), Ollie Shaw (Marlborough), Kruger Griffith (GB-Motueka), Arlyn Bull (Marlborough), Flynn Aldridge (Buller), Luke Kilworth (Nelson), Reggie Lee-Baker (GB-Motueka), Senetenari Ponesi (Marlborough), Tony Sproul (Nelson), Daniel Hawley (GB-Motueka), Nick Davidson (Nelson). Reserves: Blake Craddock (Buller), Nikau Peipi (Marlborough), Ali Poulsen (GB-Motueka), Tayne Hemopo (Nelson), Alex Double (West Coast), Coby Springer (Nelson), Alex Oakden (GB-Motueka). Tackler of tournament: Blake Craddock (Buller); player of tournament: Luke Kilworth (Nelson).