Team’s hard work is hard to beat

Auckland City Harbour News - - SPORT - By JU­LIAN RAETHEL

As far as records go, it doesn’t get much bet­ter then this for the Pon­sonby-Kel­ston Un­der12s rugby team.

The nu­cleus of the squad has wrapped up another un­beaten sea­son, stretch­ing their win­ning streak to 134 games from as far back as 2007.

Pon­sonby-Kel­ston were un­trou­bled in their Auck­land Un­der-12s com­pe­ti­tion fi­nal last month, de­feat­ing archri­vals Manukau 36-0 at Orakei Do­main.

Coach Chris Howl­ing says it is hard work and com­mit­ment that has seen his side keep their for­mi­da­ble repu- tation go­ing. ‘‘We couldn’t get into the touch rugby mod­ule so we de­cided to start train­ing early in Jan­uary.

‘‘The way they played in that fi­nal, they were ca­pa­ble of do­ing that to most teams,’’ he says.

The statis­tics sheet kept tick­ing over in 2014, with the team scor­ing more than 100 points on seven oc­ca­sions.

In their 19 games this sea­son, Sione Ta­pu­osi was the top try-scorer with 44 to his name while Jur­rell Ma­iava amassed an in­cred­i­ble 238 points.

The side were ruth­less on both at­tack and de­fense, scor­ing a to­tal of 1604 points and con­ced­ing just 58.

To lit­tle sur­prise, 15 mem­bers of the squad also went on to make rep­re­sen­ta­tive teams.

Howl­ing has a strong support base from as­sis­tant coaches Kimo Teariki, Murphy Ma­iava, Pa Vikena and man­ager Lynn Vai.

‘‘To the par­ents and sup­port­ers: with­out you our achieve­ments wouldn’t have been pos­si­ble,’’ Howl­ing says.

Photo: FAR­RELLY PHO­TOS

Un­beat­able: The nu­cleus of play­ers in the Pon­sonby-Kel­ston un­der-12s rugby team has a win­ning streak of 134 games.

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