Win boosts college’s reputation
Rugby league and sport in general is on a positive high at Pakuranga College following their Senior A grade side’s 18-8 win over James Cook High School in the Auckland Rugby League (ARL) College season grand final last Wednesday.
The team’s coach and manager Nicole Jensen, a sports coordinator at the college who won the grade’s ARL coach of the year award last week in her debut season as a league coach, says she’s ‘‘extremely proud the boys were able to take out the grand final’’.
‘‘They worked really hard to get there. Anything past the first round of semi-finals was a bonus for us. To win in the style we did was absolutely awesome.
‘‘It’s been really exciting for Pakuranga College. We have a number of talented athletes at this school and rugby league is another sport we excel at.’’
Jensen, 23, says the victory success has received a lot of support from staff, students and parents, and has raised the profile of Pakuranga College sport in the wider East Auckland community.
‘‘We couldn’t have asked for a better final. Both teams showed great skill and it was a great game of rugby league. It had bit of everything. I was really nervous for the team, especially when we were up in the first 10 minutes and then went into halftime even after two quick tries from James Cook High,’’ Jensen says, of the grand final played at Mt Smart Stadium No 2.
‘‘We had been in similar situations throughout the year, so I had complete faith that we could take out the win in the last 25 minutes, and the boys delivered.
‘‘It was a great feeling in the last two minutes to know we had won. Seeing the excitement and joy of the boys after the final whistle was definitely a highlight.’’
Pakuranga College Senior A grade rugby league team, Auckland college champions:
Kenshin Tsutsui (captain, cocoach), Andrew Mana (captain, co-coach), Caleb Ika, Praises Laufiso, Brendan Sofeni, Finau Holani, Tevita Lavakeiaho, Tyrone Lemanu, Sam Lynch, Teich Manuel, Jarvis Kahi, Boston Waihape, Jacob Tuisalega, Mark Tuisalega, Melvin Tuulaupua, Josiah Karapani, Stanley Farani, Kanyon Taoa, Tupe Taefu, Jacob Hollobon, Braithan Anderson, Calais Murray. Co-coach-manager Nicole Jensen.
Action photos, page 28