Wes­ley Col­lege vic­to­ri­ous in CNI rugby

Franklin County News - - SPORT - BRIAR HUB­BARD

Wes­ley Col­lege has two ex­hil­a­rat­ing wins un­der its belt after bag­ging vic­to­ries on the field.

The 1st XV won the Cen­tral North Is­land rugby com­pe­ti­tion after a clash against Feild­ing High School, with a score of 32-28.

Prin­ci­pal Steve Har­g­reaves said the match, held ear­lier this month, was a nail-biter.

‘‘We scored a try in the last play of the game to win 32-28.

‘‘We were down 28-11 ear­lier in the second half and then scored three con­verted tries.

‘‘We re­ally were in the last play of the game. Then the school streamed onto the field and per­formed the haka which was pretty ex­cit­ing.’’

He said it was a vast im­prove­ment from last year’s re­sult.

‘‘We were in­vited to it last year and we fin­ished fifth and were quite dis­ap­pointed.

‘‘This year we aimed to win it, the ma­jor­ity of this side won the U-15 na­tional tour­na­ment - they are a very good side.’’

He added the team’s cap­tain Tupou Vaa’i, who has signed a con­tract to play in the Taranaki NPC next year, was the one to help turn around the game in the second half. Vaa’i was also named named most valu­able player of the tour­na­ment.

‘‘He’s re­ally hum­ble and a gen­uine young man, and he scored two tries that got the mo­men­tum go­ing.

‘‘It’s been a re­ally long tough sea­son and the boys have played in­cred­i­bly well and it’s ex­cit­ing to win...The whole school was buzz- ing this week, it’s re­ally lifted the spir­its of the whole cam­pus.’’

Ro­nan Lawrence scored the win­ning try, while Brent Tucker, Thomas Manase, and Kalapu Palelei also had stand-out games.

Brent said he was ec­static about the team’s achieve­ment.

‘‘It means a lot be­cause it’s only our second year in the com­pe­ti­tion.

‘‘We are bring­ing his­tory to the school so it means quite a lot to the boys and the school.

‘‘We played with a lot of heart and a lot of pas­sion, and we just wanted to cre­ate his­tory.’’

The team is coached by Chris Bean and his as­sis­tant coach Lawrence Lawrence.

Ear­lier in the month the 1st 13 league team played in the SAS Col­lege Rugby League premier plate fi­nal at Mount Smart.

They won the golden point in ex­tra time, thanks to Larenz Tu­paea’s ded­i­ca­tion, to take out the game 17-16.

Ro­nan Lawrence, Brent Tucker and cap­tain Tupou Vaa’i were part of the Wes­ley Col­lege 1st XV which won the Cen­tral North Is­land 1st XV rugby com­pe­ti­tion.

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