Divine win in shield match

Shaky start for Norths


Holy Fam­ily as­serted its dom­i­nance as the best pri­mary school rugby side in east­ern Porirua with vic­tory in the Fruean Shield fi­nal last week.

This is the sec­ond year the tro­phy – named af­ter lo­cal leg­end Rob­bie Fruean – has been con­tested, with lo­cal schools play­ing a round-robin com­pe­ti­tion over the past five weeks.

The fi­nals were held at Holy Fam­ily last Thurs­day, which firstly saw Wind­ley over­come Glenview in the play­off for third be­fore the big match- up – Can­nons Creek tak­ing on the hosts, who were look­ing to de­fend their ti­tle.

A closely-con­tested fi­nal was won 35-20 by Holy Fam­ily, much to the de­light of the full em­bank­ment.

They led from start to fin­ish, thanks to some surg­ing runs from deep in their own half by the likes of Jeremiah Lo­keni.

Holy Fam­ily prin­ci­pal Karl Vasau was chuffed with his side’s per­for­mance, which came af­ter a lot of prepa­ra­tion dur­ing win­ter. He paid trib­ute to Kata­rina Whata, cur­rently in Eng­land with the Black Ferns, for her time coach­ing the team, and team lead­ers like Lo­keni and cap­tain Sam­son Vandermade.

‘‘They worked re­ally hard for this, it’s been a good year in con­tact sports for us. Kata­rina in­stilled some of her sound rugby knowl­edge and it paid off.

‘‘ This is a great com­pe­ti­tion, a chance to show off the tal­ent that Porirua has, and I know other schools are show­ing in­ter­est [at join­ing].’’

Vasau said or­gan­iser Dun­can Murray, coach of the van­quished Can­nons Creek team, must be recog­nised, as it was his vi­sion to put the tour­na­ment to­gether in 2010.

Murray said all the schools in­volved pre­pared well, played in the right spirit and it was an ‘‘amaz­ing environment’’ for the play­ers. North City go into their first two­day cricket match of the sea­son per­ilously close to the foot of the ta­ble af­ter a string of losses.

Fol­low­ing a bright start, Norths’ sea­son is wob­bling. The week­end of Novem­ber 26/27 was par­tic­u­larly for­get­table, where they lost three out of four T20 matches, in­clud­ing one against Taita when they were rolled for 37.

Last Satur­day, at Lin­den, they came up 39 runs short of East­ern Sub­urbs’ ex­cel­lent to­tal of 268/6 in a 50-over match. Michael Pol­lard con­tin­ued his fine run of form with 111 but he did not re­ceive a lot of help as his side were bowled out for 229.

The one-day points ta­ble sees Norths on 12 points, four ahead of Up­per Hutt, who had a sur­prise win over com­pe­ti­tion lead­ers Karori. This week­end and De­cem­ber 17 they host Taita, who made just 92 in their one-dayer against Col­le­gians on Satur­day. The coloured cloth­ing is put away un­til Jan­uary 7 and 14, when Norths face Karori and Up­per Hutt in their fi­nal one-day fix­tures.

Ball con­trol: It’s all about who wants it more as Miti Miti from Can­nons Creek School does his best to re­tain pos­ses­sion from two Holy Fam­ily ad­ver­saries.

Fleet of foot: Holy Fam­ily School full­back Meke Iakopo looks to elude a tack­ler dur­ing his side’s vic­tory in the Fruean Shield last week.

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