School­boy reps savour se­lec­tion

Matamata Chronicle - - Sport -

A num­ber of Mata­mata Col­lege rugby play­ers were se­lected for the Waikato Coun­try un­der-18 team.

Lo­gan Allen, James Adling­ton, Craig Blyde, Alex Thrupp, Joe Muller and Levi Syd­ney were se­lected for the Waikato Coun­try un­der-18 team, along with for­mer stu­dent and Hin­uera player Zach Bell.

The coun­try team took on the Waikato city team in two games last month, the first was played in Mata­mata, and the sec­ond at Waikato Sta­dium.

The city team was made up of play­ers from Hamil­ton schools such as Hamil­ton Boys High School, St John’s and St Paul’s.

The lo­cal boys said it was a great ex­pe­ri­ence to be in­cluded in a rep­re­sen­ta­tive side.

Some have played at Waikato Sta­dium be­fore, while oth­ers in the group hadn’t and found it an ‘‘awe­some ex­pe­ri­ence’’.

‘‘It’s al­ways cool to play where they play pro­fes­sional rugby,’’ Lo­gan Allen said.

They said it was great to be able to play with a mix­ture of play­ers, which is dif­fer­ent to school rugby.

‘‘The style of rugby is that much quicker,’’ Allen said.

Coun­try won game one 34-23 and then went on to win game two 29-14 at Waikato Sta­dium.

Allen went on to be named player of the se­ries.

Allen, along with James Adling- ton and Alex Thrupp, were also se­lected amongst the 10 best play­ers from both teams.

They have now been in­vited to train with the Waikato un­der-19 team, who are cur­rently com­pet­ing in the na­tional un­der-19 com­pe­ti­tion.

Two Mata­mata Col­lege stu­dents have also been se­lected for the New Zealand Har­lequins un­der-17 side, which is made up of play­ers from around the Waikato.

Ben Brady and Luke Arnold, and other mem­bers of the team, played the cur­tain-raiser to the Waikato v Taranaki game late last month.

They have also played North­land and will go on to play other un­der-18 provin­cial teams from around the coun­try.

The team won 68-nil against the New Zealand Area Schools team and Brady said he was lucky enough to score a try.

The play­ers from both rep teams have as­pi­ra­tions of fur­ther­ing their rugby ca­reers.

Per­haps we’ll see them pulling on the black jersey one day soon.

Pho­tos: RE­NAE WHITE

CHO­SEN ONES: The Mata­mata boys se­lected for the Waikato Coun­try un­der18 team are, from left, Lo­gan Allen, James Adling­ton, Craig Blyde, Alex Thrupp, Joe Muller, Levi Syd­ney and Zach Bell. REP­RE­SENT­ING: Mata­mata Col­lege stu­dents who played for the New Zealand Har­lequins un­der-17s are Ben Brady, left, and Luke Arnold.

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