Varying success for age group teams
The Nelson Bays under-48kg team has shared the South Island tournament title in Dunedin.
After wins against Canterbury Country (19-12), Marlborough (50-7), South Canterbury (54-0), a 12-12 draw with Southland and a narrow 31-28 loss to Canterbury, they eventually settled for a 19-19 draw with host team Otago in the decider under the roof at Forsyth Barr Stadium.
Otago struck in the first few minutes to go 5-0 up. Nelson Bays responded with great lead up work by Alex Oakden and Kruger Griffith to put winger Reggie Baker in and a fine conversion by Billy Powick had Nelson in front 7-5.
Otago responded with a try right on halftime after a period of sustained pressure to put them ahead 12-7 at the break.
A second half lineout steal by Caleb Scott and smart clearance by halfback Paddy Beggs gave space to right winger Daniel Hawley whose speed and vision saw him score, Powick’s conversion putting Nelson Bays ahead 14-12.
Nelson Bays continued to push forward and after some superb lead up work by Keegan Weir and Ruairi Moorehead, Hawley was in again in the corner for a 19-12 lead. But after a series of scrums on the Nelson Bays’ line, Otago muscled over with eight minutes remaining to secure the draw.
Baker and Hawley were both subsequently selected in the South Island primary schools team.
Meanwhile, the Tasman under-18 rugby team has finished third at the South Island tournament in Christchurch.
Tasman had headed to the three-day tournament at Sheldon Park as the Northern section winners following their 34-15 win over Canterbury Metro Black in Nelson.
They continued their momentum with a 32-24 win over Southland in the Cup quarterfinals but eventually came unstuck with a tight 20-18 loss to Central section winners Canterbury Metro Red in the semifinals.
However, they ended their campaign on a winning note with a handy 24-5 win over South Canterbury in the playoff for third and fourth.
Otago Metro beat Canterbury Metro Red 20-10 in the final, Otago having beaten South Canterbury 27-7 in the semifinals.
The Nelson Bays under-16 team couldn’t replicate their 20-18 win over Canterbury Metro in their previous Northern section seeding match in Nelson and suffered a heavy 54-20 loss to the Canterbury side in the playoff for third and fourth.
They’d opened their South Island tournament campaign at Centennial Park in Oamaru with a convincing 59-17 win over North Otago in the Cup quarterfinals before losing 54-20 to Southland in the semifinals.
Otago Metro, who’d beaten Canterbury 25-21 in the semifinals, went on to beat Southland 30-23 in the final.
Nelson Bays’ Keegan Weir attacks against Otago in the South Island under-48kg final.