Leop­ards’ prow­ess proves too strong

South Waikato News - - SPORT -

Otahuhu Leop­ards, who are the 2011 Fox Me­mo­rial cham­pi­ons from Auck­land, trav­elled to Toko­roa for the an­nual pre-sea­son event to take on our two lo­cal league clubs, Forest­land Fal­cons and Pa­cific Sharks.

It was great to see such an awe­some crowd come out and sup­port both our clubs.

The games were played in four 20- minute quar­ters and in very warm con­di­tions.

The first game up saw the Forest­land Fal­cons start­ing strong but the Leop­ards soon proved their prow­ess on the field with five tries and two con­ver­sions in the first half.

Fal­cons came back in the sec­ond half with two tries, scored by Baldie Neho and Tama Al­lan, with both be­ing con­verted by Axl Kingi.

The Leop­ards were here to do busi­ness and an­swered back with five more tries and an­other two con­ver­sions with the Leop­ards win­ning 50-12.

The sec­ond game was Pa­cific Sharks. Leop­ards came pre­pared and were keen to win back the tro­phy that Sharks won last year.

Both teams were evenly matched and started strong in a fast-paced game be­fore Leop­ards scored the first points of the game in the sec­ond quar­ter. This gave Leop­ards their con­fi­dence be­fore Sharks an­swered back with a try to Tam­a­toa Reu and con­verted by Ngari Hawkins. Leop­ards – not to be out­done – an­swered back with a try and con­ver­sion be­fore go­ing to the half­time break 12-6 to lead.

Sharks con­tested in the sec­ond half of the game but fit­ness showed and Leop­ards gained mo­men­tum scor­ing an­other seven tries and two con­ver­sions, with the final score 46- 6. Leop­ards were ex­tremely happy to take the tro­phy home with them.

Both league clubs are look­ing for­ward to their league sea­son which kicks off in April.

The an­nual Cronulla Sharks U17s tour­na­ment was held in Taupo on Sun­day.

This tour­na­ment of­fers an op­por­tu­nity for two schol­ar­ships with Cronulla Sharks and scouts look­ing for de­vel­op­ing tal­ent.

A com­pos­ite team was made up on the day of nine Pa­cific Sharks play­ers, five from Pu­taruru Dragons and four from Taupo Phoenix. The team played and lost three games but were very com­pet­i­tive and played well de­spite com­ing to­gether on the day.

Con­grat­u­la­tions to Cleve­land Poko from Pa­cific Sharks who was named one of the Best and Fairest player at the tour­na­ment and also named in the team to play the War­riors de­vel­op­ment squad this Satur­day in Taupo.

Some other play­ers are on the radar and the se­lec­tors will be watch­ing them closely.

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