Toko­roa boys can hold heads high

South Waikato News - - SPORT - By PETRICE TAR­RANT

The blow of miss­ing out on a top four plac­ing in the na­tional rugby league sec­ondary schools cham­pi­onship was eased by the num­ber of tro­phies Toko­roa High School took home from the tour­na­ment.

The school team won the More than Just A Game Award for epit­o­mis­ing the tour­na­ment’s seven core val­ues – ar­guably the sec­ond high­est hon­our.

Mean­while player Isa­iah Coop­erTete­vano was the re­cip­i­ent of the It’s Not OK Best & Fairest Award and man­ager Billy Maea won Best Man­ager Award for the third year run­ning.

Maea said that as a teacher and man­ager, the award his side re­ceived for show­ing dis­ci­pline and re­spect was as sat­is­fy­ing as first place would have been.

‘‘This is the sec­ond high­est hon­our. It’s re­ally im­por­tant – that sums up not only their be­hav­iour on and off the field but their ef­fort and how we or­gan­ised our­selves as a team.’’

He said this was the sec­ond year Toko­roa High School had won the award, the first was in 2012.

The award showed the boys had just real heart’’.

‘‘They are well be­haved off the field and our sys­tems are de­signed so that they stay well be­haved. We are by far the small­est team in the premier grade but the boys punch above their weight ev­ery year.’’

The side fin­ished eighth as op­posed to sixth last year, but Maea said it was no mea­sure of their per­for­mances.

The side only lost 8-4 to Aorere Col­lege who ranked third over­all.

One of the high­lights was beat­ing Mt Al­bert Gram­mer School, last year’s run­nerup, Maea said.

The Toko­roa High teacher was hum­ble about his own suc­cess say­ing be­ing a good man­ager came down to en­sur­ing all the right boxes were ticked.

Maea has now been asked to man­age the sec­ondary schools tour­na­ment team which three Toko­roa play­ers, Coop­erTete­vano, Mon­tell Maea and Cleve­land Poko, nar­rowly missed out on.

The rare chance that league could be­come a ca­reer for the play­ers is what keeps him mo­ti­vated.

‘‘We do it to show the boys it’s real. It’s hard, but it’s real.’’

A huge thanks goes out to all the spon­sors and sup­port­ers who helped them get there, Maea said.


Fair player: Isa­iah Cooper-Tete­vano is the de­serv­ing re­cip­i­ent of the It’s Not OK Best & Fairest Award.

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