Mak­ing waves in rugby league

Taupo Times - - FRONT PAGE -

STEPH RANGI A lo­cal rugby league team has shown oth­ers what they are made of af­ter win­ning the de­vel­op­ment grade at its first tour­na­ment.

One of the team’s play­ers was named the top player.

Over Queens Birth­day week­end, the Tu¯ whare­toa Un­der-17 Ma¯ ori Rugby League team com­peted in the New Zealand Ma¯ ori Rugby League Ran­gatahi tour­na­ment in Ro­torua.

It is the first time the team has played in the de­vel­op­ment grade and they not only man­aged to win all four pool games but the fi­nal as well. Their games and scores were; Te Tai Tok­erau 34-16, Dan­nevirke 44-6, Te Tai Rawhiti 34-10, and Taranaki 18-6.

The fi­nal was played against Taranaki.

Team man­ager, Stephanie Ng­amotu-Ta­hana said the game was nail bit­ing but the Tu¯ whare­toa boys held on to their win­ning streak, with an 18-14 win.

En­ter­ing a lo­cal team into the Ma¯ ori Rugby League Ran­gatahi tour­na­ment had al­ways been on Ng­amotu-Ta­hana’s ‘to-do’ list. As the Taupo¯/Tu­rangi area falls into the Bay of Plenty dis­trict with rugby league, the boys would usu­ally play for them.

‘‘I thought we have enough tal­ent through Tu¯ whare­toa, why not make our own team,’’ Ng­amotu-Ta­hana said.

So she put a post up on a Face­book page de­tail­ing an open muster for peo­ple of Tu¯ whare­toa de­cent who might be in­ter­ested in play­ing rugby league.

If win­ning the de­vel­op­ment grade wasn’t enough for the Tuwhare­toa team, three of their play­ers – Te Oranga Haika (16), Te­wano Ng­amotu-Ta­hana (14) and Tem­ple Beauchamp (16) also made the New Zealand Ma¯ori Rugby League tour­na­ment team.

Tem­ple Beauchamp was named the most im­por­tant player of the tour­na­ment. Ng­amotu-Ta­hana said plans were al­ready in place for next year’s tour­na­ment but hopes they will be en­ter­ing more teams.

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