Sevens heaven for boys
Last Friday was an AIMS Games red-letter day for Te Puke Intermediate School.
The school’s boys’ and girls’ sevens teams both reached their finals, the boys winning and the girls finishing second.
Wyndham Patuawa was the star of the day for the boys, scoring three tries in both the tight semifinal win against Matauri Bay School and the win 19-12 over Tauranga Intermediate.
Te Puke started the game with a try from the kick off, adding a second moments later for a 12-0 lead, before Tauranga hit back with two tries and a conversion to put the teams level at halftime.
Patuawa scored again midway through the second half and Maloni Bale looked to be on his way to sealing the win after Te Puke had shown a lot of patience in their own half to keep possession. However, the ball was knocked on as he was tackled just short of the line.
A scrum win to Tauranga would have given them one last chance to equalise, but Te Puke got one against the head and Bole kicked the ball dead to end the game. The win was a reverse of the result when the two sides met in pool play the day before the final.
Coach Steve Miln has now taken Te Puke to two wins and a fourth in the last three AIMS Games. He didn’t see the final win as revenge.
“At the end of the day they are a fantastic team too. Sevens is pretty ruthless, it comes down to moments and we probably created one more than they did [in the final] but it could have gone either way.”
He thought Bole was going to score and close out the game.
“But we knocked on and gave them one more chance. Our scrum hasn’t been that good for the whole tournament, but we finally grabbed one.”
With five days of play leading up to the final, Miln said is a huge week for the players.
“To be honest I don’t know how they do it.” He said it isn’t just about playing rugby.
“We talk about being good men and good school boys — there’s more emphasis on integrity and being humble and they are a good group of boys. They just kept getting up and it’s taken a lot to get to that — it doesn’t happen overnight.” Patuawa was a special player. “You need a couple in every team, but then the other guys stepped up for them to be special. I’ve had three groups in a row now that are about 55kg soaking wet, but they find a way. All I do is go down there and show them some skills then its about playing some footy and having some fun.”
He said the support for the team has also been fantastic from the school, managers and parents.
After going through pool play with one loss, to Papatoetoe’s Holy Cross, Te Puke’s girls came up against their conquerors in the semifinal where they squared the ledger and won a place in the final against Auckland’s Royal Oak Intermediate School.
Te Puke scored first and led 7-0 at the break, but two tries early in the second half proved decisive with Royal Oak winning 12-7.
Te Puke Intermediate’s Tinus Nel won gold in the flyers boys’ gymnastic competition and Ibeliz Adlington, a year 7 student from Pongakawa School won gymnastics silver in the women’s artistic flyer event. Te Kura Kaupapa Ma¯ori O Te Matai’s Nikau Wihapi- Priest won two golf bronze medals.
‘We talk about being good men and good school boys — there’s more emphasis on integrity and being humble.’
STUART WHITAKER catches some of the AIMS Games action from last week featuring our local school students.
BELOW: Wyndham Patuawa pushes away a defender on his way to scoring his third and his team’s decisive try in Te Puke Intermediate School’s win over Tauranga Intermediate in the AIMS Games boys’ sevens final.
LEFT: Te Puke Intermediate School’s AIMS Games boys’ sevens winning team.
ABOVE: Rangiuru School’s Tristan Long competes in the boys’ singles table tennis.
BELOW: Kyron Bidois of Rangiuru School.
RIGHT: Lila Neverman of Pongakawa School. BELOW: Pongakawa School girls’ Futsal team goalkeeper Anika Aubertin dives for the ball as No 9 Jolisa Whitehead looks on.
KRUZ Ua-Marsh of Te Puke Intermediate School basketball team heads up-court.
TOP CENTRE: Keane Anderson (behind) of Te Puke Intermediate watches Bailey Carmichael’s progress.
ABOVE: Acacia Birch in action for Te Ranga School.
LEFT: CJ Grant of Te Puke Intermediate School in close contact.
ABOVE: Te Ranga School’s Danika Wilson leads the charge.
CENTRE LEFT: Te Rangi Rae of Te Puke Intermediate.
RIGHT: Brooke Barclay of Pongakawa School makes a break between two Glen Eden defenders.