It needed not be so exciting, but a dropped ball over the line from one of our players while scoring after a full length intercept added to the tension. Harry Kaveriri got the team back on even terms with two diving tries before Waterpolo goalie Josh Fenton intercepted and ran the length of the field to score (just) as three Kelston players ran him down. He followed this with another from a stunning long left-hand pass from Callum Murray. Up 4-3 with seconds to go, Dillon Vaoga showed acrobatic skills in diving in for the ‘nail-in-the-coffin’ at the end.
The final was against Westlake who had dispatched Grammar 8-2 in an absolute routing. We started accurately, even though the weather was a little damp and testing at times. Vaoga scored another try on the left edge to give an early lead. This disappeared quickly as Westlake picked up two tries, one a length of the field intercept. Kaveriri, as he has done all year, stepped up just before halftime and dived across for the equaliser.
The second half started poorly with a leaked midfield score before Trey Alatini steadied the attack and created two lovely tries for Dylan Naera. The second was a lovely show of the ball with a few dummies before popping to Naera running untouched over the tryline. Westlake, to their credit, refused to concede, and it was soon 4-4. Kaveriri got involved with a long-ball to his left and found Year 9 Ruka Smythe who managed to get it down just before being taken out by the desperate diving defence. No surprise, Westlake scored immediately afterwards. Kaveriri again took control and this time scored himself to give a 6-5 lead with a minute to play. Committed defence saw out the final sets and the title of Regional Champions was achieved.
This was the 6th final in as many years for the Premiere team, and the fourth title in that same time. As mentioned to the players afterwards, this was probably the most significant one as we were not a stacked team of touch players as we may have been in the past, but just some dogged and hard-working young men.
Special thanks to the significant coaching input of Lucky Smythe. Attack can win games, but defence (which Lucky drove) wins titles and the success of this year can be largely attributed to the technical improvements these young men made over the season. Great to see so many parents supporting their lads and I know everyone appreciated both the Head of Sport and the acting Headmaster (Mr Payne) watching and supporting both games.
Teacher in Charge of Touch