After three days of pristine weather, the fourth and final day was no exception providing the ideal conditions for the National High Performance Camp 16s and 18s trials held at St Peter’s School in Cambridge.
The first trial of the day saw Team Kahu come out on top against Team Johnson 48-16 in a high scoring match of 12 tries, nine coming from Team Kahu.
Second time National High Performance camper Aamon Dean demonstrated the maturity he has developed as a second rower positioning himself to score two of Team Kahu’s nine tries.
Leroy Ferguson backed up his form from the 2016 Youth Tournament which led to his selection for the camp showing quality defense and making big metres on attack.
Aggressive ball carrier and solid defensive player, Samisi Tapa also took out the ‘Best and Fairest’ award for the 16s age group demonstrating an impressive display of work ethic on the field.
In another high-scoring match, Team Blair got the win over Team Bromwich 46-22 in the HPC 18s trial.
Stand-out players of the match included Israel Ogden also named Best and Fairest 18s player for his outstanding performance in the number seven jersey despite being on the losing team.
Awatere Kiwara also turned heads putting himself in a position to score three tries creating a dominant combination with his centres.
Javvier Pitovao demonstrated his smarts as a footballer impressing on-lookers running some stellar lines and defending with energy and passion.
The captain of the winning team Blair and third time camper, Jordan Riki showed impressive leadership and work ethic throughout the game – a performance that reinforced exactly why he was selected as 2016 New Zealand 16s Player of the year.
The replay of the 16s trial can be found here.
The replay of the 18s trial can be found here.
For full team lists click here.
Awards presented on the final day of High Performance Camp:
Passion award – Brad Campbell
Courage – Xavier Stevens-Teo
Leadership – Christian Tuipuloto
Respect – Samuel Kamu
Integrity – Caius Faatili
16s Best & Fairest player – Semisi Tapa
18s Best & Fairest player – Israel Ogden
“The recipients of these awards really embodied the NZRL values and were selected by the management staff throughout the camp.
“It was an especially hard job choosing the best and fairest players from both age groups as there were a number of stand-out players who were in the running.
“All of the boys performed well and can be proud of how they represented their families, clubs and zones – they put their best foot forward and showed exactly why they were selected to attend the National High Performance Camp.” McMeeken said.
The 16s and 18s Merit teams will be announced at the end of this week and a high percentage of these players will be in contention for the NZ 16s and 18s team