24 Teams from around the North Island converged on Rotorua Puketawhero Park last week. Representation was excellent with teams entering from Northland down to Manawatu. Puketawhero Park was an ideal venue to host the Tournament, which was delivered jointly by personnel from Bay of Plenty Rugby League, the Upper Central Zone League and New Zealand Rugby League.

The fields were in excellent condition and held up well through four days of matches, on the final day (Friday) the heavens opened up with heavy rain all day dictating the state-of-play.

After the round-robin fixtures, the finalists were named in each age-group category.

Under 13 Boys Final: Waikato 20 – Taranaki 14

Both teams performed well through the first days of pool play. Waikato went into the final as the slight favourites given their results over the first two days, but Taranaki didn’t let that phase them as they came out hard against Waikato through much of the final match.

Not much separated the two sides over the 50-minute mark with Waikato’s organised defence proving the difference.

The remaining finals were played on Friday, and as mentioned, the weather was unfavourable and perhaps for some observers, seen as ‘the great leveller’ as teams played a much tighter game than that of the free-flowing and wide-ranging footy on display through the first part of the week.

Under 15 Girls Final: Waikato 32 – Taranaki 10

Waikato again was the form team through pool-play and their structured attack and defence were on display in the Final.

They did not allow Taranaki to play the ball wide, where they had some dangerous runners, instead, compressing the Taranaki play, restricting them to playing in the middle of the park.

Waikato took their chances with faster and smarter ball playing and decisions that saw them post a comprehensive final score.

Under 15 Boys Final: Waikato 16 – Manawatu 8

A very even and well-contested final between two well-coached sides. Waikato had a plan to keep the ball down in Manawatu’s half of the field and from there force the mistakes, it worked well.

Under 17 Girls Final: Waikato 28 – Manawatu 0

Manawatu played some good football through the pool stages of the tournament, making their way to the Final.

Waikato showed early in pool-play that they were going to set the standard and be the team to beat as they won their way into the Final.

Under some very trying conditions, the Waikato team played as smart and accurate as you could possibly expect from any team in such weather.

A solid platform was set by ensuring their tackle-sets were completed, and some safe, accurate decisions in the halves ensured that the game was mainly played down in the Manawatu half of the field. Manawatu was put under constant pressure, and the points eventually came for Waikato.

Under 17 Boys Final: Manawatu 20 – Bay of Plenty 10

Fading light and a wet, muddy field resulted in some tight but accurate football on display from both teams.

With that said, each side took opportunities to kick the ball down-field and chase hard, taking a chance on spreading the ball wide, which on two occasions paid off for Manawatu.

Bay of Plenty got off to a good start, but Manawatu stuck to a great game-plan, and their centre pairing took the ball over the gain-line regularly and effectively.

Manawatu was deserved winners of this Final however both teams played some excellent football throughout the Tournament.


Tournament teams:


  1. Legacy Katene –   BOP
  2. Matua Robinson – Manawatu
  3. Sheldon Tairea – Manawatu
  4. Kalis Mason – Manawatu
  5. Xavier Mitchell – Windsor BOP
  6. Cassius Cowley – BOP
  7. Tipene Rewiti – Manawatu
  8. Bailey Umaki – BOP
  9. Dayna Bidois – BOP
  10. Memphis Hennessy – Manawatu
  11. Tumatauenga Te Koi – Waikato
  12. Pacey McGregor – Waikato
  13. Tyson Chase – Manawatu
  14. Dylan Parau Rogers – Coastline
  15. Manaia Ngataki – Matthews – Waikato
  16. Tesimoni Uilou – Coastlines
  17. Rewiti Brown – BOP

COACH. BJ Tahana – BOP

MANAGER. Jackie Tuala – Manawatu

TRAINER. Haze Rewiti – Manawatu

BEST BACK. Sheldon Tairea – Manawatu

BEST FORWARD. Dayna Bidois – BOP

MVP – Cassius Cowley – BOP



  1. Dawn Huhua – Waikato
  2. Jashana Te Uawiri – Manawatu
  3. Alio Pihama Maipi-Hill – Waikato
  4. Leah-Rhys Toka – Waikato
  5. Olive Salisbury – Taranaki
  6. Paj Walker – Waikato
  7. Honor Wilson – Waikato
  8. Mya Hill-Moana – Wakato
  9. Nga Mako Totorewa – Waikato
  10. Victoria-Rose Green – Waikato
  11. Hollyrae Mete-Renata – Manawatu
  12. Jasmin O’Connell – Manawatu
  13. Isabella RawririWharerau – Manawatu
  14. Nadya WestonJacobson – Taranaki
  15. Hope Ah Chong – Taranaki
  16. Chyann Kaitapu – Waikato
  17. Haraira Green – Waikato

COACH. Mike Wilson – Waikato

MANAGER. Maria Paul – Manawatu

TRAINER. Thomas Taiarua – Manawatu

BEST BACK. Dawn Hohua – Waikato

BEST FORWARD.  Mya Hill-Moana – Waikato

MVP. Victoria  Rose Green – Waikato




  1. Jonte Rikiriki – Waikato
  2. Te Rauna Whaiapu – Taranaki
  3. Ramses Ah Chong -Taranaki
  4. Kono-Papita Pene-Gestro – Waikato
  5. Zayne Poole – Manawatu
  6. Maraki Aumua – Manawatu
  7. Te Hurinui Apanui Twidle – Waikato
  8. Colin Poka Tomlinson – Waikato
  9. Te Potiki Morgan – Waikato
  10. Karioi Tihori- Moke – Waikato
  11. Bayley Toto-Froster – Manawatu
  12. Xavier Sefani Calder – Taranaki
  13. Te Umuariki Heremia-Tukere – Waikato
  14. Akaina Tairea -Thompson – Manawatu
  15. Christian Ray Hiha – Taranaki
  16. Harry Durbin – BOP
  17. Dallas Boynton Rameka BOP

COACH. Leroy Morgan – Waikato

MANAGER. Mel Stevenson – Manawatu

TRAINER. Viliami Vunipola – Manawatu

BEST BACK. Te Hurinui Apanui Twidle – Waikato

BEST FORWARD. Xavier Sofani-Calder – Taranaki

MVP. Te Umariki Heremia- Tukere – Waikato



  1. Katana Te Miha – Barlow – Waikato
  2. Wizdym Williams – Taranaki
  3. Syteiva Wilson – Waikato
  4. Trishzan Lloyed-Clune – Waikato
  5. Dylan Paekau-Phillips – Waikato
  6. Anahera Campbell – Waikato
  7. Letisha Royal Meyer – Taranaki
  8. Manaia Te Aho – Waikato
  9. Paige Wilson – Waikato
  10. Pikitoria Weston Jacobson -Taranaki
  11. Matakino Gray – BOP
  12. Jeanne Tawera  – Waikato
  13. Runi Cowan – Waikato
  14. Tori Tanga – Taranaki
  15. Angel-Lee Ruakore -Taranaki
  16. Kimoana Niupalau – BOP
  17. Sunny O’Carroll-Leota – BOP

COACH. Joshua Cowan – Waikato

MANAGER. Manawa Rhind – Waikato

BEST BACK. Katana Te Miha Barlow – Waikato

BEST FORWARD. Pikitoria Weston Jacobson – Taranaki

MVP. Paige Wilson – Waikato