April 10 2023
It was a dominant showing by Auckland in the 18s finals today as the 09 took home both Championship trophies in the Boys’ and Girls’ divisions.
It was a battle between North and South in the 18s Boys’ final, where Auckland faced up against long-time rivals Canterbury.
Canterbury dropped the ball straight from the kick-off, foreshadowing what would come in the boys’ final.
Auckland were clinical capitalising off the Canterbury error to score back-to-back tries but the 09’s discipline wavered, allowing Canterbury to mount their first points.
Auckland came out firing in the second half rolling 60 metres downfield to score their third try. Canterbury’s errors within their half continued to cost them as Auckland gained attacking momentum setting up their fourth four-pointer.
Auckland’s kick chase placed Canterbury’s fullback under pressure as the 09 would scoop up the loose ball to score, claiming the 18s Boys’ Championship with a 24-4 victory.
The Girls’ final shortly followed, and Auckland Red were switched on from the whistle; an effective kick-off forced an error, setting Red up for their first try of the final.
Some physical defensive sets by both sides kept the scoring at bay until late in the first half.
A line break and excellent support play by Auckland White earned them a try, equalising the score to 4-4 at halftime.
The second half saw Auckland Red come back firing, dominating possession and gameplay to score four unanswered tries.
Auckland Red claimed victory with a final score of 20-4 over Auckland White, making them the 2023 U18 9s National Champions.