08 April 2023
The NZRL National District 9s kicked off at Bruce Pulman Park this Easter Saturday, with the U16s Girls’ grade beginning the tournament weekend.
Wellington earned their first tournament points with an 18-4 victory over Hawkes Bay. A North v South battle soon followed when Northland took on Otago, where an early kick-off error by Northland saw Otago open up the scoring. Northland promptly responded with three tries in the first half, claiming a 24-12 win over the Southerners.
The Otago Boys took on Coastline to kick off the U16s Boys’ tournament. A late comeback from Coastline wasn’t enough as the Southerners proved too strong, earning a 22-10 victory. Manawatu then showed a dominant 24 – 4 display over the Northlanders.
Girls’ U16s 2022 Champions Auckland took on Canterbury to kickstart their campaign. A close first half ended with Auckland narrowly leading at halftime. Reigning champions Canterbury came back with a show of dominance in the second half, scoring four unanswered tries to win the game 30-10.
A close encounter between Waikato and Manawatu girls soon followed, where a strong Manawatu right edge scored two early back-to-back tries. Waikato answered back, but a very close second half eventually saw Manawatu come out on top 12 points to 10.
A rematch of the 2022 Boys’ final saw reigning champions Canterbury take on runners-up Waikato. It was a tight affair, with nothing separating the teams at half-time; however, Canterbury picked up the pace in the second half, running away with it 12-4.
Wellington boys then took on Auckland boys in a tight encounter. The boys from the Captial had the upper hand keeping the 09 scoreless, 8-0. Wellington girls then kept the winning momentum for the black and yellow, with a dominant 24-4 display over Otago.
The Northland girls then showed up against Hawkes Bay, winning four tries to one; however, the Northland boys went down to Otago 12-4. The Manawatu men soon followed with an impressive 28-10 performance against Coastline.
After losing to Canterbury, the Auckland girls redeemed with a two-point victory over Waikato, while Manawatu upset reigning champs Canterbury with a 26-18 win.
Back to the boys’ grade, the Cantabrians got the win over Auckland three tries to one, while Wellington continued their dominance with a 22-4 victory over Waikato. In a tightly contested game, Wellington snatched victory over Northland girls 18-16, while Hawkes Bay ran away with a win over Otago 20-8.
Manawatu kept Otago scoreless in the Boy’s Pool with a 14-point victory before Northland ran away with a 34-24 win over Coastline.
Some great ball play by the Auckland girls saw them beat Manawatu 22-8 before Canterbury pipped Waikato at the post with a four-point victory in the final girls’ match of the day.
The boys continued Canterbury’s dominance beating Wellington 16-14 in what was a top-of-the-table clash before Auckland claimed a 22 to 8 victory over Waikato in what was the final match of Day 1.
Canterbury finished at the top of both Boys’ B and Girls’ B pools, with the Southerners stamping their mark on the U16s grade.
Manawatu had a strong showing in the Boys’ grade finishing top of Pool A, while Wellington took out Girl’s Pool B.
GIRLS 16s standings
BOYS 16s standings