15s National Youth Tournament Final
Puketawhero Park, Rotorua
Auckland Vulcans 16 South Island Scorpions 14
A firing Auckland Vulcans won the best start with hesitation killing the South Islanders in their first try attempt forced by the pressure of the Vulcans’ defence.
The Vulcans reaped the rewards for their majority possession drawing first blood with a four-pointer along the right side minutes later.
After a back and forth battle, the Aucklanders came up with another four points although unsuccessfully converted hitting the sheds up by 10-0 at halftime.
Back into the second 25 minute half, a line drop out kicked into touch by the Vulcans had the Scorpions in with another chance opting for a penalty goal to take the score to 10-2.
A run from Scorpions prop Jaedon Wellington had the boys in black and white cross for their first try, the scoreline taken to 10-8 after a successful conversion. It was starting to look like the Scorpions had a plan up their sleeve. The Auckland Vulcans then gave their opposition the helping hand they needed kicking the ball out on the full from the restart.
Perpetual motion saw the Scorpions tempo rise, their momentum being too much for the Vulcans who let in their second try in five minutes, 10-12 to the Scorpions. A 100 percent kicking rate from the Scorpions pushed the scoreline out to 10-14.
With seven and a half minutes on the clock, the Vulcans looked dangerous with ball in hand, capitalizing on the tired Scorpions defence scoring just left of the post locking up the scores at 14-all – the boot of Michael Taufa putting the Vulcans in front by two once again (16-14).
The Scorpions needed a miracle in their last set and a last minute try looked possible with an explosive run down the left wing from the Scorpions. But the fairytale ending wasn’t to be, the Vulcans taking home the 15s National Youth Tournament title with a 16-14 win.
Player of the Tournament – Stanley Iongi
Man of the Match – Stanley Iongi
Paaua PAPUNI-ABBOTT AKARANA
Arama KITE CENTRAL
Ali LEIATAUA COUNTIES
Kevan THOMPSON-CAMPBELL COUNTIES
Francis MANULELEUA COUNTIES
Ben PENI COUNTIES
Jaedon WELLINGTON SOUTHERN
Uriah TULI SOUTHERN
Felix FA’ATILI SOUTHERN
Jack CAMPBELL SOUTHERN
Nathaniel CAMA VULCANS
Filipo WHITEHOUSE-OPETAIA TOVIO VULCANS
Stanley IONGI VULCANS
Heneli LUANI VULCANS
Tome POONA WAI-COA-BAY
Manaia NGATAKI-MATTHEWS WAI-COA-BAY
Joshua WILLIAMS WELLINGTON