The National Boys Youth Tournament Grand Finals today saw new victors South Island Scorpions crowned as the 16s grade champions, while the Counties Manukau Stingrays went back-to-back as 2022 and now 2023 18s title-holders. The Auckland Invitational 16s, Aotearoa Whaanui 16s, and New Zealand Resident Clubs 18s representative teams were named in the prizegiving ceremony, with selection having taken place throughout the tournament.
National Boys Youth Tournament Grand Finals recap:
Grand Final – South Island Scorpions v Waikato
Final score: South Island Scorpions 26-10
In this thrilling Grand Final, the South Islanders shot out of the gates first, scoring twice and converting once within the first 15. Momentum swung the other way as the young Waikato men fought back hard to regain their footing in the game. Tries by Walker and Whitiora and a successful conversion from Cowan equalised, bringing the score to 10-all halftime. In the second half’s opening, the Scorpions capitalised off a Waikato penalty for Roebeck to cross for his second try. Although the Waikato side continued to show great physical strength and speed in this contest, the Scorpions proved too strong, scoring twice more and claiming the title 26-10.
South Island Scorpions try scorers
#2 Azaniah Roebeck – 2 tries
#3 Ezekiel Hammond-Siolo
#4 Luciano Felise
#24 Bryce Hauraki-Carle
Conversions: #1 Kairus Booth – 3/5
Waikato try scorers
#13 Romana Brent Whitiora
#17 Mairangiatea Walker
Conversions: #6 Te Kororangi Joshua Cowan – 1/2
Grand Final – South Island Scorpions v Counties Manukau Stingrays
Final score: Counties Manukau Stingrays 24-12
A repeat of the 2022 Grand Final, the returning champions Counties Manukau held majority of the possession and dominance in the first half. Francis Tuimauga and Sosaia Latu scored, with Latu successfully converting both, putting them in the lead 12-0 at halftime. The South Islanders were finally rewarded with two tries in the second half, both to Te Kaio Cranwell, as they refused to go down without a fight. Despite tough efforts and skilful play from the Scorpions, Counties Manukau were too formidable and claimed a back-to-back victory of the 18s grade.
#12 Te Kaio Cranwell – 2 tries
Conversions: #6 Eli Bijl-Kakoi – 2/2
Counties Manukau Stingrays try scorers
#5 Sosaia Latu
#7 Cameron Tuipulotu
#10 Francis Tuimauga
#21 Eteuati Jeremiah Tatupu
Conversions: #5 Sosaia Latu – 4/4
2023 NZRL AOTEAROA WHAANUI 16S SQUAD
Emerging Player: Tevita Kilisimasi-Ioane – Mid Central Vipers
Tournament MVP: Fine Fale – Waikato
2023 NZRL NEW ZEALAND RESIDENT CLUBS BOYS 18S SQUAD
Emerging Player: Jarod Cook – Northland Swords
Tournament MVP: Rodney Vea – Counties Manukau Stingrays
For past live streams, results of all Boys Youth Day 3 games, and all tournament content, visit linktr.ee/nzrlgrassroots.