9 April 2023
Wellington played Northland in the Girls’ 16s Final, where the girls from the capital put on a dominant performance.
Looking to avenge their finals loss last year, Wellington came out firing drawing first blood. Costly errors kept Northland under pressure in the first half as Wellington went into the sheds with a 10-0 lead.
Wellington continued their momentum into the second half scoring two back-to-back tries. A last-ditch effort from the Northlanders wasn’t enough, as the Wellington Orcas were crowned U16s Girls’ Champions with a 20-6 win over Northland.
Canterbury took on tournament dark horse Manawatu in the Boys’ 16s final.
The Southern 9s Champions opened the scoring with a clever dummy half run as Ill-discipline would cost Manawatu.
Brilliant individual skill gave Canterbury their second; however, Manawatu found their groove as quick play the balls scored them their first points of the game.
Errors from Canterbury in their own half cost them as Manawatu scooped up a loose ball levelling the score right before half-time.
The second half was an arm wrestle with both sides tight on defence. However, Canterbury took their chances with a lovely cut-out pass, putting their winger over to gain the lead.
Manawatu, in a last-ditch effort pulled off a slick draw & pass evening the score at full-time.
The final quickly turned into a golden point match.
A costly error in Canterbury’s play the ball gave Manawatu possession 20 metres out from the Southerners’ line.
Manawatu would use this to snatch the title running over to claim the U16s 9s Championship 18-14.