Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

St Thomas fall at final hurdle NZSSRL Nationals 2015


For the second time St Thomas have made the developing schools final at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Rugby League national Tournament, but like 2013 when STCC couldn't claw back Rotorua Boys High  (18-24) St Thomas have had to settle for second place, losing the final 12-18 to a tough opponent in unbeaten Wesley College who returned to the final in 2015 after their first appearance in 2014
The Saints showed a lot of determination and grit to race out to a 12-0 lead in the Developing Grade final against Wesley College. Much to the surprise of the big crowd the STC boys dominated in the tackle and pressured their heavily favoured opponents. Wesley fought their way back capitalising on some errors in the STC half and levelled the score at 12 all going into halftime. Ultimately the big Wesley forwards began to get on a roll and star half Wetere Pompey exploited the saints defence to score an impressive individual try which sealed the 18-12 win for Wesley college. The STCC 1st XIII can hold their heads high after a great week of football 
and a courageous display in the final . 
The future bodes well for Rugby League at the 
college with 16 players returning next year 
for the footy season with the Saints.

James Cook High School Whanau - thank you so much for being amazing hosts this week. You have made us feel at home and supported us through thick and thin. Matua Hori you are a legend! Thank you for your wise words and encouragement. A truly great man.
A massive thank you to Brian Roughan for his assistance 
and contribution up at tournament all week. 
Also to the players' families and friends who made
 the trip up to support our team during the week.
Special mention to our league brother school Aranui High School. The Haka you performed for the Saints was a massive lift for the team. Thank you so much for your support during the week.
 A massive thank you to our sponsors who helped make this trip possible through their support - Nigel Thompson Motor Car Company, Pak n Save Hornby, Ellerslie Tyre and Auto and Lucky Smythe.

Some highlights of the Tournament were STCC being a finalist in the Cultural Salute category with some rousing renditions of the college Haka, and  a motivational talk from ex-NRL player Wairangi Koopu thanks to the organisation of one of our sponsors Lucky Smythe. Wai had some great words of encouragement for the lads before their last game of pool play against Onehunga High School.
Results
pool play
vs Papakura won 52-0
vs Francis Douglas won 18-14
vs Onehunga lost 12-28

Semifinal

vs Trident College won 14-6

Final

vs wesley College lost 18-12 

Some positive feedback for our boys from Constable Seluone Seluone:
"Last week I assisted in policing the NZSSRL tournament in Papakura, Auckland.I had the pleasure of taking Klayton Tipene Waikato and Keanau Newson to a school in Otara to do a leadership talk. 
These guys were professional (excellent choice wearing full school uniform - some schools were dressed to lounge around and watch a movie, shameful and poor effort!), well spoken and engaged well with the kids.Just wanted to point out what an asset they are to the school and they represented not only themselves and the school with distinction, but Canterbury as a whole...It was refreshing for me, a youth aid officer to interact with positive, motivated and driven youth. I wish them all the best and keep up the great work at the school!

and Duane mann:
“I don’t get to see the teams from Christchurch very often and, back in the day, Aranui were strong contenders at national tournaments...St Thomas was playing on the field next to them, so I was watching both and both were quite strong. They were quite physical, especially in the forwards, and wore their opposition down.“Their halves .. had pretty smart kicking games and .. props had some nice one-on-one contacts.”