Monday, November 7, 2016

2016 year in review

RUGBY League Year in Review

Canterbury Ruby Football League 9 aside
Year 7&8
The Year 7&8 Rugby league team came 4th in the A grade a great effort, and our highest placing. Stand out players were Felix Faatili, Finley Esera, Eruera- Keelan, Cooper Te Hau and Jacob Nyman

Year 9&10
In a huge effort St Thomas of Canterbury College retained their title, winning the Canterbury Secondary School Junior Rugby League 9 aside for the second year in a row. Undefeated in pool play St Thomas came up against a Linwood College team who weren't going to give an inch. The game went into two periods of golden point - sudden death before St Thomas forced a goal line drop out that Linwood put out on the full. Kicking to win the game from directly in front, the kick deflected of the post, however quick ball movement resulted in a try in the corner.
Having effectively played an extra game St Thomas went into the final against a large 
Shirley Boys High School team that had steamrolled their opposition. Some great tactical kicking and aggressive defence saw STCC quickly go three tries up, and some great defence shut SBHS out, until Elisara Vaifale sealed the win with a runaway try right on the fulltime hooter.

The year started with the Canterbury Rugby Football League 9 Aside tourney and with 5 senior players away it was going to be a big ask to repeat last years victory and so it proved. A first up loss to Aranui High School was repeated in the final with our boys going down to the Aranui academy side in the final 10-6. Some moments of great defence and attack, and when we put it all together, we were awesome.
For the first time St Thomas was in the Premier grade at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Rugby League Tournament, and drawn into what had been dubbed the “pool of death”.         Apart from our first match against Westlake BHS (3rd place) 12-34, our largest losing margin was 6 points. Inexperience, and perhaps a lack of self belief meant we couldn’t close several matches and went down to Tamaki College (5th place)16-22, Avondale College 20-22 (10th place), Papatoetoe (13th place) 16-17, before thumping Manukura, and placing 15th.
Most of our players will be back next year, and believe we can make the semis, so bring it on!

Other highlights of the year were 14 students attending the Warriors South Island trial - Jalen Tangiiti-Turner, Seth Tauamiti, Brodie Floris, Sua Aiiloilo, Tahemaka Nui, Klayton Waikato Domanyc Fidow-Kele, Malyche Tafili, Caius Faatili, Zach Amituanai, Elisara Vaifale, Jordan Mehlhopt, Josh Vaifale, Josh Reihana.

Later Domanyc Fidow-Kele and Zinzan Martin were selected to attend the 2016 NZRL National Performance Camp in Rotorua. This camp culminated in NZ 16’s and 18's trials.

A special thanks to Paul Ruri and sir Peter Leitch for their generous donations to our raffle, and to Paul for taking the time out and coming over from Australia to assist us with training, to Shanna Taula for a massive fundraising effort, to Rugby League Coaching Manuals for their sponsorship, and to Brendan Biggs, Brian Roughan, Moresby Peseta and Delane Luke for helping run our senior side at National Tourney.

Representative honours

South Island Scorpions 17’s
Jalen Tangiiti-Turner,Seth Tauamiti, Brodie Floris, Sua Aiiloilo, Tahemaka Nui, Keanau Newson, Domanyc Fidow-Kele, Malyche Tafili, Zinzan Martin

South Island Scorpions 15’s
Caius Faatili C, Zach Amituanai, Tuhaka Pooley and Elisara Vaifale VC

Canterbury 13s
Felix Faatili, Finley Esera, Eruera Keelan-Jackson, Tyler Bruce, Mekhye Wiparata 

Canterbury 12s
Jacob Nyman, Cooper Te Hau, Felix Faatili and Finley Esera 

Canterbury Maori
Jalen Tangiiti-Turner, Seth Tauamiti, Brodie Floris Tahemaka Nui, Keanau Newson, Cameron Brody Greig,

Canterbury Secondary Schools
Amani Ah Kuoi, Jordan Mehlhopt, Joshua Vaifale, Sebastian Pelenato, Taani Taufa, TJ Belford

Looking Ahead

Next year we will be looking at matches for junior and senior sides against West Coast and Otago sides, 2 tours by North Island School teams, a possible South island Tournament, and returning and making our mark on the premier grade at the New Zealand Secondary Schools Tournament. Roll on 2017!