Adam Blair Trophy heats up

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002As we approach the last round of the Adam Blair Trophy pool phase, the contest for finals berths are coming down to the last round. In the North we have Kaitaia College and Northland College tied on points for first place and Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Kaikohe in second place. Northland College need to beat Whangaroa College and Kaitaia College who are the favourites will need to beat Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Kaikohe. If either Whanagaroa or Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Kaikohe win it will force a count back as potentially three teams will be tied for two spots.

In the South, we have three teams all contesting for two spots. Defending champions WBHS will play Dargaville High School who trailing by 1 point. The winner of this game will cement their place in the semi final. In the other game, we have the inform Kamo high school who are undefeated and drew with WBHS take on new incumbents Bream bay. If Kamo lose it will force a count back with 3 teams tied for first place.

Players to watch this week:

Whangarei Boys High School (WBHS) v Dargaville High School (DHS)

For WBHS you have the barn storming prop Wiremu Grieg who is strong with the ball in hand. Look for Terrence Riini and Ngatai Manukau-Togivalu to be the enforcers on defence whilst Jayden Laupepe will direct play.

Dargaville at full strength will be a handful with Rico Cook and Thomas Anderson always hard to contain. Hoani Rogers-Brown will be strong in the centres with good ball distribution from halve Lathan Hutchinson-Walters.

 Kamo High School v Bream Bay College:

This well coached team like to run a lot of shape and constantly ask questions of the opposing teams defence. Meter eater Ariki Hughes running off captain consistent James Witehera will be hard to stop. Adding to the attacking prowess will be standout second row Manasseh Turner with his blinding speed and strong fend.

Bream Bay, the new team to the competition had a solid win last week and will be led well by young and upcoming forwards Nokisi Kaiarake and Terry-Jack Smart. They will also have some attacking options with Taine-Lee Shelford who comes from good rugby league stock

 Kaitaia College v Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Kaikohe:

Kaitaia are the inform team in the North and have been together now for over 3 years. Coach Jim Larkin has stated that this is their year. They will have some muscle up front with Jackson Sparks-Brott and will be strong in the kick returns with TeKahi Nathan.

TKKMK are a young side but they too have some strike power. Asi Tau-Kata will be hard to take down and loves to make his presence felt in defence. Ngaphui Simeon is one of the inform fullbacks, so look for a strong contest from him in attack and defence being a very quick and agile runner he will look to link on the fringes.

 Northland College v Whangaroa College:

Northland College are undefeated and possess a potent prop combination with the Henare-Clarke twins. Look for John and Phoenix to have their own brother battle in terms of meters gained and tackle busts. They also have Tamati Leach who is a very big mobile player capable of ripping holes in the defence with his power and speed. They will be directed around the park by Taite Kopa who likes to test the line and draw in pass.

Whangaroa will always give it 100%. They have talent in hooker Royce Sanderson who is mobile and strong in defence. While Troy Hughes has a lot of pace out wide and can attack strongly in open play.

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