Northern Swords 15s – Got a Trade Got It Made – NZRL National Youth Tournament

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The Swords 15s showed so much promise, but as the tournament went on, their hopes faded away.  Day One saw them more than competitive, with eventual tournament winners, the Akarana Falcons.  Trailing by only 6 – 4 at half time the Swords were disallowed an early try in the second half to eventually lose 24 – 10.  Which was an admirable performance, especially when you consider that in the corresponding fixture in 2013 they lost 70 – 0.

Day two was the game that broke the hopes and aspirations of the young Swords, as they battled it out with the South Island Scorpions locked in at 10 all, with time up on the clock, only to give away a penalty in front of the posts to lose 12 – 10.  They rounded out their pool play with a 38 – 18 loss to the Wellington Orcas.  In their cross over play against the Auckland Invitational, they were in the game right up to the final 10 minutes when Auckland ran away with it, defeating them 20 – 6.

The final day was the tough day at the office, as the Northerners struggled, after showing so much promise and the aspirations, being so high the boys spirit was defeated, as they went down to the Southern Scorpions, a team they had previously been so close to 30 – 10.  However the team has a lot to be proud of, with a number of players identified to go on to further honours.  “This is the best group of 15s I’ve had, but the competition has also improved,” said Coach, Jim Larkin, who has coached the 15s in three previous campaigns, “The boys played well throughout the tournament and could have finished so differently had the early results been different.  We have a good group of boys here to build on and they will be so much better for the experience.” said Larkin.

For the 15s players to stand out were: Halfback – Nikau Graham,  Standoff –  Kingi  Rakete-Tane, Loose forward – Brodie Tamarua, Centres Bradley Lanigan and Takakino Makara and Prop Jackson Sparksman-Brott.

Akarana Falcons were winners of the U15s Grade defeating Counties Manukau 17 – 16.