Swords 15s go within a breath of Victory!
While the Premiers were doing battle with the Wellington Orcas the 15s and 17s Swords were in Tournament mode taking on the best Waikato, Bay of Plenty and Coastline had to offer in the Upper Central Zone district tournament in Rotorua. The tournament is used as a building block to prepare for the 15s and 17s National Zonal Tournament held in late September.
The Swords 15s had an outstanding tournament, going within a breath of taking it out. With less than 4 minutes left on the clock they were leading Bay of Plenty 18 – 16 when they gave away a penalty. BOP declined the kick taking the Swords by surprise to march down the field and score winning in a thrilling match 20 -18.
To make the final the Swords defeated Bay of Plenty 34 – 4, Coastline 26 – 24 and Waikato 23 – 16. They were rewarded for their impressive display with five boys selected for the tournament team – Takakino Makara, Nikau Graham, Brody Tamarua, Jackson Sparkson -Brott, and Thomas Anderson with Thomas getting forward of the tournament.
Coach Jim Larkin was pleased with his team’s performance, “This gives us a real understanding of where we are at as a team, I knew we had talent and this squad and the weekends’ performance proved it. We beat BOP in the first match of the tournament although disappointing to lose to them in the final it was still a massive achievement,” he said.
The Swords 17s didn’t have as much success as the 15s, however they put on some solid displays of League, giving coach Benson Selwyn, lots of positives to take out of the weekend by finishing 3rd. “It was a good test for us to get used to playing Tournament Football, we were under prepared to play 4 games in two days and some of the boys got early knocks but we now know where we need to work on” he said.
The Swords 17s defeated Coastline 26 – 14, lost to Waikato 32 – 14 and Bay of Plenty 36 – 6 and then defeated Coastline 28 – 14 in the 3rd and 4th playoff. Full Back Duncan McIvor and Stand Off Caleb Aekins, were selected in the Tournament Team.