PNBHS and Freyberg OB claim top honours in Youth finals day
The late change of fields didn't deter teams from giving their all on finals day. Saturday 25th August saw a number of junior rugby finals across the province, however heavy mid week rain menat that all other rugby would be cancelled and only finals would be played.
The river stone based Panieri Park would host the Junior Finals with Bill Brown Park hosting the remaining junior secondary school finals.
The Youth 1 final was the key attraction of the day with MANUKURA and PNBHS battling it out for the title. PNBHS started the stronger of the two, however MANUKURA hit back soon after to level the scores. Whils the round robin fixture suggested PNBHS were the clear favourites this was something MANUKURA were out to prove wrong. The second half provde to be the difference where PNBHS found a second gear and managed to sneak away from MANUKURA to take a 22-15 victory.
Youth 3 found PNBHS Junior 4 against Tararua College Juniors., Tararua College started well however PNBHS looked the stronger throughout the match. The changing room oend of the field proved challenging as it was a bit softer under foot however PNBHS continued to apply pressure to come away the winners of the Youth 3 grade.
Youth 4 was always going to be a tight battle and proved to be the exciting finish of the day. MANUKURA trailled for much of the game with Dannevirke leading up until the 70th minute, however a late break from MANUKURA put them in prime position to score, tackled close to the line the player released and got to his feet diving over to score the winner after the buzzer.
Youth 5 was where PNBHS looked to claim a clean sweep of finals they were in, however Hato Paora were having none of it, they started well and their size advantage proved to be a decisivie factor in the match. Hato Paora were strong up from inthe forward which provided their backs go forward ball. The smaller PNBHS side struggled to contain the Hato Paora backs on the front foot and Hato Paora proved to be the better overall on the day claiming their Youth 5 title.
Elsehwere at Panieri Park the Junior Clubs also contested their respective finals in the Under 11 and Intermediate Grades.
The Under 11 match which would be a hotly contested final with Kia Toa and PNHSOB both having beaten each other during the season once each. This match would go down to the wire on, after a converted try each at half time the second half would be the deicder. In actual fact the first try would end up being the decider as both teams ended the game on 19-all. Meaning the team which scored the most tries would win the game, however this was even so the team with the first try which was Kia Toa was awarded the shield.
The Intermediate grades which were a new concept this season provided some quality finals. The Kia Toa Rebels were dominant in the early stages of their Intermediate 3 final against PNHSOB, despite a second hlaf fight back they would go on to win the banner for the grade.
The Intermediate 2 grade was an all Kia Toa affair with the Eagles getting the upper hand on their younger Kiwis side to claim the shield.
Freyberg OB and Kia Toa Falcons went toe to toe with Freyberg taking the early lead in what looked like it would be one way traffic, Kia Toa would win the second halt with a dominant performance and even at one point getting out to a 10 point lead. As the game closed in on 100 points total Freyberg had a late burst where they managed to sneak home in the final moments to claim the Intermediate 1 Shield for the secon year running.
Manawatu Secondary School Rugby Champions:
Secondary School Girls - MANUKURA
Premier 1 Centennial Cup - MANUKURA
Premier 2 Fraser Trophy - PNBHS 3rd XV
Premier 3 Cup - Queen Elizabeth College
Premier 4 Cup - Awatapu College
Youth 1 Shield - PNBHS Junior 1
Youth 2 Shield - PNBHS Junior 2
Youth 3 Banner - PNBHS Junior 4
Youth 4 Banner - MANUKURA
Youth 5 Banner - Hato Paora Development
Manawatu Junior Club Champions:
Under 11 - Kia Toa Highlanders
Intermediate 3 - Kia Toa Rebels
Intermediate 2 - Kia Toa Eagles
Intermediate 1 - Freyberg OB