Gisborne-Tairawhiti youngsters show rugby league talent

HITTING IT UP: Luke Bidois, seen here taking the ball to the line against the Northern Swords, was the top try-scorer for Gisborne-Tairawhiti.
LEADING THE CHARGE: Dante Hihi captained the Gisborne-Tairawhiti under-13 boys’ rugby league team. Pictures by Andy Lee

Young Gisborne-Tairawhiti rugby league players have showcased their talent at a tournament in Rotorua.

The Gisborne-Tairawhiti under-13 boys’ team lost only one game at the two-day North Island Districts tournament this week and finished third.

Centre Jarrod Hill and wing Te Amai Ratapu were named in the tournament team.

Gisborne-Tairawhiti were competing in the tournament for the first time and put up strong performances, coach Chris Brown said.

They had a tough start, coming up against last year’s champions, Taranaki.

Gisborne-Tairawhiti were in it at halftime but Taranaki ended up winning 28-8.

In their second game, against Hauraki District, Gisborne-Tairawhiti won 24-22.

Brown said they had been up 24-0, with six unconverted tries, but then had to stave off a comeback.

On Day 2 they thrashed Bay of Plenty 44-4.

They beat the Northern Swords 34-16 in the playoff for third and fourth in the eight-team competition.

Waikato defeated Taranaki in the final.

Brown said Gisborne-Tairawhiti captain and loose forward Dante Hihi had a strong tournament.

Their top try-scorer was a prop, Luke Bidois.

Brown said reserve second-rower Sol O’Connor put his body on the line in defence.

“I thought quite a few of our boys were unlucky to miss out on the tournament team,” he said.

Wanita Tuwairua-Brown, from Gisborne-Tairawhiti, was named manager of the tournament team.

Many of the boys compete in other sports, such as rugby, basketball and waka ama.

Hill won the individual intermediate 500-metre race at the Waka Ama New Zealand championships in January.

Tuwairua-Brown said the boys didn’t have a local rugby league competition and other small regions struggled to stage junior rugby league.

“We have planned games with some Hawke’s Bay and Wellington teams to give our boys more exposure and experience.”

Many of the boys are likely to be in action again in September, as Brown plans to take a team to a national Maori rugby league tournament in Rotorua.

Young Gisborne-Tairawhiti rugby league players have showcased their talent at a tournament in Rotorua.

The Gisborne-Tairawhiti under-13 boys’ team lost only one game at the two-day North Island Districts tournament this week and finished third.

Centre Jarrod Hill and wing Te Amai Ratapu were named in the tournament team.

Gisborne-Tairawhiti were competing in the tournament for the first time and put up strong performances, coach Chris Brown said.

They had a tough start, coming up against last year’s champions, Taranaki.

Gisborne-Tairawhiti were in it at halftime but Taranaki ended up winning 28-8.

In their second game, against Hauraki District, Gisborne-Tairawhiti won 24-22.

Brown said they had been up 24-0, with six unconverted tries, but then had to stave off a comeback.

On Day 2 they thrashed Bay of Plenty 44-4.

They beat the Northern Swords 34-16 in the playoff for third and fourth in the eight-team competition.

Waikato defeated Taranaki in the final.

Brown said Gisborne-Tairawhiti captain and loose forward Dante Hihi had a strong tournament.

Their top try-scorer was a prop, Luke Bidois.

Brown said reserve second-rower Sol O’Connor put his body on the line in defence.

“I thought quite a few of our boys were unlucky to miss out on the tournament team,” he said.

Wanita Tuwairua-Brown, from Gisborne-Tairawhiti, was named manager of the tournament team.

Many of the boys compete in other sports, such as rugby, basketball and waka ama.

Hill won the individual intermediate 500-metre race at the Waka Ama New Zealand championships in January.

Tuwairua-Brown said the boys didn’t have a local rugby league competition and other small regions struggled to stage junior rugby league.

“We have planned games with some Hawke’s Bay and Wellington teams to give our boys more exposure and experience.”

Many of the boys are likely to be in action again in September, as Brown plans to take a team to a national Maori rugby league tournament in Rotorua.

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    Do you support the parking plan change the council is seeking, to reduce parking requirements for new business developments in the inner harbour?