Boys’ High bounce back from disappointment

File picture

This scoreline is a litmus test for character.

The Gisborne Boys’ High School under-15s bounced back from a heavy loss in the semifinals to draw their last game at the Hurricanes tournament in sensational style.

They drew 17-all with St Peter’s College of Auckland.

Gisborne Boys’ High were placed third-equal in the playoff, having been placed third twice before in the competition’s eight-year history.

They finished the tournament with three wins and a draw from five games.

The disappointment of losing to hosts St Patrick’s College Silverstream by 34 points (51-17) was shelved in an instant.

“To say I was proud to be our coach is an understatement,” Wiremu Kaa said.

“We didn’t need extra time; we’d gone toe to toe with the Auckland champs and pushed them to the brink — it was an absolute belter of a game.

“We’d been down and out at 17-7 down but these boys emptied the tank.

“Boys were sore but stayed on the field — we had no reserves left. We went 10 phases at the end — got the ball to left wing Caleb Billington, and he used his pace to beat the last defender and run 70 metres to score.”

The resilience and skill of the Lochi Mead-led Gisborne side also made a lasting impression on St Peter’s coach Jonathan Mahoney.

“That try by Caleb with four minutes to play was, to my mind, the try of the tournament,” Mahoney said.

“They played expansively with the flair you associate with teams from that part of New Zealand. They also showed a lot of backbone and deserve a lot of credit for how they came back from a tough semi.”

St Peter’s lost their semifinal to tournament champions Kelston Boys’ High by six points (29-23) but showed determination from the outset in Game 5.

No.8 Lamont Palmer and second five-eighth Logan Hunt both scored before Gisborne Boys’ High blindside flanker Saylahr Paaka scored Gisborne’s first try. First-five Anaru Paenga-Morgan converted to close it to 10-7.

St Peter’s captain and blindside flanker Konrad Toleafoa scored and fullback Tyron Chong converted to give St Peter’s a halftime lead of 17-7.

Gisborne’s second-half tryscorers were right wing Mikaere Marino and Billington.

Player of the day for Gisborne Boys’ High was Paenga-Morgan.

Hard-running centre Jerry Asi was St Peter’s player of the day.

Gisborne’s player of the tournament was openside flanker Jackson McDonald.

This scoreline is a litmus test for character.

The Gisborne Boys’ High School under-15s bounced back from a heavy loss in the semifinals to draw their last game at the Hurricanes tournament in sensational style.

They drew 17-all with St Peter’s College of Auckland.

Gisborne Boys’ High were placed third-equal in the playoff, having been placed third twice before in the competition’s eight-year history.

They finished the tournament with three wins and a draw from five games.

The disappointment of losing to hosts St Patrick’s College Silverstream by 34 points (51-17) was shelved in an instant.

“To say I was proud to be our coach is an understatement,” Wiremu Kaa said.

“We didn’t need extra time; we’d gone toe to toe with the Auckland champs and pushed them to the brink — it was an absolute belter of a game.

“We’d been down and out at 17-7 down but these boys emptied the tank.

“Boys were sore but stayed on the field — we had no reserves left. We went 10 phases at the end — got the ball to left wing Caleb Billington, and he used his pace to beat the last defender and run 70 metres to score.”

The resilience and skill of the Lochi Mead-led Gisborne side also made a lasting impression on St Peter’s coach Jonathan Mahoney.

“That try by Caleb with four minutes to play was, to my mind, the try of the tournament,” Mahoney said.

“They played expansively with the flair you associate with teams from that part of New Zealand. They also showed a lot of backbone and deserve a lot of credit for how they came back from a tough semi.”

St Peter’s lost their semifinal to tournament champions Kelston Boys’ High by six points (29-23) but showed determination from the outset in Game 5.

No.8 Lamont Palmer and second five-eighth Logan Hunt both scored before Gisborne Boys’ High blindside flanker Saylahr Paaka scored Gisborne’s first try. First-five Anaru Paenga-Morgan converted to close it to 10-7.

St Peter’s captain and blindside flanker Konrad Toleafoa scored and fullback Tyron Chong converted to give St Peter’s a halftime lead of 17-7.

Gisborne’s second-half tryscorers were right wing Mikaere Marino and Billington.

Player of the day for Gisborne Boys’ High was Paenga-Morgan.

Hard-running centre Jerry Asi was St Peter’s player of the day.

Gisborne’s player of the tournament was openside flanker Jackson McDonald.

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