Girls on way up

Goal to go one step better.

Goal to go one step better.

LYTTON ON THE MOVE: Lytton High School under-15 girls’ sevens team have gone from 10th to beaten finalists in four years at the National Secondary Schools Condors Sevens. The girls are, back (from left): Tiana Tumanako, Rhythm Monika, Anahera Whaanga-Smith (captain), Tiyla Hotu and Phoenix Tumanako. Front: Amoe Wharehinga, Shaniqua Kepa-Casey, Jordyn Tihore, Taley-Jade Kemp and Kelsey Teneti. Pictures supplied
Coach Trish Hina (centre) with Kelsey Teneti and Amoe Wharehinga.

In the past four years, the Lytton High School under-15 girls’ sevens team have gone from 10th spot to beaten finalists in the National Secondary Schools Condor Sevens in Auckland.

And to cap a successful tournament, Kelsey Teneti and Amoe Wharehinga were named in the tournament team.

“We made our debut in 2015 making the top 10, came sixth in 2016 and fourth last year before making the final this year,” coach Trish Hina said.

“Making the final was great. Now the goal is to go one step better.

“However, next year will be a developing phase again as the majority of the girls will have to play in the u19 open division.”

“The final was a nailbiter between us and Howick. It was try for try until the end when Howick College scored to win 19-17.

“We’re really proud of all the girls. They’ve worked hard for the past 11 months — finishing second at the North Island secondary schools’ under-15 sevens, winning the Ngati Porou East Coast secondary schools’ u18 15s competition and winning the Hurricanes u15s tournament.”

Hina said that during the 11 months of preparation for the Condor tournament, the focus was on “getting the girls physically and mentally prepared, with the aim of making the final”.

“During this time the girls would train up to three times a day, tapering off as we got closer to tournament dates.”

Lytton opened their tournament with a 32-0 win against Long Bay College, of Auckland. Onehunga were next to fall in pool play, 43-0, followed by Otahuhu, 22-7.

“We knew we had to raise the bar on Day 2 going into the cup quarterfinals, so we changed to a more structured approach, which paid off with a 21-0 win against Westlake,” Hina said.

That put Lytton into a semifinal against Hastings, and Lytton romped home 44-5.

Wharehinga was the team’s top try-scorer, with eight, followed by Teneti (7) and Jordyn Tihore (7).

“As thrilling as it is to know who scored the tries and conversions, it was an all-round team effort,” Hina said.

“Shaniqua Kepa-Casey, Taley-Jade Kemp, Phoenix Tumanako, Kelsey and captain Anahera Whaanga-Smith were exceptional on defence and attack.

“Amoe Wharehinga and Jordyn Tihore used their power and speed on the wings to finish off good team plays.

“Our impact players — Tiyla Hotu, Rhythm Monika and Tiana Tumanako — all made valuable contributions.”

Whaanga-Smith, one of those moving up to the u19 division, said it would be a challenge but she was looking forward to it.

“It would have been good to win this year but we’re all proud of making the final.

“We’ve got a break now but we’ll all be doing individual training over the summer.

“ The goal for some of the girls is to be picked for the New Zealand Sevens and for others, including me, it’s to play for the Black Ferns 15s.”

In the past four years, the Lytton High School under-15 girls’ sevens team have gone from 10th spot to beaten finalists in the National Secondary Schools Condor Sevens in Auckland.

And to cap a successful tournament, Kelsey Teneti and Amoe Wharehinga were named in the tournament team.

“We made our debut in 2015 making the top 10, came sixth in 2016 and fourth last year before making the final this year,” coach Trish Hina said.

“Making the final was great. Now the goal is to go one step better.

“However, next year will be a developing phase again as the majority of the girls will have to play in the u19 open division.”

“The final was a nailbiter between us and Howick. It was try for try until the end when Howick College scored to win 19-17.

“We’re really proud of all the girls. They’ve worked hard for the past 11 months — finishing second at the North Island secondary schools’ under-15 sevens, winning the Ngati Porou East Coast secondary schools’ u18 15s competition and winning the Hurricanes u15s tournament.”

Hina said that during the 11 months of preparation for the Condor tournament, the focus was on “getting the girls physically and mentally prepared, with the aim of making the final”.

“During this time the girls would train up to three times a day, tapering off as we got closer to tournament dates.”

Lytton opened their tournament with a 32-0 win against Long Bay College, of Auckland. Onehunga were next to fall in pool play, 43-0, followed by Otahuhu, 22-7.

“We knew we had to raise the bar on Day 2 going into the cup quarterfinals, so we changed to a more structured approach, which paid off with a 21-0 win against Westlake,” Hina said.

That put Lytton into a semifinal against Hastings, and Lytton romped home 44-5.

Wharehinga was the team’s top try-scorer, with eight, followed by Teneti (7) and Jordyn Tihore (7).

“As thrilling as it is to know who scored the tries and conversions, it was an all-round team effort,” Hina said.

“Shaniqua Kepa-Casey, Taley-Jade Kemp, Phoenix Tumanako, Kelsey and captain Anahera Whaanga-Smith were exceptional on defence and attack.

“Amoe Wharehinga and Jordyn Tihore used their power and speed on the wings to finish off good team plays.

“Our impact players — Tiyla Hotu, Rhythm Monika and Tiana Tumanako — all made valuable contributions.”

Whaanga-Smith, one of those moving up to the u19 division, said it would be a challenge but she was looking forward to it.

“It would have been good to win this year but we’re all proud of making the final.

“We’ve got a break now but we’ll all be doing individual training over the summer.

“ The goal for some of the girls is to be picked for the New Zealand Sevens and for others, including me, it’s to play for the Black Ferns 15s.”

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