The representative rugby season has come to an end for 2016. There have been several young Waiuku sports people who have shown outstanding results and commitment representing their province of Counties Manukau in rugby.
These young athletes all began playing the sport in the Waiuku Junior Rugby Programme, and are now following their aspirations through the school and club structures.
Jonty Short represented Counties Manukau in the Roller Mills competition and played every single game, both pre-season and at tournament. The team travelled to Palmerston North, where they finished fifth and took out the Spraggon Cup. Jonty’s hard work was recognised with a Most Improved Player nomination.
Emily Kitson played in the Counties Manukau Secondary Schools Under 18 girls competition. Playing home and away Saturday fixtures, Emily’s team placed second in the Chief’s Cup. Emily’s hard work was recognised with a Most Valuable Player nomination and an invitation to attend training sessions with the Women’s NPC team.
Joshua Shapleski was a member of the Counties Manukau Under 15 Cavaliers Country Team, competing in the Country vs City competition. Joshua plays lock and was an integral member of the team, scoring his first career try at Ecolight Stadium when they defeated City at home. At the completion of the competition the series was drawn 1-1.
Brent Tucker was a member of the successful Counties Manukau Under 16 team, which saw them come up against some very strong opposition in their competition. Brent plays lock and was excited to score the winning try in the dying minutes of their match against Bay of Plenty, which secured the win. The team finished second in their competition.
James Sixsmith, a former Roller Mills player himself, was a member of the Counties Manukau U18 Country side. This was an U18 development programme, introduced this year, divided into two regional squads—Country vs City. They competed in a three game competition, with Country winning the series 3-0.
Samuel Daniels and Harry Hardie were members of the successful Counties Manukau Under 19 side, who finished third in the Chief’s Cup. The team also made history going back-to-back at the Jock Hobbs Memorial Under 19 National Tournament held in Taupo, winning the Michael Jones trophy for a second year.
Spokesperson for the athletes, Janine Black, said “It’s no secret that if you work hard and never give up it will strengthen your work ethic. Like Babe Ruth said ‘it’s hard to beat a person who never gives up’. These athletes have proven they’re not afraid of the hard graft. Congratulations everyone, you should be really proud of your achievements.”