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Wanganui colts retain their title

Champions again: The Wanganui Under 20's following winning the Hurricanes Regional title in Palmerston North on Saturday.
Champions again: The Wanganui Under 20’s following winning the Hurricanes Regional title in Palmerston North on Saturday.

The NZCT Wanganui Under 20 team continues to dominant regional youth rugby as they again retained the Hurricanes Regional Under 20 title with a 27-21 win over Wairarapa-Bush on Saturday.

Both teams had accounted for Poverty Bay and Horowhenua-Kapiti in their other matches to set up the decider on the IRANZ Academy grounds at Massey University in Palmerston North.

The tryscorers were forward Corbin Warren, midfielder Ethan Robinson, winger Jesse Kemp and halfback Kahl Elers-Green, while first-five Hererangi Meihana added two conversions and a penalty.

Coach Denis Edwards said the Ruapehu halfback Elers-Green was easily the player of the day – directing the traffic and setting up a couple of tries including his own.

In addition, when the MVP points for all the teams were added up, Meihana was named the joint Player of the Tournament.

“That’s four years we’ve been undefeated, and quite convincingly, I think,” said Edwards.

“The boys throughout the years have been showing how great they are at this level.”

It was a shame that while the Under 20’s won their four games this season, including one pre-tournament match, all of them were held away from home.

While the Hurricanes tournament must be played at IRANZ as it is centrally located for all unions to attend, Edwards would like to see a match arranged regularly following tournaments so the Under 20’s could have a chance to show what they can do in a Cooks Gardens curtain raiser game.

“That’s the type of thing they need to have, and to be seen against their own age group.”

Eight of his team currently play Premier club rugby, but it is when playing against others at Under 20 level that they truly shine, Edwards said.

By Jared Smith – Wanganui Chronicle

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