Hunterville School earned the privilege to again represent the Wanganui region at the New Zealand Rippa Championship in Wellington in September.
The country school side emerged the winners after edging out 16 rivals from throughout the district at the Wanganui Rippa Rugby Championship at Springvale Park on Tuesday. Hunterville also won last year’s championship, but stumbled against tough opposition to finish fourth in their strong pool of five at the nationals.
On Tuesday 230 kids from 17 different schools vied for honours at Springvale Park with Hunterville and St Johns Hill School reaching what was effectively the final. Hunterville won narrowly beating St Johns 6-5.
Wanganui Rugby Union development officer Lesley McKenzie said it was a day of great running, fancy footwork, determined defence and super sportsmanship.
“We had (mascot) Barrie the Butcher, Bryn Hudson, Sam Madams and Ace Malo from our Heartland team giving out player packs to each team entered. Every kid got a Wanganui Rugby wristband, a flyer with the Heartland schedule, a lollipop and a ticket for one adult entry to the first Heartland game which will allow mum, dad, uncle or auntie to take them,” McKenzie said.
“We had the very shiny women’s and men’s Sevens World Cups, and a barbecue from Mitre 10 that was very well-frequented.”
McKenzie said a huge thank you went to Mitre 10 (the Rolls Royce of barbecue trailers), Pak’N Save (gazebos and all foodstuffs for the barbecue including enough sausages to feed a rippa army), Jolt Coffee/Ray White Wanganui (free coffee in the teacher pack) and McDonald’s Wanganui (spot prizes for participating teams in the event).
By Iain Hyndman – Wanganui Chronicle