The State Championships were held over the weekend with some fantastic talent on display
The 2022 U16s State Championships proved to be another tight contest between the 3 zone teams of North Perth, Central Perth and South Perth. Players were chosen for these teams from their performances for their respective school and club teams.
The tournament started with the reigning champions North Perth holding off a late charge from South Perth in game 1 of the series. They were again under siege in game 2 against Central Perth in a tight battle that ended in North Perth scraping over the line with a 5-0 win. This left South Perth and Central Perth in a tussle with the winner meeting North Perth in the final on Sunday. South Perth got out of the blocks early and took the game to Central, however, as the rainy evening progressed, Central Perth ground their way to the front and took the win.
Central Perth took their momentum into the final against the hot favourites and started off with all guns blazing. North Perth slowly worked themselves into the game and closed the gap by mid-way through the second half. This drove the pace of the game to frenetic levels in the last 15 minutes, with both sides trading blows on the scoreboard. North Perth finally snatched the lead with a late try leaving only 2 minutes left to play. Central gave it their best shot in the dying stages only to come up short.
North Perth enjoyed the victory as the U16 State Champions for the 6th year in a row winning 36-30.
Congratulations goes to Central backrower Hugh Chapman for winning the Player of the Tournament award.
The WA U16 State Team selectors will now work on finalising their initial squad over the next few weeks. The team will then commence preparations for the upcoming national Junior Rugby Championships to be held all throughout the month of October in a home and away series. Selectors for the U15 zone teams will soon open the selection window for the upcoming U15 State Championships to be held in October this year.
This July school holidays saw for the first time the under 14 and under 17 junior girls added to the RugbyWA Regional State Championship program. The North and South Junior Girls teams played the first 2 matches of a best of 3 series, alongside the Under 16 boys State Championship.
The matches serve as a selection opportunity for the RugbyWA Girls Academy and is an important introduction to the 15-a-side game. The teams were comprised of players from the Junior Girls club competition and girls playing mixed juniors rugby. Match 1 of the Under 14 Girls was played in front of a big crowd at Kingsway Sporting Complex on a cold a dewy evening. Both teams were close and competitive in the first half with the North team pulling away in the second half with some slick back line moves lead by their fly-half Terina Te Tana. But on a wet surface it was the muscle up front that had the impact with an impressive performance from exciting young prop Kuini Nama scoring two tries and being named Player of the Game. North eventually running out winners 46 – 5.
The Under 17s Girls match was a physical and close affair with neither team shying away from the contact. The South team was on the front foot earlier and it took a strong defensive performance from the North team to hold them out. Strong carries from Topaz-Jean Porter and Amiria Edwards wrestled momentum back to the North team who went in 5-0 up at halftime. The match remained close in the second half with only a late try after a great back line move from Ngamihi Monk icing the North victory 15-5. Strong carries and tackles from lock Sofaia Talemaira earned her the player of the game award.
Game 2 of the series was played at Perth Irish Rugby Club in Belmont with all teams navigating the wet conditions well and playing and open and expansive style of rugby. In the Under 14s it was again the North side Wanneroo backs combination that proved the difference between the two teams, often stretching the game from touch line to touch line, running out victors 36-7. Rimu Pomare in the North centers had a dominant performance with multiple lines breaks and setting up many of the North teams tries earning the Player of the Game.
The Under 17s finished out a great day of rugby entertaining the crowd at centenary park. Sniping runs from the speedy Journey Kereopa bagged two tries for the North team in an impressive display from the Wests utility back. Equally strong ball running from Amiria Edwards again in game 2 from the number 8 bagging two tries, showing the selectors why she should be in the RugbyWA Academy setup. Despite losing to the North team 39-5, it was the South’s Prop Shantel Wahune who impressed selectors with her speed and footwork, showing Front Rowers can run the ball too.
There were certainly lots of impressive performances from some exciting young talented female players. Game 3 of the series will be held on October the 16th with the presentation of the series winners and subsequent selection of State Academy.