North Otago was well represented at the touch national tournament in Auckland, with four players in three Otago sides at last week’s event.
Brylee More and Jasmine Hunter played in the under-16 girls team, Logan Wilson in the under-16 boys side and Ben McCarthy in the under-18 boys team.
Brylee and Jasmine made solid contributions which helped their side qualify for the final against Counties-Manukau, but Otago was unable to continue its good early-tournament form and eventually fell to a 8-0 loss.
Ben’s side was beaten to a fifth-place finish by Horowhenua-Kapiti, while Logan’s team came seventh. Logan scored two tries and played seven full games for Otago out of the eight games the team played.
The Otago girls under-18 team also made the final in its grade, losing 5-3 to Waikato in the decider.
Brylee (14), who played in the link position at the tournament, said she was happy with her form and felt the tournament had helped further develop the skills that resulted in her being selected for the New Zealand under-15 mixed squad last year.
“It’s a good experience to go along and play with some really talented girls from around the country, and it’s good to see how all of the different provinces play. It’s very different here to the North Island.
“With touch down here, we are a lot faster, but they’re a lot stronger and probably mentally tougher.”
Ben (16), who also played link, said he enjoyed the experience.
“It was pretty fun and you get to meet a lot of new people.
“I’ve got more confidence now and I’m starting to know all of the moves and that kind of thing.”
Both Brylee and Ben play in the local senior competition each Tuesday.
Their next tournament will be the Aoraki secondary schools championship, scheduled for February 26.