Happy days . . . Five Forks School pupil Lilly Francis (9) is all smiles as she takes off alluding Maheno players. PHOTO: KAYLA HODGE

Seeing red is not always a bad thing – especially if you are a group of Pembroke School pupils.

Pembroke’s red Rippa rugby team went through the North Otago primary schools Rippa rugby tournament unbeaten to win the year 5 and 6 grade last Friday.

Ardgowan School won the year 3 and 4 division, and Oamaru Intermediate School Celtics won the year 7 and 8 division.

More than 300 pupils took part in the tournament at Centennial Park, and North Otago Rugby development officer Jason Forrest was rapt with the response.

“It was awesome. There were some great finals, good skills, lots of new players . . . out there and it was all in really good spirits – it was a great day,” Forrest said.

The association usually holds a Rippa rugby competition in March, which attracts nearly 600 players and where teams can win the chance to head to a national tournament.

However, those events were both cancelled due to Covid-19.

Having a change in the format, Forrest was unsure what to expect but was “stoked” to see a massive turnout of players for the tournament.

“We’re just really happy with it.”

North Otago had a large number of children participating in Rippa rugby, through a schools programme Forrest ran.

About 24 schools were involved in the programme and he said it was very well supported.

“We’ve got big numbers – we pick up a lot of numbers in Rippa rugby. There’s even quite a few 3-year-olds playing.”affiliate link traceMens Nike Sneakers