Topics: Kura Tuarua, Touch Rugby

Late withdrawal sees Mauao wharekura enter secondary touch nationals

By Eru Paranihi
  • Auckland
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

For the first time, Te Wharekura o Mauao will compete at the National Secondary Schools Touch Tournament.

A late withdrawal from the tournament gave this school just three weeks to prepare themselves to compete against some of the country's top athletes. 

With a short time frame, coach Nathan Solomon knows he has to bring something different to the field to get his team up to par.

“The reason we were chosen is because over the last three or four years, I’ve been heavily involved with touch,” says Solomon.  

Despite being new to the tournament, he believes his team is up to the task.

Te Marama Hika-Munroe (Ngāi Te Rangi) says, “We're excited to play in this tournament. It's good for us to bond.”

55 teams will compete at the Auckland-based event, with defending champions Hamilton Boys and Girls High returning as one of the favourites.

But that hasn't deterred these newcomers.

Iritana Te Moana (Ngāi Tūhoe) says, “It's good to see all these teams because we have not yet played them.”

The humble team will have no expectations, but there are long-term benefits of taking up the invite to the tournament.

“To achieve what we set out to. We see that this is where we are at, but in time we will be up there,” says Solomon.

The competition goes for three days and wraps up this Sunday.