Paeroa College makes history at SAS Touch Nationals

By Moana Makapelu Lee
  • Northland

Paeroa College have made history at the SAS New Zealand Secondary School Touch Championships taking out their first title in the mixed grand-finals against Howick College.

It was a thrilling end to the three-day tournament as the competition underdogs Howick College and Paeroa College came together in a nail-biting clash in front of over 300 students, teachers, coaches and parents.

Neither schools had won a title in the tournament’s 24-year history. This week saw tables’ turns as both beat out 18 other schools for a semi-final spot. For both schools the pressure was on as a winning result would be history in the making.

Paeroa were quick to make the first move finding a space in the first minute to cross the line.
Howick managed to equalise but struggled throughout the quarter to break through Paeroa’s defence. Three consecutive tries to Paeroa saw them quickly gain the upper hand. Howick just holding in to tail 3-5 at halftime.

Howick stormed back in the second half scoring 3 consecutive tries to take the lead. But it soon became eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth right up till the final minute.
Eventually Paeroa found a space with 20 seconds to go to take the win, 9-8 final score.

Paeroa College Captain Cameron Keeys says “We’re school of about 200 students so to come here and win a national tournament is something special for our school and our community.”

To the girls finals, Hamilton Girls were back to defend their title against 2015 winners St Kentigerns Girls.

Tied up one-all at half time, both teams had found their match in defence.
St Kentigerns found the first try again in the second half but Hamilton quickly responded with two to the lead only for a moment. St Kentigern sealing the dealing at the last minute with two tries, 4- 3 final score.