Waikohu take Lee Brothers Shield for first time

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

Waikohu are the Lee Brothers Shield champions for the first time in the history of the club, after beating stalwart champions the Young Māori Party in the grand final held in Poverty Bay, with a 40 - 26 final score. 

The YMPs showing why they've won the Lee Brothers Shield eight times but their domination has come to an end.

"As you can see today it's not just about the team it's about us as a people and inspiring and encouraging our whānau and our tamariki to come through from a little place humble beginnings and it's just awesome to reward them that way, with a championship," says captain Geoff Pari.

After getting hiding in the final last year Waikohu came back stronger.

"We trained different this year we had a different approach to it this year and we just changed the whole culture and this last game it showed everything all into one and to get that first shield it was awesome," says Jason Tuapawa, coach.

Waikohu leading into the second half 13-6, kept the pressure on, dotting several more tries across the line.

"We just stuck to the plan and done what done all year and believed in each other that we could do the job today and that was encouraging for us," says Pari.

A final that brought in the crowds close to 4000 people.