Western Bay water polo players star for NZ

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TOP CLASS: Aquinas College old boy Cayne Dew starred for NZ Under-18 team.
TOP CLASS: Aquinas College old boy Cayne Dew starred for NZ Under-18 team.

The New Zealand youth men ended their world championships campaign on a high after defeating their South African equivalent convincingly on Friday night.

The Kiwis outscored the South Africans in each quarter for a final score of 15-8.

Aquinas College old boy Cayne Dew was influential in front of goal, scoring an impressive six goals for the New Zealand under 18s.

"It was an awesome way to finish," said Dew, "the boys finally clicked, even though it was a few games too late it was great to be a part of"

"The whole tournament was an experience to remember for the boys, especially because we're such a young side," he said.

Mount Maunganui College head boy Justin Pickering also played a key role in New Zealand's performance - he scored four goals across six games at the world championships.

Fellow Mount College student, goalkeeper Bae Fountain, was the youngest member of the team and had some stellar performances in goal.

New Zealand managed to pull off two wins and a close loss out of their six games, despite numerous members of the team being struck by illness overseas.

"It wasn't a smooth ride by any stretch of the imagination but we gave our all at all times and put in some performances to be proud of," said Dew.

The Kiwis faced tough opponents in Croatia, Serbia, and USA in their first three matches, which Dew said was valuable experience for the team. Croatia took the title 16-13 over hosts Montenegro, whilst Serbia placed 5th and the USA 10th.

"It has been a trip that all of the boys have gotten something out of, I've loved every minute of playing over here."

The water polo won't stop for Dew, who would return to Tauranga to referee at the NZCT AIMS Games at Baywave and the BOP Polytech this week.

The under 18 side arrive back in New Zealand today .

New Zealand's results:

Game One: 11 (Morris 3, Dew 2, Pickering, Rankin-Chitar, Sneddon, Stankovich, Paterson, Stewart) vs. Croatia 23
Game Two: 8 (Dew 2, Pickering 2, Stankovich 2, Stewart 2) vs. Serbia 17
Game Three: 9 (Stankovich 3, Armstrong 2, Rankin-Chitar 2, Dew, Morris) vs. USA 18
Game Four: 13 (Dew 4, Stankovich 4, Armstrong 2, Pickering, Rankin-Chitar, Paterson) vs. China 12
Game Five: 8 (Rankin-Chitar 2, Paterson 2, Dew, Armstrong, Blundell, Stankovich) vs. Kazakhstan 10
Game Six: 15 (Dew 6, Stankovich 5, Sneddon 3, Armstrong) vs. South Africa 8
Top scorers: Dew, Stankovich 16, Armstrong, Rankin-Chitar 6, Paterson, Sneddon, Morris, Pickering 4

- Bay of Plenty Times

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