Bay of Plenty were beaten 17-7 by Auckland East in the final of the iconic Roller Mills tournament played at New Plymouth's Yarrow Stadium on Saturday.
Auckland East opened the scoring with an early try to lead 7-0 before Bay of Plenty scored through Josese Vukataki, converted by Miles Tapsell. But Auckland East scored again three minutes later to lead 12-7 at halftime.
The Aucklanders went further ahead with another try to lead 17-7 after 32 minutes and they held on to win the title. Northland finished third with Counties Manukau fourth.
Bay of Plenty team manager Darren Harvey says Auckland East had three opportunities to score and took them while Bay of Plenty had multiple chances which they were unable to score from.
"It was a good contest. We were both equal and very physical teams," he said.
"Not scoring in the second half was frustrating as we had most of the possession and territory. We just made a few mistakes and the boys lost a bit of composure there for a bit and that was the story really.
"We played all the rugby but unfortunately we just couldn't convert it into points."
Bay of Plenty were awarded the Sportsmanship Trophy after the final and had four players named in the tournament team in lock Stanley Tupou-Fosita, flanker Walter Ngarere, second-five Dawson Smith and openside flanker Sloan Lankshear.
Bay of Plenty went through pool play undefeated with wins over Thames Valley 70-3, Counties Manukau 24-5, Waikato 36-12, Northland 16-15 and Auckland West 31-7.
"We had a good pre-season and we had a really tough pool in the fact we had Counties, Waikato and Northland, all very strong teams," Harvey said.
"We were unbeaten against them and had a really successful campaign but unfortunately we stumbled at the last hurdle which is disappointing."
The Roller Mills tournament has been running annually since 1925 for players under 13 years of age and 57 kilograms. Teams from Northland, North Harbour, Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Waikato, King Country, Counties Manukau and Taranaki competed at this year's event.