Bay side stay unbeaten
Two tries to Matt Axtens helped the Bay of Plenty under-18 rugby team keep their unbeaten season record going, after coming away from Whangarei with a 36-13 win over Northland at the weekend.
Axtens, who has just made the New Zealand under-17 training squad, was the pick of a robust forward effort, while the team managed to cross the chalk six times in all.
The Bay side have two tough matches coming up, however, with a midweek clash with Waikato at Blake Park tomorrow, followed by an away match with Auckland at the weekend.
The results weren't quite as positive through the other grades, with the Bay development team crashing 30-17 to Counties Manukau on Sunday.
Trent Vatselias scored in the first half, while Wayne Hughson and Sikeli Vorenasu grabbed second half tries.
The Bay of Plenty under-20 team came from behind in the match with their Counties counterparts, before the visitors prevailed 27-25.
In a mirror image of the Steamers-Counties match, the visitors grabbed a last-minute try and knocked over the conversion to win.
Impressive wing Mason Walker scored a 60m individual stunner as the Bay of Plenty under-16 team opened up an early lead against Auckland, before the visitors hit back to lead 14-7 at the break.
The Dave Dillon-coached Auckland side scored twice more in the second half, including one to second-five Jarrod Poi-McAlister, the cousin of All Black Luke.
Development: Counties Manukau 30 BOP 17 (Trent Vatselias, Wayne Hughson, Sekelei Vorenasu tries; Kelly Haimona con)
Under-20: Counties Manukau 27 BOP 25 (Andrew Tuise, Henry Kershaw, Courtney Mohi tries; Nick Evemy 2pen 2con)
Under 18: BOP 36 (Matt Axtens 2, Nathan Harris, Teimana Harrison, Mike Shaw.
Jeff Thwaites tries; James Wilbore 2 con, Te Aiha Toma con) Northland 13
Under-16: Auckland 26 (Jarrod Poi-McAlister, Nui Nui, Tim Cleaver, Sam Thomas tries; Simon Hickey 3cons) BOP 7 (Mason Walker try; Josh Simpkins con). HT: 14-7.
Stallions trampled over
All three Waicoabays Stallions teams will have something to prove at Mt Maunganui's Blake Park this weekend after copping a thumping from their Counties-Manukau counterparts in the national rugby league championship in Papakura last weekend.
Waicoa (Waikato, Coastline and Bay of Plenty) under-15s struggled to handle the blustery conditions and lack of ball control resulted in a one-sided 44-0 romp to the home team.
Stallions under-17 were also put to the sword, with their fumbling display gifting Counties a 42-14 win, with plenty of dropped ball and directionless kicking.
Waicoa's premiers started well and went into halftime 10-4 down before the wheels fell off, with uncharacteristic errors letting Counties cut loose.
Huge 18-year-old left winger and Manu Vatuvei lookalike Taqele Naitaravoro touched down for a hat-trick of tries in an exhibition of power and pace, with Counties on the end of a 42-12 mauling.
Otumoetai Eels Brendon Anderson, Matt Mason, Sam Graham and Mike Johnston tackled themselves to a standstill, with Johnston at one stage bursting 95m downfield to set up Eroni Seibouma's try.
Waicoabay's three teams are playing at Mt Maunganui this weekend against the hapless Northland Swords, with the premier clash at 2pm, the under-15s at noon and the under-17s at 12.30pm.
National rugby league championship scores:
Premiers: Counties Manukau 42 Waicoabays 12, Wellington Orcas 18 Heartland 10, Canterbury 64 Northland Swords 16.
Under-17: Counties Manukau 42 Waicoabays 14, Heartland 18 Wellington Orcas 14, Canterbury 68 Northland 14.
Under-15: Counties Manukau 44 Waicoabays 0, Wellington 28 Heartland 20, Canterbury 24 Northland Swords 4.
Rovers secure title
Claudelands Rovers went to Centennial Park at the weekend knowing three points against Ngaruawahia would assure them of the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Federation 1 league football title, regardless of the outcome of Rotorua United's remaining games against Taupo and Otorohanga.
Rotorua were gifted three points when Taupo defaulted the Saturday game, but when news came through that Rovers had won 2-1, United had to settle for second place.
A strong wind and boggy pitch made it difficult for the players. Daryl Gibbs and Craig Caunter scored for Rovers, whose coach Jim Keaney was thrilled with the win.
"Rotorua pushed us all the way and were the best side we played - the points table shows how far ahead of the others the two of us were."
United had the chance to narrow Rovers' winning margin to a single point if they beat Otorohanga on Sunday, but for the second time in two weeks the game was postponed.
Otumoetai beat Whakatane Town 2-1 at Rex Morpeth Park to stave off any threat of relegation. "It has been a character-building year, but perhaps we can finish with a win against Tauranga Boys' when the Challenge Shield is at stake," coach Ross Johnson said.
Matthew Fisher and Daniel Miller got on the scoresheet for Otumoetai.
In other games, Otorohanga beat Te Puke 6-3 and Tauranga Boys' College beat Te Awamutu 3-2 to hold onto the Challenge Shield for another week.
City's game called off
Tauranga City United's season ended with a whimper on Saturday when a planned catch-up game against Auckland's Western Springs was called off.
Western Springs defaulted, leaving Tauranga in outright second after taking maximum points without kicking a ball.
Mangere United had already wrapped up the Northern League second division title ahead of Tauranga, but have been consigned to another season in the League's third tier after losing their playoff game to relegation-threatened Mt Albert Ponsonby.
Mt Albert came from 2-1 down in the dying minutes to win 3-2 in extra-time.
Janes best NZ lifeguard
Tauranga's Mike Janes was the best of a disappointing crop of Kiwi surf lifesaving talent trying to qualify for the lucrative Australian ironman series on the Gold Coast.
With five-time national champion Daniel Moodie a shock absentee from Sunday's final, it was left to Janes and Chris Moors to try to pick up one of eight available spots in the $380,000 series.
Janes was the best-placed Kiwi in 15th, but ultimately missed out for the second year in succession.
"I raced and felt really good yesterday but I had a run of bad luck in today's final," said Janes. "In the ski leg, I got caught up in a bit of chaos when guys were falling off their skis in the shore break, and then I rolled my ankle in the start to the final swim leg."
Moors finished three spots back, while Moodie had 10th and 11th-placed finishes in his heats yesterday to miss the 20-strong final field.
The 22-year-old was left ruing the longer runs introduced this year in the qualifying series. He is now focusing on his preparations for the world championships in Egypt in a fortnight, where he will race the ironman event for the 12-strong New Zealand team.
International ironman races are over shorter sprint distances.
Ironwoman Madison Boon started her weekend strongly with a sixth place in her first heat but could only manage 15th in her second heat to miss the final. Amiee Berridge and Daniel Nelson also failed to make it past the heats.
Nomination cut-off nears
Bay of Plenty sports clubs have just over two weeks left to get their nominations in for the 2010 Bay of Plenty sports awards.
Nominations close on October 5, with this year's awards ceremony being held at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre on November 19.
The annual sports awards celebrate the people, clubs and teams that give the Bay its sporting identity.
Nomination forms for the open and secondary schools categories can be downloaded from www.sportbop.co.nz, or Sport Bay of Plenty offices in Rotorua, Whakatane or Tauranga.
Forms are also available in schools, clubs and other sporting organisations throughout the Bay of Plenty.
First title to kickboxer
Tauranga fighter Dion Blaire from Kiwi Kaha Kickboxing Club has taken out the men's middleweight title at the weekend's Bay of Plenty International Kickboxing Federation tournament in Whakatane.
Blaire took the title by beating Whakatane's Nick Schwazer. It was Blaire's first title in his five years in the kickboxing scene. He only found out four days before his fight he was fighting for a title.
"I was a little nervous, but I'm pretty fit and just went out there and gave it everything."
The 24-year-old said his body was pretty bruised after his bout but wanted to get a couple of more fights under his belt before he put the title up for grabs again.
Iles still in PGA tour hunt
Papamoa golfer Brad Iles finished 32nd on the Nationwide Tour's Boise Open in Idaho to maintain his challenge for a PGA Tour card next year.
Four birdies helped Iles card a final round two-under 69 to finish at 10-under and improve one place from his overnight position.
More importantly, his season prizemoney improved to US$129,726 ($179,393) keeping him in the hunt for a top-25 finish on the Nationwide Tour money list, which would automatically grant him entry to the 2011 PGA Tour.
Iles, who finished second in the Utah Championship a week ago, improved from 33rd to 32nd on the money list, with six tournaments remaining in the season.
He sits less than US$11,000 outside the top 25.
Newdick finishes 11th
Tauranga decathlete Brent Newdick placed 11th at a meet in France as he prepares for next month's Commonwealth Games in India.
Newdick posted a score of 7828 points at the world combined events challenge event in Talence, exactly 500 points behind Cuban winner Leonal Suarez.
Newdick was fourth at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games and is considered an outside prospect for a medal in Delhi.
Coach wins accolade
Papamoa Surf Life Saving Club head coach Kurt Wilson looks to this season's registration day next month boosted by national kudos after being named coach of the year at the weekend.
Kurt picked up the DHL Surf Life Saving Coach of the Year award in Auckland as New Zealand Surf Life Saving head into the 2010/2011season celebrating 100 years of lifeguarding in this country.
The centenary was launched at a gala dinner in Auckland on Saturday night. The lifeguard awards were held the following day and attended by several hundred people. Kurt is thrilled to receive the award and says the awards are a pretty big affair.
"It's the end result of four years of getting behind Papamoa - I started coaching 10, 11 and 12-year olds through to 15, 16 and 17," he says. Considerable success in competition bore fruit last season and put the club on a new level within New Zealand Surf Life Saving.
The club's haul last season included the Northern Regional title, the Bay of Plenty title and runners-up placement at the national champs. Juniors also kept Papamoa's flag flying - runners up in the BOP junior champs and under 14s, together with second in the Ocean Athletes championships. Papamoa went on to be named junior club of the decade for consistent performance.
Kurt coached the Bay of Plenty under 16 team, which went on to win ultimate glory last season. Sitting on the NZ Coaching Advisory group, he is also helping to rewrite the framework of lifeguard training.
Papamoa also won the Gudsell trophy for qualifying the most surf lifeguards in one year. Papamoa's lifeguard development team - led by Ailsa Cowdrey and Jim Casey - qualified 44 lifeguards during 2009 and 2010.
Papamoa now looks to this summer hopeful of attracting more members and boosting its lifeguard numbers. Kurt says having a new sponsor with Pak 'n Save Papamoa on board, the club will start the season with money in the bank.
"We won't have to be scraping for funds. Having Pak 'n Save on board raises our profile." The club will hold registrations on October 14 and 15.
Meanwhile, Papamoa's under-16 talent again showed through at the Northern Region pool championships in Auckland at the weekend.
Michaela Aitken, Natalie Peat and Mason Pickering all featured as Papamoa finished sixth on points.
100m Swim with Obstacle: Under-16 women: Michaela Aitken (Papamoa) 1:13.42 1, Nicole Rosewarne (Orewa) 1:14.50 2, Amelia Ward (Piha) 1:15.53 3.
4 x 50m Relay with Obstacle: Under-16 men: Papamoa 2:05.32 1, Piha 2:05.34 2, Orewa 2:07.10 3. Under-14 men: Orewa 2:23.65 1, Red Beach White 2:24.37 2, Papamoa 2:27.34 3.
100m Manikin tow with Fins: Under-16 women. Natalie Peat (Papamoa) 1:21.17 1, Amelia Ward (Piha) 1:23.32 2, Michaela Aitken (Papamoa) 1:25.56 3.
4 x 50m Medley Relay: Under-16 men: Mairangi Bay 1:52.60 1, Papamoa 1:56.72 2, Piha 1:57.88 3.
50m Brick Carry without Fins: Under-16 men. Daniel Short (Mairangi Bay) 33.43 1, Mason Pickering (Papamoa) 34.00 2, Hamish Smith (Papamoa) 34.50 3. Under-16 women: Natalie Peat (Papamoa) 36.55 1, Amelia Ward (Piha) 40.25 2, Michaela Aitken (Papamoa) 40.28 3.
Points. Piha 568 1, Red Beach 300 2, Orewa 284 3, Mairangi Bay 276 4, Muriwai 185 5, Papamoa 85 6, United North Piha 76 7, New Plymouth Old Boys 62 8, Titahi Bay 23 9, Lyall Bay 15 10, St Clair 7 11, Mangawhai Heads 3 12.