Showing the strength of Superman, the concentration of a chess master and the agility of a gymnast, 12-year-old Levi Offner creeps his way up the wall during the third round of Climbing New Zealand's National Cup series at The Rockhouse at Mt Maunganui on Sunday.
The Mount round of the series followed the opening two rounds at Basecamp in Wanaka and The Wall in Rotorua, with Offner, who goes to Tauranga Intermediate, the reigning national under-14 champion.
All or nothing
It all comes down to this weekend for the Mt Maunganui men's hockey team, who've now been overhauled in the race to the Intercity men's hockey playoffs after a surprise loss on Saturday.
CMS Mount, the Intercity men's leaders, went down 2-1 to a young Fraser Tech side in Hamilton with semifinals now only two weeks away.
Jimmy Lineham netted twice for Tech and former Black Stick Lincoln Churchill once for Mount as the sides went into the break level at 1-1.
If Mount is to book a berth in the semifinals on June 25 it must accumulate points in this weekend's double-header against tough opponents Thames Valley and University, who have both now moved ahead of Mount on the table.
Bayleys Otumoetai hosted likely wooden-spooners Onewhero at the Tauranga Hockey Centre, with the visitors walking off delighted after their first win of the season 3-1.
Both teams took their opportunities in the first half, with Onewhero scoring in the 15th minute then Brad Berry replying for Otumoetai 10 minutes later. In the first quarter hour of the second spell Otumoetai dominated and won three penalty corners but were unable to convert any into goals.
Onewhero played its way back into the game as Otumoetai's fitness started to flag and three minutes from time Onewhero went ahead from a penalty corner, then scored again from a field goal to run out deserved winners. Young Kent Horsley worked tirelessly at left half for Otumoetai.
In the premier women's competition Bayleys Otumoetai showed why they are hot favourites to defend their 2010 Intercity title when they lashed Waikato University 4-0 in Hamilton.
In a clinical display, Otumoetai compiled a four-goal margin over University, the second club on the table prior to this match, with Dani Maunder bursting through to score a brace of goals.
Hamilton Old Girls edged Mt Maunganui women 2-0, with Mount missing talented centre half Sam Savory who has gone overseas. Despite having a good share of the possession, Mount failed to score while Old Girls grasped their opportunities and scored in the 45th and 47th minutes.
Weekend Intercity scores:
Fraser Tech 2 (Jimmy Lineham) Mt Maunganui 1 (Lincoln Churchill), HT 1-1.
Onewhero 3 (Jared Slee, Daniel Keen, Tom Funnel)) Otumoetai 1 (Brad Berry), HT 1-1.
Waikato University 10 Hamilton Old Boys 2, HT 3-1.
Pukekohe Indians 4 Suburbs-Piako 2, HT 3-1.
Thames Valley 4 Rotorua Aces 0, HT 1-0.
Rotorua Indians 8 Kohekohe 3, HT 3-1.
Catch-up game: Thames Valley 3 (Charles Viljoen, Ricky Clark, Casey Henwood) Waikato University 2 (Cam Hayde 2), HT 2-1.
Points: Thames Valley 24, Uni 22, Mount 21, Fraser Tech 20, Pukekohe Indians 18, Aces 16, Hamilton OB 15, Rotorua Indians 12, Kohekohe 3, Otumoetai 3, Suburbs 3, Onewhero 3.
Otumoetai 4 (Dani Maunder 2, Oriwa Hepi, Abbie Johnston) Waikato University 0, HT 1-0.
Hamilton Old Girls 2 (Helen Barlow, Toni Vickers) Mt Maunganui 0, HT 0-0.
Rotorua Aces 3 Onewhero 0, HT 1-0.
Fraser Tech 5 Te Awamutu 0, HT 1-0.
Points: Otumoetai 21, Aces 13, Uni 12, Fraser Tech 12, Onewhero 12, Hamilton OG 10, Mount 7, Te Awamutu 4, Taupo 3.
Old Blues best
Not unexpectedly, Old Blues downed Ngaruawahia to retain the Challenge Shield and their five-point lead in the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Federation football league on Saturday.
Otumoetai enjoyed a convincing win over Tauranga Boys' College to stay second. Defending champions Claudelands Rovers are 11 points adrift of Old Blues after losing to AFC Fury, who are now fourth, while Te Puke, who have yet to register a win held Whakatane Town to a 2-2 draw.
With Domain Drive declared unplayable, the Otorohanga v Rotorua United game was postponed, as was the Melville United v Taupo clash scheduled for Gower Park.
At Waipuna Park the surface was marginal at best but was declared playable.
Jack McNab, who is in great goal-scoring form, gave Old Blues a 1-0 lead at the break. The home team dominated the second half with Tristan Wood and a penalty converted by captain Karl Bryant adding to their lead.
Old Blues coach Andy Legget said it was difficult to be too critical because of the soggy conditions. "But there was some poor finishing and I felt the lads were a bit complacent after nine wins."
Tauranga Boys' College coach James Pamment was sweeping surface water off the pitch when Ross Johnson and his Otumoetai side arrived. "I thought the referee would declare the pitch unplayable, but while the middle was a bog it wasn't too bad out wider."
Jack Farry latched on to a cross from Matt Collins to open the scoring in the 15th minute and Daniel Miller doubled their lead two minutes later. In the second spell the physical superiority of Otumoetai and the heavy ground took its toll on Tauranga Boys' and goals to Daniel Miller and Grant Cooper gave Otumoetai a comfortable 4-0 win.
The wheels have fallen off for Claudelands Rovers who after a 3-2 loss against AFC Fury have a taken a single point from their last three games. AFC Fury coach Dave Cook was happy to get the points but wasn't getting carried away, "As the score shows there wasn't much in it but we have made a few subtle changes to our structure and they are paying dividends."
Fury, with goals to Danny Narrilow and Nicolas Storace led 2-1 at the break with Gonzalo Medina scoring in the second half to secure the win.
Tauranga City went to the top of the Division two table after a 4-3 home win over a competitive Katikati side but Ngongotaha, who had the bye, and Waikato Unicol, who beat Cambridge 3-1, are only two points adrift with two games in hand.
Reigning champion Keith Setter (Tauranga) has qualified to defend his singles title at the national indoor bowls championship in Porirua, but he did it the hard way.
Setter won his first two matches against Charlie Moore (Waikato) and Graeme Ward (Northland) but then lost a cliffhanger against the vastly experienced Kevin Boothby from Thames Valley, who holds four national titles including the singles way back in 1972. The score was 7-7 going into the final end, with Boothby having the last bowl to play. He drew the shot to win 8-7.
This meant that Setter had to at least draw his last game against Porirua's David Banks, who had not registered a win all day. Setter was 9-7 up going into the final end and Banks scored two shots to earn the draw.
New Zealand representatives Gina Owen (Bay of Plenty) and Fiona Wilson (Tauranga) also qualified.
Wilson also qualified for the pairs champion alongside Paul Smith. Setter had another successful day when he combined with Geoff Coughey to make the cut.
School rips it up
Maungatapu School were jubilant when they not only won the EastPack Baywide Rippa Rugby Year 5-championship but also secured a berth in the first New Zealand Rugby Union Rippa World Cup to be played in August.
Rippa Rugby is the introductory game used to introduce youngsters to the basic skills of rugby, which teaches the two fundamental skills of evasion and passing the ball.
The top four Rippa Rugby teams from Rotorua, Eastern and Western Bay of Plenty came together to find the Baywide champions. A total of 80 schools entered in two divisions.
In the Year 5 and 6 final two Western Bay of Plenty schools clashed in the title decider, with Maungatapu School triumphing over Greenpark.
Selwyn Ridge School lifted the Year 3-trophy after defeating Papamoa School in the championship final.
Rippa Rugby championship results:
Year 5-6 championship: Maungatapu def Greenpark. Plate: Selwyn def Opotiki. Bowl: St Joesphs Whakatane defeated Kawha Point.
Year 3-4 championship: Selwyn Ridge def Papamoa. Plate: Fairhaven def Te Teko. Bowl: Westbrook def Opotiki B.
The top-two clash Seeka KI Western Bay club rugby clash between Mount Maunganui and Matakana Island on Saturday lived up to its billing when the two sides met on Matakana Island.
Mount led Matakana by a solitary point going into the game and made the early running to lead 16-3 at the halftime, eventually winning 23-13.
Another hard fought battle took place when Arataki beat Katikati 12-10, with Arataki retaining the Hardy Rosebowl (Western Bay challenge trophy).
Tauranga Sports posted a solid 64-14 victory against Rangiuru, with Judea having to work hard to get past Greerton Marist 19-12.
Points: Mount Maunganui 53, Matakana Island 48, Arataki 42, Katikati 34, Tauranga Sports 37, Papamoa 34, Judea 27, Eastern Districts 21, Te Puke Sports 20, Greerton Marist 17, Rangiuru 9.
Learning from loss
Ngongotaha may have learnt more from one loss than they have from going unbeaten since August last year.
Playing in the Baywide Open netball tournament the Rotorua team went down 51-47 to Mount Sports in their last game.
Tonight, the team travels to Tauranga to take on Bay of Plenty under-17.
Ngongotaha manager Edith Taipeti said the team was still hurting from last week's loss.
"It was their first loss in a long time. It's been hard for them to take. It has been a learning experience for our new coach Renee Papuni.
"It's actually been good for them, this loss. It's probably given them a wake-up call and shown them they are still human."
Bay of Plenty under-17 should find it a tough slog against a team who last lost a match way back in August last year.
In other games in round three of the Contract Mechanical Services Baywide competition, Whakarewarewa Red take on Poroporo at Rotorua Girls' High School. It should be a titanic battle between Cornerstone and Mount Sorts at Aquinas tonight at 7.45pm. Neither team have lost so far this season and have both had convincing wins.
Eels let win slip away
In the upset of the WaiCoa Bays premier rugby league competition's 12th round, Pacific Sharks knocked over top-four contender Brookfield Otumoetai Eels premiers on Saturday in Tokoroa.
In wintery conditions with a great display of wet weather league, Pacific won 24-8 to stop the Eels from climbing the ladder.
The Eels now need to win three of their last four matches to make the playoffs.
Pacific, a team well known for building huge leads only to collapse in the second half, held out a tenacious but mistake-riddled Otumoetai outfit that couldn't get the ball to stick at crucial times.
With the referee hailing from the same club the Eels say they were on the receiving end of some dodgy decisions.
The comforting fact for the Eels is that both teams behind them on the ladder, Turangawaewae and Pikiao, both their lost, keeping Otumoetai in fourth spot.
Tauranga Whalers, who had the bye, have crept into sixth but need to win their last two matches against Pacific (this Saturday at Waipuna Park) and Taniwharau two weeks later to have a slim chance of making the top four playoffs.
This weekend last year's grand final rematch will be in Rotorua where last season's champions Otumoetai travel to play Ngongotaha.
Round 12 results:
Taniwharau 40 Pikiao 18, Pacific 24 Otumoetai 8, Hamilton City Tigers 40 Taupo 0, Ngaruawahia 26 Turangawaewae 20, Hamilton Hornets 36 College Old Boys 36, Ngongotaha 26 Hukanui 20.
Ngaruawahia10 9102292 130+16222
HC Tigers 11 9 2 0 1 376 140 +236 20
Taniwharau 10 7 2 1 2 322 214 +108 19
Otumoetai 10 7 3 0 1 328 164 +164 16
Pikiao 11 7 4 0 1 338 242 +96 16
Tga Whalers 11 7 4 0 1 280 252 +28 16
Turangawaewae 11 7 4 0 1 286 274 +22 16
Pacific 10 5 4 1 2 286 242 +44 15
Taupo 10 3 7 0 2 270 331 -61 10
Ngongotaha 10 4 6 0 2 229 266 -27 12
Central 10 3 7 0 2 198 364 -166 10
COB 10 1 8 1 2 200 426 -226 7
Hornets 9 0 8 1 2 160 314 -154 5
Hukanui 11 1 10 0 1 160 444 -244 4