Surfing: Young champ
Mount Maunganui surfer Kehu Butler is set to defend his national title at the National Primary School Champs to be held at Fitzroy Beach in New Plymouth this weekend.
The eight-year-old surfing tyro is looking forward to taking on the cream of the country's best groms (juniors).
"Yeah I am definitely amped to surf at the event and surf against all the guys my own age," Butler said. "As much as anything, I am looking forward to the comp because it is a different location."
Butler like most groms has not been competing much over winter, despite getting more than his fair share of water time. Last week he went to Australia to take on the best Australian groms at the Barton Lynch blast-off at Palm Beach, New South Wales.
Despite hosting the top groms in the country, the event also provides the foundation for surfers new to the sport to give it a go in a safe environment, among surfers their own age. The event is the first step on the development pathway for surfers up through four additional age group divisions and on to the open ranks.
The early beginnings of many New Zealand representatives and national champions such as Johnny Hicks, Grace Spiers, Alexis Poulter, Ben Poulter, Dune Kennings, Ella Williams, Korbin Hutchings and Sean Kettle all started at this event.
Sub union rugby: Finals day
The Eastern Bay of Plenty Sub-Union Under-15 rep team will contest the inaugural Chiefs franchise Under-15 championship final, to be played at Greerton Park in Tauranga tomorrow.
In a new move, the Chiefs franchise age group competitions were put in place this season, to give a meaningful representative programme for the region's under-14 and under-15 players. The new programme has been given a huge tick of approval by all three Bay of Plenty Sub-Unions that played in the two grades during August and September.
The defining game for Eastern Bay came when they gave Harlequins Black from the Waikato region their first defeat of the competition. In a battle of attrition the Bay side prevailed in a nail biter taking out the encounter 20-17.
However, the overall strength of the Bay of Plenty teams was shown in the first round of the new competition when Central Bay, who are drawn from the Rotorua region, won the local derby against Eastern Bay 24-20 in a match that went down to the wire.
Under-15 finals day at Greerton Park should draw a large crowd with all three Bay of Plenty teams in action. Eastern Bay will meet Harlequins White, who were the top qualifier from the other side of the draw in the title decider, with Central and Western Bay meeting in the playoff for fifth place.
Central and Eastern Bay of Plenty will both play in the under-14 finals day to be contested at Bedford Park in Matamata. Central Bay will meet Tritons in the battle for third place, with Eastern Bay squaring off against Corinthians for fifth position in the inaugural Chiefs Under-14 competition.
The Western Bay side has been forced to sit on the sideline after King Country defaulted their playoff for seventh and eighth.
Chiefs age group finals day draw September 29
Under-15 at Greerton Park, Tauranga
Championship Final (Field One) 1.30pm, Eastern BOP v Harlequins White
Fifth Place Playoff (Field One) 12pm, Central BOP v Western BOP
Under-14 at Bedford Park, Matamata
Third Place Playoff (Field Two) 12.30pm, Central BOP v Tritons
Fifth Place Playoff: (Field Three) 12.30pm, Eastern BOP v Corinthians
Chiefs Age Group Results
Under-14: Central BOP 19 Eastern BOP 10; Western BOP 49 Thames Valley 15.
Under-15: King Country U16 55 Western BOP 5; Central BOP 24 Eastern BOP 20.
Under-14: Corinthians 29 Western BOP 12; Eastern BOP 22 Thames Valley 13; Central BOP 36 King Country 22.
Under 15: Western BOP 10 Tritons 7, Harlequins Black 19 Central BOP 12, Eastern BOP won by default
Under-14: Harlequins Black 35 Eastern BOP 7, Tritons 31 Central BOP 20, Western BOP the bye
Under-15: Harlequins White 26 Western BOP 12, Central BOP 10 Corinthians 0, Eastern BOP 20 Harlequins Black 17
Under-14: Western BOP 26 Central BOP 18, Eastern BOP the bye.
Under-14: Harlequins White 10 Central BOP 8, Eastern BOP 45 Corinthians 12, Harlequins Black 42 Western BOP 22.
Rugby: U45kg success
The WBOP under-45 kg rugby team won the Waikato, Thames Valley invitational tournament in emphatic style last weekend. The team was selected from boys from the WBOP JMC rugby clubs. Originally the tournament was called Gold Fields rugby but there has been a change of name to the Invitational under-45kg Rugby Tournament. Played over three weekends in Te Awamutu, Tauranga and Te Aroha, the WBOP team did not lose a game, often winning by large margins. What was more remarkable was they conceded just one try in the entire tournament.
The team was superbly coached by Bill Kite and Sam Pomare. The WBOP team had a disciplined and ruthless forward pack, while the backs played with width and flare that drew many comments. One referee even stated that this team was the best junior rugby team that he has refereed in his long career.
This was the first time that WBOP has won this tournament and the team was a credit to the WBOP region.
WBOP vs. King Country won 55-0
WBOP vs. Hamilton (Gold) won 17-0
WBOP vs. Thames Valley won 41-5
WBOP vs. Te Awamutu won 67-0
WBOP vs. Hamilton (Black) won 61-0.