Like most young rugby players Jaden Murphy dreams about playing for the All Blacks.
It's obvious the Taradale Intermediate School Year 8 student is prepared to swap positions and clubs as required to achieve his goal. Last year he played second five-eighth for the Napier West team which won the Wakely Shield under 50kg tournament in Taradale.
This week he played No 8 as Napier West retained the shield at the 13th edition of the tournament which caters for players from intermediate and primary schools. One of three co-captains in his team which beat Hastings West 28-22 in the final after leading 14-12 at halftime, Murphy, also took home the Josh Kronfeld Medal for Player of the Tournament.
"I was proud as when I heard my name read out for that one," Murphy said.
He is in his second year with the Napier Pirate Rugby and Sports Club after previously playing for the Taradale club. Next year he will attend St John's College and he is eyeing a career as a pilot in the New Zealand Air Force.
Murphy was one of four Napier West players named in the tournament team and his coach Simon Lord was named coach of the tournament team. Lord was thrilled with the performance his troops produced in the final which saw them gain revenge for a 19-14 loss on Tuesday.
"It was our best all-round team performance for the whole week. Everyone was on fire and stuck to the game plan which was spot on."
Murphy scored two tries in the final and joined lock Cody Milne as the best of the Napier West players. Fullback Jahdyn Williams and second five-eighth Ryan Spice joined Milne and Murphy as the Napier West players selected in the tournament team.
Centre Kawana Waiaua-Kaka scored two tries for Hastings West and was one of five players from his side selected in the tournament team. Prop Josef James, flanker Jonty Good, halfback Bryson Pakoti and winger Haze Maniapoto were the others.
Murphy and Pakoti were named captain and vice-captain respectively of the tournament team. Hastings East walloped Saracens 34-0 in the playoff for third.
Hastings East winger Marshall Soanes won the tournament sprinter title and was one of four players from his side selected in the tournament team. Prop Jonty Gresham, lock Michael Lansdown and first five-eighth Ocean Katene were the others.
Hastings East fullback Dylan Kronfeld, a second cousin of the former All Black who the Player of the Tournament medal is named after, won the top kicker award and his teammate Cassius Solomon was the best chess player at the tournament.
Wairoa recorded their first win for the week yesterday when they beat a Wakely All Stars selection 48-17.