Te Akau Ki Pāpāmoa School have continued their recent rippa rugby success by winning the Baywide Rippa Rugby Championship at Paengaroa Park.
The school will now represent the region at the national Air New Zealand Rippa Rugby Championship in Wellington from September 17 to 18.
On Friday the top 12 teams from across the Bay of Plenty competed in the Baywide Rippa Rugby Championship with the Year 5 and 6 final featuring Western Bay of Plenty qualifiers Ōmanu Primary School and Te Akau Ki Pāpāmoa School.
In an exciting final, Te Akau Ki Pāpāmoa just edged out Ōmanu in a thrilling 6-5 win. Ōmanu led for most of the final and it was only in the final play that Te Akau Ki Pāpāmoa crossed for the winning try.
Te Akau Ki Pāpāmoa School coach Tane Bennett says he could not be prouder of the performance of his team.
"I don't think words can quite explain how proud any coach would be when their team wins a championship. For us as a school, we are quite a powerhouse school when it comes to rippa rugby," he says.
"This is our third time winning this championship and representing the Bay of Plenty in Wellington. It is an awesome achievement for our school and this group of kids."
He says the win demonstrated the determined character of his team.
"To come from behind to win the final, that shows the character of our team to be able to bounce back from being down and to win. Winning in the dying seconds of the match makes it even that little bit more special."
Last year's Baywide winners Maungatapu School proudly represented Bay of Plenty at the National Rippa Rugby tournament.
The Year 3 and 4 final was an all Central Bay of Plenty affair with qualifiers Westbrook Primary School defeating Glenholme Primary School in the final.
Bay of Plenty Rugby's operations manager, Neil Alton, says the day had been a real "buzz".
"A combination of great weather, an awesome attitude from players, parents, supporters and coaches and great referees. It is great seeing the kids out there enjoying themselves."
Alton thanked Sport Bay of Plenty and the many primary schools that have been involved in the qualifying tournaments and Friday's event.
"This tournament wouldn't be possible without the assistance from Sport Bay of Plenty, and the many primary schools across the region who have been involved, not just today but the three qualifying tournaments," Alton says.
"The extra support staff and collaborative effort from our Bay of Plenty staff have also invaluable in making today a success."
Baywide Rippa Rugby Championship Finals Day:
Year 3 and 4
Championship Final: Westbrook Primary School 6 v Glenholme Primary School 5
3rd and 4th: Maungatapu Primary School 5 v Mount Maunganui Primary 3
5th and 6th: Tauranga Primary School 5 v St Mary's Primary School 4
7th and 8th: Te Kura O Te Paroa 7 v Owhata Primary School 2
Year 5 and 6
Championship Final: Te Akau Ki Pāpāmoa Primary School 6 v Ōmanu Primary School 5
3rd and 4th: St Joseph's Primary School 6 v Allandale Primary School 4
5th and 6th: Mount Maunganui Primary School def Pyes Pa Primary School
7th and 8th: Westbrook Primary School 6 v Kawerau South Primary School 3