For Quevane ... from the boys.

Within seconds of the Hawke's Bay Under-15 boys' touch team receiving their national title-winning trophy and medals their thoughts switched to Quevane Gurnick.

Co-coach Raymond Rima said his players dedicated their title to Gurnick who was forced to withdraw from the team with a knee injury two days before the they left for Auckland.

"That was when we called Little Moko into the team," Rima explained referring to the baby of the side, 12-year-old Treyah Kingi of Tamatea Intermediate School.


"We had players from four different schools [Hastings Boys' High School, Karamu High School and Lindisfarne College were the others] but they were really cohesive as a unit ... the whole team deserves praise for their success," Rima said.

In the final Hawke's Bay beat of Plenty 6-5 after a drop off which went down to three players from each side. Hawke's Bay recovered from a 3-0 deficit in this match and a 2-0 deficit in their double life semifinal against Bay of Plenty which they won 5-4.

In their other games at the three-day event Hawke's Bay beat Manawatu 5-3, drew with defending champions Waikato, beat Bay of Plenty Two 4-0, Counties-Manukau 5-3, Kapiti 9-2 and Canterbury 4-0 to finish with a record of seven wins and one draw.

Eight of the Hawke's Bay squad returned from last year's team and eight of them will also be available next year. The tournament team isn't announced until tomorrow but Rima and his co-coach Leighton Dunn are confident the Bay will have a strong representation.

Middle players Jordan Thompson-Dunn and Gideon Kautai were outstanding for the champions. Rima said this was his second crack at the under-15 title and he intends to move up to the under-17 grade next year.

"I'll leave Leighton with the under-15s and although Jordan [Thompson-Dunn] is eligible for the under-15s again I'll be keen to take him with me so Leighton and I could be fighting over him," he joked.

Rima pointed out he was impressed with how well the coaching staff, which also included trainer Colin Hokianga, combined as they are from three different clubs, which are fierce rivals in the Bay. Rima is from Putamimi On It, Dunn from Outkast Sports and Hokianga from Westies.

"We have to give a big shout out to all the whanau members who took on cooking and cleaning roles for us at the Nga Hau E Wha Marae where we stayed. That was another big key to our success," Rima added.


The Bay under-17 mixed team finished sixth.