Napier West rugby lock Jack Parker received an ideal form of consolation after his team missed out on Wakely Shield glory by the narrowest of margins today.
Parker was awarded the Josh Kronfeld Medal for player-of-the-the-tournament after the 16th edition of the annual under-50kg event ended at Taradale's Tareha Recreation Reserve. It is played to honour Taradale matriarch Adele Wakely's 50-plus years' contribution to the code.
"It's pretty special to win the medal in my first time playing at the Wakely Shield. I'll be aiming for Napier Ross Shield selection next year," Parker said.
A Tamatea Intermediate School Year 7 student, Parker, will play for the Napier Pirate Rugby and Sports 12th grade team next year. The fan of former All Black winger Jonah Lomu and current All Blacks captain Kieran Reid, was a Napier West C grade rep last year.
It took a last-minute penalty kick from first five-eighth William Lovatt to give Bay Power Engineering Hastings East their second consecutive title. His team, which was coached by former Magpies midfielder Sam Giddens, beat the other previously unbeaten side, Solenis NZ Napier West, 27-24 after trailing 17-12 at halftime.
Lovatt also kicked a conversion for his team who were awarded a penalty try. Fullback Tom Cassidy and fellow outside backs Austin McDougall and Finn Molloy scored East's other tries.
Giddens was named coach of the tournament team which included five of his players, lock Austin Jones, flanker Troy Kronfeld, No 8 Harvey O'Rourke, halfback Briar Hales and second five-eighth Panapa Lambert.
"Talk about an emotional game. There wasn't a dry eye left in the team afterwards," Napier West coach Levi Armstrong said.
Winger Jordyn Armstrong scored two of Napier West's tries. Halfback Maia Davis, a daughter of former Tui Moana Davis and former Magpie Peter Davis, and No 8 Hale Joblin scored the others. First five-eighth Joseph Jury-Senitu kicked two conversions.
Armstrong heaped kudos on Parker's contribution to his side.
"Considering he is only a Year 7 boy he did well. He was quite damaging with his carries," Armstrong said.
Kleer Contractors Hastings West saved their best performance of the week for the final day and beat Efficient Moving & Storage Saracens 33-7. Loosies George Ladbrook and Victory Voice again shone with their defensive work.
First five-eighth Mitchell Townsend impressed with his control and kicked four conversions. Inside back Joshua Street scored two tries and winger Reid Palmer, flanker Oliver Arcus and prop Kingi Rimene one each for West who led 14-0 at halftime.
Prop Charlie Frewin impressed with his powerful carries for Saracens. Substitute flanker Liam Reid provided quality impact off the pine and halfback Carl Lord's distribution was as classy as his defensive work was accurate.
Fullback Tyler Adlam scored Saracens' try, which was converted by substitute first five-eighth Angus Scott. Saracens were awarded the Leahy Plate for the best second-tier side at the tournament.
NZ Home Loans Napier East completed their campaign with a 28-12 victory over Centralines Central after leading 14-7 at halftime. Second five-eighth Baxter Cross was outstanding for East and scored two tries.
Centre Cory Peterson was another to make the most of his opportunities in the winning backline. Lock Kingsley Morris and prop Tyrese Nikola provided plenty of grunt to the winning pack.
Prop Maddox Lui and fullback Tommy Hay-McKenzie scored East's other tries and Hay-McKenzie converted all four of them.
Winger Wayde Cottle and halfback Rueben Harris scored Central's tries and second five-eighth Rory Singer slotted a conversion. Cottle and captain and first five-eighth Te Awarangi Puketapu-Pene were the best of the Central backs.
Props Flynn Hamilton and Monty Waihape and lock Te Tahi Rautahi provided plenty of grunt in the Central engine room.
The tournament team (from 1-15): Tyrese Nikola (Napier East), Maddox Lui (Napier East), Kingi Rimene (Hastings West), Austin Jones (Hastings East), Jack Parker (Napier West), Troy Kronfeld (Hastings East), Oliver Arcus (captain, Hastings West), Harvey O'Rourke (Hastings East), Briar Hales (Hastings East), Joseph Jury-Senitu (Napier West), Cory Peterson (Napier East), Panapa Lambert (Hastings East), Te Awarangi Puketapu-Pene (Central), Tane Repia (Napier West), Tyler Adlam (Saracens).
Tournament awards: Sprinter, Darius Ngarotata-Pauling (Napier East); Kicker, Joseph Jury-Senitu (Napier West); Management Kicker, Simon Lord (Saracens); Chess Champion, Mathias Brock-Smith (Napier West); Josh Kronfeld Medal for Player of the Tournament, Jack Parker (Napier West).