The achievement by Matauri Bay School to reach the finals of the 2017 Northland Year 5/6 Rippa Rugby Championship at the end of last month was recognised in a special presentation last week.
Tournament spokesman Paul Hope noted the Far North team began its impressive journey to the finals by winning all its pool games in a field of 17 teams at the qualifying Bay of Islands tournament at Kerikeri in Term 1.
This allowed Matauri Bay to progress to the Northland finals with the top 15 teams from throughout the province, being the other top qualifiers from the Mangonui, Bay of Islands, Whangarei, Northern Wairoa and Rodney/Otamatea sub unions.
After marching into the final, Matauri Bay finally met its match in a strong Wellsford side which eventually won 7-4 to claim the Northland title. Hope said both sides delivered an exhibition of top class, entertaining rugby.
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"This was a fantastic game to watch with both teams showing the same type of skills and team work you would see in the Super Rugby," Hope said.
He noted organisers were really impressed with the level of skill displayed by the Matauri Bay team in this year's series.
"What was also evident was their teamwork and attitude. Every game they played they certainly played as a team, showing great communication, strategy and decision-making."
Hope noted that behind every great team is a great team leader which certainly proved the case with regards to the side's "awesome" coach, Jared Nordstrom.
"This man is such a great role model and coach and had the ability to get the best out of his players through his calm demeanour whilst empowering his student, it is awesome to watch!"
The team were presented with their trophy and certificates by Noah Cooper, the NRU rugby development officer for the Bay of Islands area.