Whanganui Collegiate claimed the Consolation Bowl and 21st place at its first visit to the national Condor 7s tournament in several years.
In group play over the weekend at King's College in Auckland, Collegiate faced Scots College, Wellington first up. The Collegiate team started well and were first to score through Semi Vodosese. Scots then took control and ran in eight tries before a consolation try to Beau Hourigan for a 46-10 loss.
Next up was the powerful St Peter's College, Auckland.
Manager Steve Simpson said this was a great game with both teams scoring two tries in the first half, Sione Osamu scoring the first and Vodosese the second, converted by Te Atawhai Mason for Collegiate.
"Collegiate started the second half well scoring three early tries, through Harry Godfrey, Hourigan and Vodosese, one converted by Mason. St Peter's replied with two of their own and with less than a minute to play Collegiate were up 29-28," Simpson said.
"St Peter's, though, managed to get one final possession and score in the last play to win 33-29. In their final group game, Collegiate had a very good 31-19 win over Manurewa High School with tries to Godfrey (2), Vodosese 2 and Osamu and conversions by Mason (2) and Godfrey."
This put Collegiate into the play-offs for the Bowl Competition (17th-24th) on Sunday.
First up was Sacred Heart, Auckland. Collegiate again started well and scored first through Osamu. Sacred Heart replied with two converted tries of their own before Osamu scored his second. Sacred Heart scored a third and converted to lead 21-10 at half time. Sacred Heart took charge in the second half scoring three tries to the one Collegiate try (Vodosese, converted by Mason) for a 40-17 win.
This put Collegiate in the Consolation Bowl semifinal (21st-24th) against a big and powerful Aorere College.
This was Collegiate's best performance of the tournament. Two tries in the first half, one from Adam Lennox and the other to Hourigan levelled the score at 12-all at halftime.
The second half was a tense affair with Aorere scoring first to take the lead 17-12. Collegiate hit back with a good try from Godfrey which he also converted to take the lead 19-17. Collegiate managed to hold on to make the final to played on the No 1 ground and screened live by Sky TV.
The final was against Gore High School and Collegiate dominated the first half scoring four unanswered tries through Vodosese, Godfrey (2) and Osamu, three of which were converted. The second half was pretty much the same with a further three tries, two more to Osamu and the last one to Koby Lee converted by Logan Blackburn for a 45-5 victory and a hand on the Consolation Bowl and 21st position in the tournament.
Semi Vodosese was named in the Fijian U18 Sevens training squad for the upcoming International Sevens tournament.
Team: Semi Vodosese, Tawhiwhi Karaitiana, Sione Osamu, Adam Lennox, Harry Godfrey, Te Atawhai Mason, Beau Hourigan, Koby Lee, Logan Blackburn, Te Ana Proffit.
Management: Steve Simpson, Mark Godfrey
Coaches: Ben Boorman, Josh Bray
Catering: Gillian Lennox