The representative season got off to a winning start on Wednesday night as the Gain Line Invitational XV came from behind to defeat Manawatu Under 19s 31-19 under lights at Cooks Gardens.
The team, made up of predominantly Wanganui's most talented teenagers and players in their early 20s, had two intercept tries scored against them despite getting the better of the match, and were trailing 19-17 heading into the final 10 minutes.
However, reserve back Harry Symes, from Waverley Harvesting Border, came on and unleashed his pace with two tries, the second of which saw him break through and then run around the Manawatu fullback before fending him off into the ground.
It was a good night for the Byford's Readimix Taihape forwards as tryscoring front rower Peter Travis Hay-Horton had an excellent match, as did hooker Dylan Gallien.
Black Bull Liquor Pirates and St Johns Metro standout back Desmond Tyrell continued to show his potential, while McCarthy's Transport Ruapehu's Josh Fifita did well as he shared the halfback duties with Kelso Hunterville's Tiari Tokotaua-Mumby.