Whanganui Collegiate showed it was on track to perform well in the Youthtown Condor Sevens National Secondary School Sevens competition this year after finishing runners-up in a warm-up tournament in Wairarapa at the weekend.
WCS stumbled at the last hurdle when beaten 31-24 in the final of the Hurricanes Youth Rugby Council Secondary Schools Sevens Tournament by Palmerston North Boys' High School on Saturday at Rathkeale College.
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This tournament acted as a warm-up for the upcoming Condor Sevens and WCS will represent the Whanganui region by default.
The timing of regional qualifying rounds did not suit many teams in the region, prompting organisers of the national event to ask WCS to step up.
The Youthtown Condor Sevens National Secondary School Sevens Finals has grown phenomenally over the last nine years from 16 teams to over 100 teams in 2019. There are traditionally 17 regional qualifiers that feed into the national finals at King's College, Auckland, in December.
On Saturday the WCS Squad, featuring Semi Vodosese, Tawhiwhi Karaitiana, Dillon Adrole, Koby Lee, Te Atawhai Mason (Capt), Max Crowley, Dillon Adrole, Sione Osamu, Logan Henry, Josh Whittle, Riley Pereka, Logan Blackburn and Taumauru Hond won three and lost one round robin match to make the semifinal.
WCS beat Wairarapa College 29-5, lost 29-14 to Feilding High, Hato Paora 29-14 and Upper Hutt College 31-7 to make the semifinal against St Pats Town which was beaten 22-19 and go into the final against PNBHS.
WCS' Semi Vodosese made the tournament team along with Terrence Graham (Feilding) Herman Seumanufagai (St Patrick's College, Wellington), Khya Wilson (St Patrick's College, Wellington), Reben Love (PNBHS), Jayden Keelan (PNBHS) and Sam Porter-Samuels (Lindisfarne College).