The Secondary Schools Touch Nationals Tournament has just been held in Palmerston North from the 12 – 14th December. Mahurangi College was fortunate to have two teams qualify for this tournament. The Senior Mixed team gained entry by winning both the North Harbour and the Zone Regionals and the Senior Girls who came second at North Harbour and third at the Zone Regionals. The tournament was the culmination of three terms of fundraising and intense preparation.
It was going to be a tough competition for the girls who had a very young and inexperienced team - three Year 8s, one Year 9 and two Year 10s making up nearly half of their team. Their confidence developed with each game culminating in a win in their last game of the tournament against Otaki girls, last year’s runners-up.
Many of the Senior Mixed team had experienced the Nationals last year and were determined to finish in the top eight. In sharp contrast to many of the other Mixed teams in the competition, Mahurangi played as a very tight unit, with the girls equally important to the success of the team. By the end of the first day of competition Mahurangi had beaten Western Heights 10-9 and Waimate 9-3 and then drawn with Wainouiomata, 7 all. This was sufficient for the team to move into the top eight and an even tougher day of competition to follow.
The first loss was encountered when the team went down to St Andrews College (the eventual runners-up) 8-4; an exciting tussle then followed against Tangaroa (past winners) with the final whistle bringing the third win 5-4 plus one dislocated and one fractured collar bone. Their chance at a semi-final slot was lost however when Feilding High School gained the advantage in a 10 minute period of the game to win 9-6.