Junior XIII Final Marks Climax Of Successful Competition
The Junior XIII final between Hornby High School and Haeata Community Campus on Wednesday afternoon marks the culmination of a highly successful debut year for the Year 9 and 10 competition.
The decider will be played at Canterbury Agricultural Park at 3.30pm, and while the weather gods haven’t been kind throughout the competition, the resounding support for the fledgling Junior XIII concept has been overwhelming.
The four-team competition also included Catholic Cathedral College and Papanui High School.
“The schools have been really positive about it, and there’s key people in the schools that have been driving it,” Canterbury Rugby League Development Officer Nick Le Comte said.
“It’s gained good traction from the early stages, and it’s helping to create the school-to-club link as well which is a key thing.
“It’s also been good to have schools involved that haven’t been in this type of competition for a long time, like Catholic Cathedral College and Papanui High School.”
While the schools’ enthusiasm for the concept has been critical to the competition taking off, you need more than just players and coaches for a game of footy – and Le Comte said the commitment from the wider rugby league fraternity has been integral.
“The support from the referees has also been great – Dai Roberts, Andy Campbell and Damian Kennedy, in particular, have been very supportive,” he said.
Le Comte is expecting an outstanding final today, with Hornby High School and Haeata Community Campus proving their quality during excellent round-robin campaigns, while also revealing both schools have had some guidance from stalwarts of the Canterbury Rugby League scene.
“Hornby have been pretty dominant, they’ve won every single game.
“They’re coached by Corey Lawrie, so having him engaged with Hornby High School has been really positive as well.
“He’s a leader in his community, a leader in his club, and it’s been good for these younger kids to have someone like him involved.
“Te Wairau is doing a really good job with Haeata as well.”
The Rugby League World Cup trophy will be on display at Canterbury Agricultural Park during Wednesday’s decider, providing a rare opportunity for the local community to get up close to one of the code’s most treasured pieces of silverware.
The Junior XIII final kicks off a big week for Canterbury Secondary Schools rugby league – Rockcote Canterbury Bulls and Linwood Keas coach Andrew Auimatagi is taking St Thomas of Canterbury to the New Zealand Secondary Schools Premier Tournament and veteran coach Wairau will guide the Haeata Community Campus team in the NZSS Development Tournament, which are being staged in Auckland from September 4-8.