Haeata Go Down To Marcellin in Development Final
Haeata Community Campus’ outstanding maiden New Zealand Rugby League Secondary Schools Tournament campaign has ended with a 30-8 loss to a strong Marcellin College outfit in the development grade final at Bruce Pulman Park in Auckland on Friday.
Playing into a stiff wind, Te Wairau’s Haeata side got off to a rocky start, conceding two tries in the first eight minutes as Marcellin College skipped out to a 12-0 lead.
But the Canterbury outfit regrouped to keep Marcellin down at their own end for an extended period before weight of possession finally told, winger Tama Keelan putting Haeata on the scoreboard when he crossed at the 20-minute mark.
The 12-4 halftime scoreline was a moral victory for Haeata, but another slow start hampered their hopes of further cutting into the deficit early in the second half. Marcellin posted their third try less than two minutes after the resumption to push their lead out to 14 points.
Marcellin put the result beyond doubt with a converted try 13 minutes from fulltime, but Haeata refused to throw in the towel and hit back through fullback Elijah Brennan, who dummied his way over out wide.
The Albert Vete-coached Marcellin side had the final say, scoring in the dying stages before outstanding five-eighth Emmanuel Tuimavave-Gerard iced a 30-8 victory with a conversion from the touchline.
The result did little to detract from Haeata’s outstanding effort in their first visit to the national tournament, finishing second in their pool via wins over Papakura High and Francis Memorial College after dropping their first game to Onehunga High, before upsetting the previously unbeaten Trident High 14-10 in Thursday’s semi.
Meanwhile, earlier on Friday St Thomas of Canterbury College went down in a hard-fought premier grade 3 v 4 playoff, 22-16 to St Paul’s College.