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The Paeroa College sevens team that competed at the Condors comp. Photo: SUPPLIED

Sevens squad shows confidence at Condors

Paeroa College’s sevens team competed in the Condor Sevens NZ Secondary Schools Rugby Championships at Mount Maunganui’s Blake Park in December.
This is the first time Paeroa College qualified for the tournament after winning the Thames Valley Open Boys event. The team always knew it would be a hard ask to compete against the big schools from the major unions but went in with an amazing attitude.
“We want to compete and test ourselves against the best,” co-captains Ashton Chwesik and Cooper Morrison said.
With a less than ideal time to prepare a mere two-and-a-half weeks, coupled with player unavailability, Paeroa went in a little underdone but did not want to give up this potentially once-in-a-lifetime chance.

They lost to Auckland’s King’s College 41-0 and Hamilton Boys’ High School 62-0 in the first two games but never gave up.
This building of confidence saw them almost knock over Kerikeri High School, having opened them up with an open line in the last play of the game when a missed pass saw the winning try go begging and the opposition swooping to score at the other end. Heartbreak, losing 26-17.

The second day began with a game against St Bede’s College out of Christchurch.
Again they were close until the very end, losing 34-17 in the last couple of minutes with a couple of quick tries. Waihi College were next up and they copped the frustrations of the Paeroa boy sand were beaten, giving the Paeroa side their first win 33-7.
The final game saw them come up against De La Salle College out of Manukau, and although losing 36-12, again they never gave up. All in all, an amazing opportunity from a very young team, which included one Year9, three Year 10s and five Year 11 players, and if they do go on to qualify again, will set them up to be better able to compete against the big guns.

The support that they received from within the Paeroa community was amazing and they could not have done it with-out them – HG Leach & Co Ltd, Paeroa 4Square, Tony Richards Toyota, BJ Morrison & Associates, Jock Spinks, Waiuta Farms and Clogfoot Enterprises all contributing, which was very much appreciated. The team would also like to thank Steven Hill, Scott Patterson, Scott Day and Taine Wilson for helping them prepare.
-By Gerry Bakker