Busy Second Day at NSS Tournament

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Patrick Mailata, Papakura High School receiving the MVP from Ms Judith Collins, MP

Tuesday was a very busy day at the tournament. The rain cleared and the sun came out just in time for kick off, and for the most part that's how it stayed for the remainder of the day. The wind was very strong at times and had an impact on ball handling and in some instances kickers needed assistance with the ball when taking conversions, however there was still some excellent rugby league on show.

Crowds for the second day were again much bigger than last year and all the teams had supporters sideline for their matches, there was also an increased media presence and more NRL scouts on hand to watch proceedings all of which added to the atmosphere.

With 24 teams playing 12 games across 6 fields, two games per field per day there is a lot to see, but some of the day's highlights included:

  • Central Southland College (as seen on TV1's Close Up) got their first win beating Hamilton's Fraser High School 14 - 10.
  • Defending champions Otahuhu College drew with Papatoetoe High School, both were also winners on Day One.
  • St Pauls backed up their first round performance with a win over James Cook High School.
  • Southern Cross Campus who'd lost their first round match got their first win at the expense of Tokoroa High School who had been day one winners.
  • Judith Collins, Minister of Justice, ACC and Ethnic Affairs visited the tournament which is held in her electorate. She spoke with the on-site ambulance officers, who thankfully reported a quiet morning, on-site Police, who did the same, and then made her way to the Papakura High School v Kamo High School game. Ms Collins chatted with the Papakura High School team manager Melissa Hori then watched the second half of the match which Papakura won convincingly 28 - 6 against the visitors from Whangarei. At the end of the game Ms Collins presented the MVP award (a signed Warriors ball) to Papakuras no 21 Patrick Mailata.
  • The Vodafone Warriors set up a tent and passing wall (wooden board marked with hoops, points and hole in the middle - as seen on the Sunday Footy Show) and Jerry Seuseu encouraged players to test their skills. Aranui no.14 Jason Leigh Hall started out chucking the ball, but as a crowd gathered to watch he slowed, focused and was able to get the ball through the bullseye hole consistently.
  • Mai FM also had the tent village hopping with their netball hoop challenge. Anyone who could manage to shoot four hoops in a row won a prize pack, although with the wind howling across the ground this was more than the usual challenge.
  • Ruben Wiki, MC for the day, had the crowd rocking with his upbeat chatter and got the players involved in dance off challenges on stage. Some didn't feel making a show of themselves in front of such a large crowd was worthy of the reward, a chocolate bar, but thankfully not everyone felt this way and some were prepared to give it a go, entertaining the crowd.
  • At the end of the day's play the players regrouped for the position specific coaching sessions. Hookers were lucky enough to work with Duane Mann, past Kiwi and now with Auckland Rugby League in a session which involved playing the ball, picking it up on the run, running and passing, watching the body language of the defending players. As with the session in 2011 run by Monty Beetham, Manns message was to 'communicate and to talk more'.
  • Jerry Seuseu had the props running at tackle bags and Omar Slaimankel of the Vodafone Warriors / Junior Warriors had the back three running and passing. Again as in 2011 there were those who model their passing game on Benji Marshall!

Tonight selected players from each of the teams will attend a Leadership workshop lead by the team from Its Not OK! Tomorrow, Wednesday, is the final round of pool play, and the players from the Leadership workshops will also visit local primary schools to talk with the kids about bullying and about how it's ok to ask for help.

Photos will be loaded to the facebook page