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Clean sweep for Auckland Pride and Merit teams named

Auckland Pride followed their win in the Premier grade of the NZRL National Competition (on October 15) with wins in both the Nathan Cayless Cup 15s and the Mark Graham Cup 17s finals.
Clean sweep for Auckland Pride and Merit teams named
by NRL

Auckland Pride followed their win in the Premier grade of the NZRL National Competition (on October 15) with wins in both the Nathan Cayless Cup 15s and the Mark Graham Cup 17s finals. The games, which were televised live on Sky, were also watched by a vocal crowd, which had spread around the ground and were obviously enjoying the hot Auckland day.

In all three games the lead swapped during the game keeping spectators on the edge of their seats and causing much pacing in front of the teams benches.

In the first, the Auckland Pride jumped out to an early 12 - nil lead but the Stingrays didn't give up, scoring shortly before half time and leading 16 - 12 mid way through the second half. However the Stingrays gave the Pride opportunities to come back and Auckland took them, winning 24 points to 16. The Auckland Pride team were jubilant and had obviously benefited from an early morning video session with coach Carl Gribble on game day. By contrast the Counties team were visibly disappointed, having been the 2010 winners they had been very keen to take the title again.

Kasey King Counties Manukau Zone General Manager said after the game "It was a great game. With the two best teams in the competition making the final we saw a high quality match. Both teams played with passion, and you could see they both really wanted to win. A big thank you to my players and their parents for an excellent competition and a great finals performance."

Auckland Pride 15s coach Carl Gribble said he was very proud of his players, he felt they'd been the better team all season and he was especially proud of them for fighting back after Counties Manukau had scored 16 unanswered points through the middle of the game.

This match was followed by yet another battle between the Counties Manukau Stingrays and the Auckland Pride, with the Counties Manukau team again defending their title. It looked as if they would do so easily when they were 16 nil in front early in the first half. Auckland Pride didn't give up and scored 22 unanswered points before Counties were able to score another try. With the score at 30 points to 28 the Stingrays took a gamble and kicked a drop goal, but the Pride scored a converted try and topped it off with two drop goals, finishing 36 - 31 victors.

Pat Carthy, Auckland Zone General Manager said he was absolutely delighted with both teams and their performances. "They were two great finals and it's down to the coaches and the players commitment. I'd like to acknowledge our exceptional coaching staff who work so hard to support their players. It was awesome to see the teams come back when they were down, I'm really proud of all of them and they should be very proud of themselves."

The last game of the afternoon was the NZ Residents v NZ Maori Residents and again one team jumped out to an early lead only to be run down, this time it was NZ Maori who were 10 - nil up before the Residents scored two converted tries and lead 12 - 10. NZ Maori then scored two converted tries of their own to lead 22 - 12 at half time. After the break NZ Residents scored three converted tries and a penalty without conceding a point and won 32 - 22. Brent Stuart, NZ Residents coach said "I take my hat of to NZ Maori, they really took it to us and we made mistakes which left holes for them. It was great to see the boys sort it out after half time and as a result get the points. It was a good physical game and we really appreciated it."

At the conclusion of the 15s and 17s games, both teams were presented with medals, and a Man of the Match as selected by Kiwi legend Dean Bell was named. Merit teams for each grade were also announced.

Nathan Cayless Cup Final (15s)

Auckland Pride 24
Tries: Bradley Abbey, Kalolo Saitaua (2), Kurt Bernard Conversions: Richard Timoti (4)

Counties Manukau Stingrays 16
Tries: Netane Vi (2), Tom Ngataki Conversions: Ethan Taylor (2)
MVP: Netane Vi

Referee: Alex Herbert TJs: AJ Purnell, Sam Davis


Mark Graham Cup Final (17s)

Counties Manukau Stingrays 31
Tries: John Ogden, Reubenn Rennie (2), Eric Newbegging (2), Kruz Tupou Conversions: David Francis Toetu (2), Lafu Feagaiga Drop Goal: Afatasi Lio-Collins

Auckland Pride 36
Tries: David Fusitua, James Taylor, Sam Manuleleua, Kouma Samson (3) Conversions: Mason Lino (5) Drop Goals: Cyrus O'Brien, Mason Lino
MVP: Kouma Samson

Referee: Jamal Thompson TJs: Sam Perkins, Sam Davis


NZ Residents Premiers v NZ Maori Residents

NZ Residents Premiers 32
Tries: Philip Pese, Ruben Williams, Bruce Havea, Darren Kingi, Manu Ma'u Conversions: James Baxendale (6)

NZ Maori Residents 22
Tries: Rusty Bristow, Apirana Pewhairangi, Tony Tuia, Tane Hart Conversions: Jonathon Carl (3)

Referee: Leon Williamson TJs: Dwayne Hibbs, Anthony Eliott


2011 NATIONAL COMPETITION - NZRL MERIT 15s SELECTION TEAM

1
Viliama Moala
Counties Manukau Stingrays

2
Daniel Liddicoat
Auckland Pride

3
Christion Mika
Counties Manukau Stingrays

4
Cale Karanga
Mid Central Vipers

5
Chevy Ellis
Auckland Pride

6
Richard Timoti
Auckland Pride

7
Miguel Winiata
Counties Manukau Stingrays

8
Jacob Diaz
Auckland Pride

9
Kalolo Saitaua
Auckland Pride

10
Jiordan Fidow Kele
South Island Scorpions

11
Ofahiki Ogden
Counties Manukau Stingrays

12
Kurt Bernard
Auckland Pride

13
Haimona Hiroti
Mid Central Vipers

14
Kadince Christensen
Northern Swords

15
Bunty Afoa
Auckland Pride

16
Ahurei Winitana
Waicoa Bays Colts

17
Sheldon Pitama
South Island Scorpions

18
Tui Oloapu
Wellington Orcas

19
Jo Apikatoa
Wellington Orcas

20
Xavier Smith
Mid Central Vipers


2011 NATIONAL COMPETITION - NZRL MERIT 17s SELECTION TEAM

1
Viliami Kaveinga
Counties Manukau Stingrays

2
Alomoti Finau
Auckland Pride

3
Lafu Feagaiga
Counties Manukau Stingrays

4
Kirisome Kirisome
Wellington Orcas

5
David Fusitua
Auckland Pride

6
Nu Brown
South Island Scorpions

7
Mason Lino
Auckland Pride

8
Tamatererewa Koopu
Waicoa Bays Colts

9
Kurt Robinson
Wellington Orcas

10
James Taylor
Auckland Pride

11
Jaylen Tupaea
Waicoa Bays Colts

12
Sam Lisone
Counties Manukau Stingrays

13
Kouma Samson
Auckland Pride

14
Jules Webley
South Island Scorpions

15
Kieron Rollinson
Waicoa Bays Colts

16
Thoren Fidow-Kele
South Island Scorpions

17
Katemiro Atera
Counties Manukau Stingrays

18
Sam Manuleleua
Auckland Pride

19
Simione Maamaloa
Counties Manukau Stingrays

20
Eric Newbigging
Counties Manukau Stingrays


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