On Friday July 13 the Pakuranga United Rugby Club (PURC) hosted a battle from across the ditch with the Pakuranga Under 10s playing a team from the Cherrybrook Club in Sydney, Australia, now renamed the Northern Barbarians.
Pakuranga’s Under 11 team played against East Coast Bays as the Northern Barbarians only had one side this year.
The relationship between the Pakuranga and Cherrybrook Club has continued successfully for more than 30 years and sees boys and girls of these age groups travel bi-annually to Sydney for a series of matches.
The Pakuranga Under 10 team – coached by Shaiden Lambert plus assistant coaches Nick Williams and Stephen Weston and managed by Ana Kireka – played for the Trans-Tasman Shield.
It was a hard-fought game with plenty of courage and determination shown by both teams with the Australians emerging victors with a final score of 24-5.
The PURC forward of the day was awarded to Nataylah Lefau and back of the day, Spencer Malaki-Martin.
The Under 11 team (since being selected in 2016) has worked tirelessly under head coach Glenn Beattie with assistant coaches Joe Bolton and Karna Luke were managed by Elaine Bridge.
The team was unbeaten having won three games in Sydney last year racking up 201 points against three different opposition teams whilst conceding only 5 points.
This year the success of the team has continued with their final outing on Friday against East Coast Bays. A strong forward pack took opportunities, breaking the advantage line leaving the ball to move effortlessly through the back line.
Tries were scored across the field with four by PURC forward of the day Jacob Ely and one to back of the day Lachlan Finefeuiaki.
As well as broadening their rugby playing skills, this Cherrybrook Tour provides players the opportunity to develop new life skills and experiences which forge life-long bonds.
These players will help provide the future for Pakuranga United as this tour is the entry level to representative rugby for the players. Training for the 2019 Under 10 team for players born in 2009 will start on July 22 with the trial to be held on August 19.
Everyone eligible is welcome to come along and join in.