The U12 Magpies deservedly won their final on Saturday to become the 2015 Metropolitan U12 Champions. They beat Green Island in a high scoring encounter 51-36 at the neutral venue of Logan Park, where the U11 and U13 finals were also played.
It is 22 years since the Southern Junior Club last won a title – the U13s won their grade in 1993 – quite a long time for so many talented players and teams who have been through the Magpie Club without a title to show. The U12 trophy was donated to the Otago RFU in 1967. In that first year the Southern U12s shared the title (no finals in those days!) with 2 now ‘extinct’ schools – St Edmonds and Christian Brothers (combined to become Kavanagh College). This is only the second time that the Southern name will be on that trophy…..48 years later!
The result was great reward for Coach Billy McDermott (also the Junior Club Captain) who has coached this team since the U7 rippa days. He was joined a few years ago by assistant coach Chris Idour and this year by Tony Paku. They were all very proud of their team who dominated both their semi-final and final to take the title, after qualifying 4th after the round robin.
The whole team played very good rugby, and they all contributed to winning the final. The forwards were quicker to the breakdown, while the backs took their opportunities well.
In the forwards lock Paige Bennett-Roberts was the best forward on the park, she was ably supported by loose forwards Lachie Dreadon and Kobe McDermott who worked well in tandem. Big Va’ai Teofilo was the team’s main hit up man off the ruck and made the hard yards throughout the game. Converted lock Eathan Hastie impressed with his ball running and made good ground each time he handled the ball often offloading in the tackle.
In the backs Nick Idour had a good game at halfback and harassed his opponent throughout. First five Ben Paku played well and ran strongly, while diminutive fullback Angus Cameron popped up everywhere on attack and defence. Wing Austin Muir showed excellent defence and ran hard when the opportunities arose, Isaac Hastie made the most with the boot, slotting some tuff conversions.
The team enjoyed their success and celebrated by marching proudly in the annual March Past before the Otago v Canterbury game at the Forsyth Barr Satdium, and then enjoyed a big party together.
Well done Magpie U12s.