Fri, Oct 27, 2023 4:09 PM

Renwick youngsters in a league of their own


Peter Jones

Renwick School are the proud holders of the Simon Mannering Cup after coming out on top of Wednesday’s tournament in Brightwater.

Eight teams contested the event, which had not been played since 2019, with Renwick prevailing in the final 24-12 against Saint Paul’s Catholic School.

In a closely-fought decider, some gallant goal line defence which held up their rival’s big ball carriers proved decisive for the Marlborough-based side.

The primary school invitation tournament was organised by Southern Zone Rugby League and involved years 5-6 students in nine-a-side matches.

Tournament co-ordinator Allan Brodie, after seeing his grandkids enjoying primary school league in Southland, decided to try and resurrect the Simon Mannering event. He tracked down the trophy to Henley School in Richmond, then got the ball rolling for what is hoped to be an annual tournament.

Renwick School sports co-coordinator Nick Rowton took the 10-strong group across the hill and said “we were the only Marlborough side invited, so it was good to fly the flag for the province – and we ended up winning it”.

Nick said, “There were two or three pretty talented sevens and union players who play for Renwick Rugby Club, but they hadn’t played a lot of rugby league before. They enjoyed it, adapted to it and rose to the challenge.”

Next year it is hoped to run a preliminary qualifying tournament in Marlborough.

The Renwick team comprised: Jairus Tikotikoca-Lal, Harlen Nicholson, Marko Swanepoel, Toby Johnson, Flynn Third, Corban McLennan, Maddox Stove, Ned Bell, Luan Reynierse and Lewis Johnson.

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