Arrowtown School ended up coming runners-up in the 20-team Rippa Rugby World Cup tournament at Auckland’s North Harbour.
The mixed school side, comprising year 5 and 6 students, yesterday (Monday) made the quarter-finals after registering three wins – including one against Canterbury’s top school – and only one loss.
Today they won their quarter-final against Wellington’s top side and then their semi-final against Manawatu.
The team then played Whangarei’s Whau Valley School, representing Northland, losing 50-20 after initially being 5-0 up.
In a junior version of the upcoming Rugby World Cup, sides all wore the colours of a RWC team – Arrowtown represented Wales and Whau Valley the All Blacks.
Arrowtown was coached by parents Ian Collin and Mark Jessop.
“We couldn’t wish for anything better, apart from the fact we just fell at the last hurdle,” Collin says.
“We’re hugely proud of the kids for what they’ve done and what they’ve achieved.
“A little country school punched well above its weight.”
The team comprised Reece Collin, Angus Frew, Jack Jessop, Jaxon Collins, Zac Hourston, Alex Booker, Alex Hull, Ella Little, Anna Aitken and Alice Robinson.
Teams from 583 schools around New Zealand originally entered qualifying tournaments for the Rippa Rugby World Cup.
Arrowtown School played 19 qualifying games to represent Otago.