Mount Maunganui Intermediate have created a slice of history by becoming the first local team to capture the rugby sevens title at the NZCT AIMS Games in Tauranga.
And they did so in some style, grinding the bigger Kelston Intermediate side into the Waipuna Park mud in a relentless display of committed defense.
Captain Ethan Stuart sealed the 12-0 win with a late try, adding to Josh Nicholson's first-half strike, but it was their tackling that made all the difference.
“They were big boys and good steppers and good passers,” says Stuart, “but we got stuck into them right up until the end.
Ethan Stuart and Josh Nicholson are key members of the Arataki U13's, along with fellow winger Phoenix Watts. The three boys who play on the wings and center for Arataki, provided the winning points in the historic win.
The AIMS games is the largest sporting event in the southern hemisphere with over 8000 competitors from nearly 300 schools around NZ and Australia. The sporting championships give 11, 12 and 13 year olds an opportunity to compete as an individual or in a team against the best of their age in nineteen different sports.