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SPORT

Thursday September 13, 2018

Rongotai revels in double college basketball glory

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Javelin thrower Cam Robinson in action. Cam is Kiwi Athletic Club’s top thrower. PHOTO: Supplied

Talented athletics club prepares for new season Rongotai College’s senior B co-captains Kane Upton and Charlie Symon with the Club 55 Cup, and senior A co-captains Adam Rybinski and Ezrah Vaigafa with the Grahame Pohlen Cup. PHOTO: Jamie Adams By Jamie Adams

Rongotai College can boast having the best male college basketballers in Wellington after taking out two senior championships last month. The boys’ high school’s Senior A side won the Grahame Pohlen Cup after beating St Pats Town 85-69 in the Secondary School Premier division final at the ASB Centre on August 31. But that’s not all – Rongotai’s Senior Bs also became regional champions after beating Paraparaumu College 85-82 for the Senior 2 division title. Not only was it Rongotai’s first win of the Pohlen Cup since 1998 it was its first ever win of the Club 55 Cup for the Senior 2 division. The Senior A team went on to narrowly lose the Zone 3 (lower North Island) final against Napier Boys’ High last Saturday, but they nevertheless qualified for the nationals for the second consecutive time by virtue of their qualification and an eighth-place finish last year, their best result in 20 years. Senior A coach Chris Tupu was thrilled with the results, as it was “really hard” just

to make it into the top eight teams in the top division. “It’s something about the depth we’ve got. We now have a lot of boys coming to Rongotai wanting to play basketball,” Chris says. Senior B coach Rob Clarke says it was fantastic to have both teams playing in the finals on the same night. Senior A co-captain Ezrah Vaigafa says his team’s glory reflects the passion and determination of the players. “We’ve been playing for a long time together and that’s built up a lot of chemistry. Everybody here is playing for their team, not themselves.” Senior B co-captain Charlie Symon says his team’s success came despite being promoted two divisions from the previous year. “It was really tough. Most games we won were decided by less than 10 points.”  Rongotai College now needs a sponsor to pay for the $600 per person cost for its A team to attend the nationals in Palmerston North on October 1-6. Those interested in funding the team can contact Chris on 0275383783 or emailing Chris.Tupu@ rongotai.school.nz

Junior rugby once again proves a rippa

Ngakau Gartner of Te Akau Ki Papamoa School, representing Bay of Plenty, touches down right on full time alongside Tayler Trow of College St Normal School, representing Manawatu, in the final of the National Rippa Rugby tournament at Wakefield Park on Tuesday. Despite the try, Manawatu won the final and the championship for 2018. Schools representing each of the country’s 20 rugby provinces converged at Island Bay for the annual tournament, which saw Year 5 and 6 children play mixed non-contact rugby with belts and flags and in bare feet. The tournament is traditionally held in Wellington due to the central location of the city. PHOTO: Jamie Adams

The Newtown-based Kiwi Athletic Club looks forward to holding its 92nd season at a ground with a revamped track and new field areas making it now one of the top ones in New Zealand. The club, one of the oldest in Wellington, last season amassed 34 medals, including 12 titles and two records at the local Wellington Open and Masters Championships. Miramar residents Eddie Soria (M35) with three and Melania Lu Fai (W16) with two, and Graham Cook (M70) of Houghton Bay with one, were new title holders. Cam Robinson (Wellington College and Karori), is the club’s top male thrower. The 17-year-old is also Athletics Wellington Thrower of the Year and Sports Wellington 2018 Emerging Sportsman. In his specialist event the javelin, Cam won seven times during the season, including at the Oceania Area Champs, NZ Champs, NZ Secondary School Champs, Wellington Champs and the

McEvedy Shield. His best throw of the season was 69.68 metres. Jim Blair (MNZM) in his M85 grade, is a world-ranked masters athlete, with success here and overseas. He amassed a large medal hall and records, including 19 Wellington and three Masters records, during the season. At the NZ Masters Champs he won two gold and five silver medals and at the World Indoor Champs, three golds, three silvers and one bronze. The club has a close association with Wellington College and its continual McEvedy Shield success is in part due to having up to six members competing in club competition and being part of the Kiwi Club. The club welcomes new male or female members, including teens from other colleges. Its opening night will be the first Wednesday in October, at Newtown Stadium at 5pm. For further info, ring Peter Jack on 3886224 or head to sporti. co.nz/kiwiathletics

Sports talk

with Jacob Page

Williams loses plot and US Open final Serena Williams got it all wrong in the US Open final on Sunday (NZ time). She lost in straight sets to Japan’s Naomi Osaka, but her behaviour towards the umpire was not becoming of her status. Williams responded to a code violation for coaching by telling the chair umpire that she’d “rather lose” than cheat. Umpire Carlos Ramos stood his ground. Williams said she was not being coached by her team in the grandstand but rather was receiving a “thumbs up”. Post-match her coach Patrick Mouratoglou later admitted he was coaching her. Williams, a winner of 23 grand slam titles was slapped with another violation for smashing her racquet. That cost her a point and on her way to losing 6-2 6-4. She insisted the umpire owed her an apology, demanding it at several

points throughout the match. Williams, who became a Mum 12 months ago, acted more like her baby than a grown adult. The pathetic attitude took away from Osaka’s upset victory and first grand slam title and cast a shadow over what had been an excellent title. However, Williams overstepped her bounds with her temper tantrum and should be severely sanctioned by the world tennis officials. She lied constantly on court, saying she’d rather lose than cheat. Turns out she did both. Credit must go to Osaka, a 20-yearold who grew up idolising Williams and said after her semi-final win that her motivation for making the decider was the opportunity to play Serena. Eventually someone will become the new measuring stick in women’s tennis. Someone will tame the current top lioness and send her into retirement. Perhaps Osaka is the new favourite to push her for that mantle.

Cook Strait News 14-09-18  

Cook Strait News 14-09-18

Cook Strait News 14-09-18  

Cook Strait News 14-09-18