Touch: Junior teams rack up wins

Otago junior touch teams recorded some impressive results at the South Island tournament in Christchurch on Sunday, with the girls teams proving a real force.

The Otago under-17 girls, under-15 girls, under-13 girls and under-11 boys all gained victories at Sheldon Park in finals, while the under-17 boys, under-11 girls and under-15 boys all lost narrowly in their finals.

The under-17 girls team beat Southland 3-2 in the final, with Laura McKenzie named most valuable player in her grade. Megan Morrison, Olivia Wilson, Phoebe Steele and Grace Carruthers were also named in the tournament team.

The under-15 girls were tied 3-3 with Canterbury in the final at the end of fulltime. It went to extra time and with players dropping off after two minutes, both sides were down to four players when Otago went over the line to win the game point.

Kiana Peasio was awarded the most valuable player in the under-15 grade and was joined by Abbey Johnston, Atawhai Hotene and Celine Timoko in the tournament team.

The under-13 side also required extra time to beat Canterbury, with top efforts from Claudia Carruthers and Mikayla Moore.

The under-11 boys beat Canterbury in the final, with good efforts from Trey Russell and Angus Faulks.

The Otago under-17 boys had a tough final with Canterbury before ending up on the wrong end of the scoreboard.

In extra time the teams could not be separated until both sides had just three players each left on the field and Canterbury claimed the win. Thomas Johnson was named the most valuable under-17 player, while Hanlin Johnstone, Joseph Cairns, Rory van Vugt and Taylor Haugh were named in the tournament side.

Otago under-11 girls and under-15 boys were also involved in close losses to Canterbury in their finals.

The next major tournament for Otago teams is the national championships in Tauranga in March.

Otago traditionally sends only mixed teams but after the success over the weekend, a boys and a girls under-17 team will travel along with an under-15 mixed team.

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