Te Wharekura o Mauao's first XV went head-to-head against Counties Manukau's Manurewa High School in Auckland in the Secondary School Rugby finals. In the end, it was a bittersweet result for the first Māori school team to make it to this level of competition.
Manurewa came out strong in the first few minutes scoring the first try. Mauao felt the pressure from the host team who continued to push their lead.
Mauao struggled to break Manurewa's defence line throughout the first quarter. Manurewa extending their lead before half-time. 24-nil. Manurewa kicked off second half again with this superb run by Shaquiel Ruri.
20 minutes before game time, Bailey Matoe, captain for Mauao scored their first try of the match.
However by the end it was too late for the visiting team to outdo the hosts. Final score 69-5 to Manurewa High School.
Te Wharekura o Mauao Captain Bailey Matoe says, “It was a good game. Well done to them for playing hard today, even though we didn't win it was good.”
Manurewa Captain Peletina Motuga says, “Our match went good, we got the results that we wanted, the boys have been working hard throughout the week and especially with this game it's very special to us, especially qualifying games, we've never been to nationals and to our boys taking the game today it means a lot.”