Jonty Carran Memorial Tournament

Three JHC teams, two boys (Lions and Cubs) and one girls, entered the Jonty Carran Memorial Ten Aside Tournament held at Otautau on Friday 18 November. A large group of supporting whānau were also in attendance and added to what was a very successful day for JHC Rugby.
The day got off to a rocky start with the Cubs team being defaulted to in round one and it was very disappointing for the Lions to lose their captain Joshua McIntyre in the early stages of their first game to what turned out to be a badly broken wrist. However, it was onwards and upwards from there, the Lions team went through pool play unbeaten, with wins over St Peter’s College, a narrow 15 -12 victory over close rivals DLS, and more comprehensive wins over Lochiel School and Longford Intermediate. A straight final format between two pools, saw the Lions supporting DLS as they took on SBHS Red in the final pool game, a win to DLS would see the Lions through to the final, a SBHS victory would result in a points differential countback determining the pool winner.
Meanwhile, the Cubs first up assignment after being defaulted to, was a tough game against SBHS Blue. The boys never gave in but succumbed to a big and fast SBHS team 35 – 0. The Cubs didn’t stay down for long though, securing confidence boosting wins over Longford Black and Fiordland. Players to impress throughout the day were Samuel Walker, Austyn Uamaki and Jacob Bavin. Angus Manson was recognised as the team MVP for not only his general play, but also his organisation and direction of play.
The JHC girls team got off to a strong start in their first game against Fiordland at Jonty Carran Park, with Anahera Unahi making the first tackle of the day and the first try being scored soon after by Margarita McClymont – who was a consistent powerhouse throughout the tournament. JHC took the win 3 tries to 1. Players of the game Margarita McClymont and Daisy McDonald. The second game against St Johns was another good win with two of our girls putting on the St Johns’ Jersey to help make up numbers. Players of the game were Jessica Raymond and Jayde Tither. The third game was a tougher fight against a fast Winton Limehills team but the strong defence from our girls pushed them through to win Pool A by two tries! Players of the game were Elle Johnson and Elsie Turrell.
JHC played the local Otautau girls on their turf in the semi final with a large crowd of supporters and unfortunately when the full time whistle blew, they were down by just two conversions! Players of the game were Anahera Unahi and Hannah Woodcock.
The overall JHC Girls Player of the Tournament prize went to Jessica Raymond for her amazing communication on and off the field and for playing consistently strong rugby! A special mention goes to Lily Keast for supporting the girls (and coaches) at practices and on the day despite not being able to play. A huge shout out to Ox and Jade for their time and energy coaching the girls. We hope we can see these girls (and more) continue to play the game of rugby in the future.
Thank you DLS! A DLS win over SBHS Red resulted in the Lions qualifying top of their pool and facing the challenge of SBHS Blue in the final. Tired bodies and minds pre-match had the coach concerned but he needn’t have worried. Once the whistle blew, the boys switched on to form an almost impenetrable defensive wall. Then it was just a matter of getting the ball into the hands of Jamie Riwhi who was nearly unstoppable, Will Brown who used his pace to good effect and Max Savory whose silky skills put himself and others into space. Mason Evans was also one to impress throughout the tournament, he just kept getting up and making tackle after tackle. The whole team contributed massively throughout but it was Hunter Beck who was named MVP for his 100% tackle success throughout the day, his determined running, and his communication skills organising the team defence. SBHS managed to squeeze in a couple of tries but with a final score of 42 – 14, there was no doubt that JHC Lions were the definite boys champions of the Jonty Carran Memorial Tournament for 2022. In Josh’s absence, the team was ably led by the powerful Ethan McLardy and he had the honour of receiving the Jonty Carran Trophy from the Carran family.
Thanks to all the whānau for providing rides and great support throughout the day. Thanks to Mr K and our senior student coaches (Preston, Ethan and Reid) for their guidance of the Cubs team. Thanks to Mrs Smith for all the organising pre-tournament and looking after the teams on the day.
The players in all teams not only did the business on the field, they were also positive representatives of our school off the field too. The results of all teams indicate a promising (and successful) future for JHC rugby next year and beyond. We are very proud of our teams. Bring on rugby in 2023!