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North Harbour Colts Development Champions!

Preseason began in late February with an ambitious plan to have 2 x U21 plus a U19 team in the competition.  Once the U19 split away from the wider group it was evident we had some talented individuals in the mix.

Early on in the season, the grade was racked with defaults and teams pulling out of the competition citing lack of numbers.  It took great effort from Northcote management in conjunction with Harbour to cobble together a convoluted season format.

Round 1 saw the U19 teams play each other three times. We had wins and losses but it was during this first round that we were able to engage with some of the core players.  After this round, we were off to Counties for a couple of weeks to do battle with their finest.

Round 2 saw the two lower U21 teams come into the “Colts Development” grade. This was a big challenge for our team and every encounter proved a big hill to climb. Some good wins and some good fortune saw us make the final against Northcote U21 Maroon.

There was a controversy but what no one could deny was that this was an epic game with both teams bringing out the best in each other. The lead changed three times in the last ten minutes but we eventually hung on for a hard-fought 24-20 win.

This was a tough year and although overall player numbers are down this is a grade that needs continued fostering.  We need to ensure that late developers can mature at their own pace while also ensuring our young men have an opportunity to play rugby outside the intensity of the upper grades.

Thank you to our hardcore group of 14 players who trained week in week out despite all our challenges.

Phil Cooper
Graeme Lee
Peter Blackett
Tony Ratcliffe

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