New Zealand’s Under 21’s side defeated their New South Wales compatriots 4-0 in the recent test series held in New Zealand. New Zealand used the tour to start preparing a lot of their younger players for possible world cup slots in 2011 and it was down to two of New Zealand’s most experienced polocrosse players, Tony Schraft and Shane Hill, to coach them.
The first two tests were held in Otorohanga on the 30th and 31st of January and New Zealand won them both convincingly, 26-7 and 22-7. The second weekend was on the 6th and 7th February at Wanganui and again New Zealand dominated both matches to win the series 4-0.
The New South Wales team consisted of Jess Buchan, Rebecca Carter, Lauren Hunt, Becky Leggett, Lachlan Downes, Blake Mallon, Ross Mallon and Ryan Webb, while New Zealand was represented by Laura Dempster, Savannah Larsen-Church, Shiloh Gloyn, Tara Power (who represented Ireland in the 2007 world cup), Jesse Kereopa, Sam Cunningham, Kurt Te Rangi and PJ Dempsey.
Jesse Kereopa, who plays for Kakatahi Club in New Zealand (and played for Pennine in the UK in 2007), was named best male player for NZ and Savannah Larsen-Church was named best female player. The best female players for NSW was Lauren Hunt and best male was Lachlan Downes.
New Zealand named their world Cup development squad recently and a number of the under 21 squad are included, PJ Dempsey, Savannah Larsen-Church, Jesse Kereopa, Shiloh Gloyn. Other names in the squad are Dannielle Kenny, Sharlyn Holt, Shay Williams and Olivia Elliott.
The New Zealand development squad will play the first of their international games in two weeks in a competition against a mixed New South Wales team.
There were also tournaments alongside the two test match weekends and the results were as follows:
Otorohanga 30th and 31st of January
A Grade: Winners – Putaruru/Tirau, Runners up – Kaitieke
B Grade: Winners – Putaruru/Tirau 3, Runners – Putaruru/Tirau 2
C Grade: Winners – Kakatahi/Coounties combined, Runners up -Te Mata
Wanganui 6th and 7th of February
C Grade (2nd Division)
Winners – Ashurst 3
Runners up – Te Mata/Putaruru Combined
Best # 1 – Ben Taylor
Best # 2 – Sarah Holmes
Best # 3 – Jack Kinder
Best Pony Rider Combo – Ben Taylor and Angel
C Grade (1st Division)
Winners – Kakatahi/Tuwharetoa Combined
Runners up – Putaruru/Tirau 3
Best # 1 – Jaime Tye
Best # 2 – Chrissy Delegate
Best # 3 – Jana Matson
Best Pony Rider Combo – Jaime Tye and Radar
Winners – Ashurst 1
Runners up – Tuwharetoa 2
Best # 1 – Anne Swan
Best # 2 – Katie Wills
Best # 3 – Holly Smith
Best Pony Rider Combo – Taumai Duff and Texas
Winners – Putaruru/Tirau 1
Runners up – Te Mata
Best # 1 – Shane Hill
Best # 2 – Steve Tye
Best # 3 – Steve Watson
Best Pony Rider Combo – Russell Tye and Honda
Most Sporting Player – Helen Mckenzie