New Zealanders performed well at the NAB Australian National Under 16 Championships. Representing South Pacific, New Zealander players showed they are constantly improving, and could be in contention for coveted international scholarships.
Te Rei Clark of Whangarei Boys High School is one such Kiwi who is making his mark on the competition. With his strong ruckwork and poise in front of goal, Te Rei caught the eye of talent scouts from various AFL clubs.
International scholarships are available with each AFL club, providing a pathway in the sport for players outside Australia. Each club has eight places on their roster for promising young players outside of Australia. A recent international scholarship winner was Joe Baker-Thomas, a Porirua College teenager who was signed to the St Kilda Saints.
Eight Kiwis are involved with the South Pacific team in the NAB Australian National Under 16 Championships. Other Kiwis, such as Kade Riddell and Stormy Reti showed their skills in their most recent match, against the WA North West Academy. South Pacific enjoyed some success on their tour, winning one out of four games.
The third match might have been a loss for South Pacific, but they showed they were competitive. If more behinds had been converted into goals, the score would have been much closer. As it stands though the players from South Pacific had a fantastic opportunity to show they can foot it with Australians who have been playing the sport all their life.
NAB Australian National U-16 Championships – Round 3
WA North West Academy: 16 – 15 – 111 defeated South Pacific: 4 – 9 – 33
South Pacific: Luke Savare (PNG) Te Rei Clark (NZ) Jonetani Tavusi (Fiji) Hess-Tekai Fallopoi (Nauru)
South Pacific: Luke Savere (PNG) Ben Tirang (PNG) Te Rei Clark (NZ) Kade Riddell (NZ) Nani Rai (PNG) Stormy Reti (NZ) Jonetani Tavusi (Fiji) Francis Ramo (Solomon Islands)