Touch Rugby NZSS Nationals & Youth Tournament Representatives – December 2023

Touch Rugby is alive and well in Canterbury, with Touch Canterbury making some changes to encourage participation amongst our secondary schools. CBHS is well represented here with our senior touch team coming together now to start its 2024 campaign with the South Island Secondary School Tournament mid-March and Wednesday night Super Touch. These tournaments will conclude the split year for the sport at the end of Term 1.
In Term 4 our players will resume with more Super Touch before competing in the NZ Secondary Schools Touch Nationals in December.

In December 2023 our students performed strongly in the NZSS National tournament finishing a credible 10th after managing 3 draws amongst 2 wins and a loss, during pool play within a very strong pool. To note were the excellent performances put in by some of our younger upcoming stars that supported the drive and guile from Y13 leavers Oli Wynen and Jake Frost. Also to note was the try feast Hiro Fuchigami provided and the opportunity creation from Delahoia TePakeke-Kakoi, Sam Vincent and Will Haig. Players to watch in 2024 include Jai Tufuga, Koby Harwood and the U16 Canterbury Reps!

A number of our boys have recently competed in the Touch New Zealand Youth National Tournament, in Auckland 2nd–4th February, representing the Canterbury U16 and U18 Boys Teams. The Canterbury U16 Boys team comprised of five CBHS lads, Ashton Kitson, Kaci Heath, Nikau Hawes-DeThierry, Jai Tufuga and new to CBHS, Jackson Grant. Although losing by one to the eventual competition winners, Counties, our boys showed outstanding skills, a strong sense of team camaraderie, and a steely determination. The future looks bright at CBHS and Canterbury Touch! The U16 Boys Team finished 5th in 2023.

The U18’s faced a formidable draw with Waikato, Otago and Harbour in their first three matches on day one. Waikato and Harbour played well to win, however our team showed signs of a well drilled machine notching a win against Otago.

The Canterbury U18’s, featuring CBHS Touch ‘weapons’ Will Haig and Hiro Fuchigami alongside Sam Vincent and Koby Harwood then won all of their remaining pool games over the three-day tournament to finish 3rd and therefore a re-match with Harbour in a semi-final – again the Harbour boys were too slick, and they were able to benefit on a handful of errors winning 6-4. The game at this elite level has such fine margins and the boys should be immensely proud representing their province adding the experience for their touch rugby futures!

Top qualifiers Waikato lost their semi to eventual tournament winners Auckland (who Canterbury beat in pool play!) to play off against Canterbury for the Bronze medal but again Waikato were a little too strong for Canterbury winning 10-7.

For CBHS Touch we must thank coaches Reece (Nacho) Allen and young Old Boy Max Hughes for their commitment to developing our players and also to all the parents supporting the team so well. If touch is of interest for students please contact CBHS Sport or talk to one of the players mentioned above.