Triumphant: The Brandon Intermediate rugby league team, unbeaten in the Paul Rauhihi Cup this year.
Paul Rauhihi would have been proud of Brandon Intermediate’s performances this year. The prop forward from Porirua played for Melbourne Storm, Warrington Wolves and 17 times for the Kiwis.
He has a trophy named for him that is played for among the eastern Porirua schools. This year was the second year of the competition.
After pool play, Brandon and Titahi Bay came out on top. Rangikura School unfortunately withdrew, meaning Brandon were put straight into a semifinal with Tairangi.
Brandon won the match convincingly, 24- 8, and they met Bishop Viard in the Paul Rauhihi Cup final.
The match, played three weeks ago, was in front of a good crowd on Brandon’s field.
The home side dominated the opening period and took a 16-0 lead into the break.
Bishop Viard never gave up but ran out of time and Brandon were crowned Cup winners with a 22-14 victory.
Windley beat Postgate 16-14 in the plate final.
Brandon captain Taupe Fa’avae, the side’s playmaker, said good game plans and teamwork were the keys to their unbeaten run in the competition.
‘‘We defended really well,’’ he said.
‘‘ Everyone knows each other and we all wanted to play well and win.’’
Fa’avae’s coach Jonathan Viliamu said the team had a strong leadership group, who helped the younger players.
The team prepared very well, he said.
‘‘Most of these guys play flag, rugby and other sports together, so my focus was just on the game plans, skills and fitness. It all came together nicely,’’ he said.
‘‘They had a motto of ‘if you fail to prepare, you’re preparing to fail’, right from the start.’’