Saturday 9th September verse Dunedin Metro Lost 43-10, venue Southern Rugby Football Club Dunedin
After missing a game the previous week the North Otago under 11’s were keen to test themselves against a side they had come close to beating in the Waimate tournament 2 weeks prior. Unfortunately from the kick off after losing possession a quick transfer to one of the bigger faster Metro forwards resulted in a try and conversion to Metro from the first period of play. The North Otago boys knuckled down and got into the familiar habit of defending bravely but not quite getting the forward cohesion necessary to retain possession. Metro scored 4 tries in the first 30 minute half stamping their authority on the game, the difference being a bit of pace out wide and a willingness and ability to get the ball to their wings. North Otago continued to front up to the big Metro pack and started running hard at the opposition. Penalty taps run directly into the opposition showed the boys had the pluck if not yet the forward disciplne to retain ball, engrained in their game. They finished the first half with a well taken try to half back Max Fatafehi off a mid-field scrum. The second half went for some period before Metro scored again. However North Otago responded soon after with a very well taken try again from a set piece. The ball was quickly moved to 2nd five Sam McCarthy who broke through the Metro defense before linking up with winger Ezekial Goodsir who scored in the corner for probably the best North Otago try of the season. In the end Metro scored 3 tries to one in the second half and whilst the North Otago team looked capable of matching their big city cousins through much of the match the scoreboard told the story in the end. The team thoroughly enjoyed the game with enthusiasm not being an issue. Max Fatafehi, Kiseke Fifita and Sam McCarthy shone in the backs whilst Lucas Chellow stood out for his tackling in the forwards.
Saturday 16 September verse Waimate XV Won 33-10
North Otago Under 11’s had their final game against a Waimate XV playing on number 1 ground at Whitestone contracting stadium. Waimate started strongly with ongoing pressure and ball retention near the North Otago line. However a knock on, quick pick up by North Otago and transfer to winger Harrison Weir resulted in a length of the field runaway try and first points to North Otago. Soon after Weir showed good form again to run half the length of the field in a repeat effort this time scoring near the corner. Waimate struggled to put together repeat phases in the first half and 3 more tries to North Otago outlined a dominant first half for the home side. The third try went to young loosie Noah Frew who has been very impressive in the grade considering he has 2 more years to go in that age group. The was a nice Beauden Barret chip effort by Sam McCarthy to the winger for the fourth try. In the second half Waimate came out with renewed vigour. Their forward pack punched away around the fringes and they made most of the attacking plays in the second half where they were rewarded with 2 tries and held North Otago scoreless. For North Otago we saw some of the capabilities of the better players when they got space. Harrison Weir, Sam McCarthy and skipper Kiseke Fifita all had impressive moments and again Lucas Chellow was fearless in the tackle in what is his first season of rugby. The game was a fitting end to the season, North Otago rewarded with a win on the number 1 ground and Waimate being able to lay claim to a dominant second half. As the season finisher well done to this plucky North Otago team who took on, competed with and even beat some of the larger neighbouring unions. Rugby was definitely the winner!