Thanks to Michael Holden for the video highlights
A team culture of hard work was the key to the colts success in winning division 1, says coach Mason Lawrence.
The team's 18-3 finals victory over Oriental Rongotai on 6 August saw MSP claim the John E.Kelly Memorial Trophy for the first time in nine years.
"We set our goals early in the season and one was to work hard," says Mason. "We always trained hard, on Tuesdays especially, and with good numbers."
The culture was shown many times during the season. A group of Porirua boys car pooled and always made training. Prop Mau Apollo had a job that saw him finish work at 4am on Saturdays but front for a 1pm game. And in the week before the 48-0 semi-final win over Wellington, four injured players still came along to training to support their teammates.
The colts' season got off to a flying start in March when they won the Moran Cup at the Spillane tournament. They defeated a much bigger Auckland Marist colts side that had won several championships in recent seasons.
Last Saturday's finals win wasn't MSP's prettiest victory, says Mason, but it was a true final and Ories were courageous and defended well. First-five Callum Gill and lock Sean Bridge were the try scorers, Marcus Sos adding eight points with the boot.
Captain and top try scorer Jacob Rikihana, (shown on the right in the top photo receiving the trophy from MSP President Mick Robbers), is one of three players who will trial for the Wellington under-20s, along with Jack Taulapapa, and Callum Gill.
Paul Churchman (holding the trophy on the left) won a premier cap and has been selected for the NZ Marist colts. Mason says that newcomers Corey Lawrence, Declan Hay and Callum Gill, while not the biggest players, stood out for their tenacity, and the work ethic of Andrew Burn, Sean Bridge, and Mau Apollo couldn't be faulted.
For Mason, a first-time MSP coach after stints with Johnsonville's colts and senior ones, it's been an outstanding season. WIth the first-round Paris Memorial Trophy in the cabinet, he's seen his team win all three trophies on offer. He'll also have the satisfaction of watching a number of this squad go on to play premier rugby.