In the lead up to the 2018 NZ Secondary School Ki o Rahi Nationals we will focus in on the teams that you will need to prepare for, these teams include current and past champions as well as teams on the rise.
Every week we will feature two teams from around the country, this week we look at two teams that have been regulars at Ki o Rahi Nationals over the past 5 years - Lytton High School and Tokoroa High School.
Lytton High School
Last time Ki o Rahi Nationals were held in their hometown of Gisborne, Lytton High School (Ritana Toa) walked away with the trophy and the title of National Champions.
In this 2015 Ki o Rahi Nationals Final against Gisborne Boys and Girls, Lytton escaped defeat from their local rivals through some strong shooting and solid defence, they were also fortunate to be awarded some points via the wairua. This is one of the great games of Ki o Rahi ever played. If you have not seen the game, check the footage courtesy of Rangatahi Tu Rangatira below:
Lytton High School is a team which is no stranger to semi-final level having been there on a few occasions, they’ll be looking to return to this stage in 2018 after they finished 10th in Auckland in 2017. However, they had a young team in Auckland and these students will now be a year older and a year wiser so Lytton will be a team that everyone has to watch out for.
Lytton are a team that are always willing to change their style up, they play to their strengths and come up with tactics to disguise their weaknesses. A team that has been to the semi-finals on many occasions and who already know how to win a tournament should never be underestimated.
Tokoroa High School
Tokoroa have been one of our favourite teams to watch over the years of Ki o Rahi Nationals! They play an enjoyable style of Ki o Rahi with a Ki oma that utilises lots of passing and running circles around people. They also have a fun style of shooting that involves plenty of jump shooting and passing over, under and around to try and totally confuse the kaitiaki.
Unfortunately, Tokoroa were absent from 2017's Ki o Rahi Nationals in Auckland, and it wasn't the same without them. Hopefully they make a return this year in Gisborne, as Tokoroa have been a regular in the top half of the competition over the years placing 7th in Tokoroa 2016 and 5th in Gisborne 2015.
They're another team trying to break into that elusive top 4, a good showing at their regionals should tell them how well they're going to go at Nationals. Tokoroa are in the same region as top 4 schools Te Wharekura o Rakaumanga and Hamilton Boys and Girls so if they can do well against one/both of them at regionals they'll more than likely do really well at Nationals!
Kia kaha Tokoroa, want to see you guys in Gisborne!
We take a look at another two teams missing from Ki o Rahi Nationals in 2017, but two teams that can upset any of the favoured teams on their day - Karamu High School and Taita College.
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