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Auckland Nines Team of the Tournament

Auckland Nines Team of the Tournament
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The first Auckland Premiership footy of 2019 went down over the weekend at the Auckland Nines. Here’s our Team of the Tournament from the pre-season outing on the Hibiscus Coast. (Photo: Manurewa’s Nathan Simmons). 

1: Nehumi Teu (Hibiscus Coast)

Chimed into the backline nicely on attack, but crucially was also brilliant in defence as last man. 

2: Jordan Papa (Howick)

A livewire in attack, he put teams on high alert when he got on the ball. Heavily involved in most of the good stuff Howick did.

3: Nathan Ashe (Hibiscus Coast)

Troubled teams almost every time he ran the footy, scoring a number of tries off the back of it, while his short kicking game set up a number of other four-pointers.

4: Fonitika Lelenga (Mangere East)

A one-man-line-breaking machine for much of the day, the rangy fullback was tough to contain on kick returns and when put into open space. 

5: Buck Hall (Hibiscus Coast)

Kept showing up for carries and impressed with his ball playing at the line.

6: Trent Bishop (Howick)

Created second-phase with ease, setting up and scoring a number of tries. Proof that there is a place for big men in the nine-aside game. 

7: Denzil Manu (Mangere East)

His support play was excellent for the Hawks, and off the back of it he scored several runaway tries. Brought great energy to the games.

8: Nathan Simmons (Manurewa)

Always looking for the footy. Directed play well and looked threatening when he took the ball to the line. 

9: Ethan Nukanuka (Otahuhu)

Worked really hard on both sides of the ball and was Otahuhu’s biggest attacking threat in open space.