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Energy ran high at the Upper Clutha Rippa Rugby Tournament as five local schools competed for the chance to represent the area.

Around 180 children took part in the tournament on Tuesday.
Tournament organiser Tom Merrall said the skill, fairplay and sportsmanship on show was excellent.

“The day ran really well because we had a great team of parents, teachers and volunteers to help where needed and Mt Aspiring College students to ref the games,” he said.

Referee Ryan Enoka said it was refreshing to be a part of the tournament.

“I normally play rugby, so not that much rippa, but it’s really good to freshen it up every now and then. I’m really enjoying getting to watch all these junior teams play because they will probably be the future of Wanaka rugby and it’s cool to create those relationships,” he said.

Rippa rugby tournament…schools gather to compete in the Upper Clutha Ripper Rugby Tournament on May 24.

Rippa rugby is a safe and non-contact game for young aspiring rugby players.

It promotes ball-handling and running skills, and gives kids a chance to become acquainted with the national sport.

According to New Zealand Rugby the objective of the game is similar to rugby, with a score defined by grounding of the ball behind the opponents’ try line.

Rather than tackling, defenders must rip the flag from the belt of the ball carrier.

Six rips against the attacking team in one set of possessions results inthe ball being turned over to the defending team.

The finalists in the tournament were: Year 3/4 Holy Family Zap v Hawea Flat Eels winning
7-3, and Year 5/6 Hawea Flat Highlanders v Holy Family Thunder with 7-4.

Year 5/6 teams Hawea Flat Eels, Holy Family Thunder, Wanaka Red and Wanaka Green will head to compete in the Central Otago Champs in Queenstown on June 7.