Award-winning coach has college grand final on the mind

Eastern Courier:

It’s been a big week of finals and prize-giving in the junior grades of Auckland club and schools rugby league.

SAS Auckland College Rugby League award winners were announced on Monday, with Senior A grade prizes going to Jacob Tuisalega (Pakuranga College) as the most valuable player, and his mentor Nicole Jensen picking up the coach of the year prize.

Manager of the year is Kevin Long of Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate.

Pakuranga College beat Southern Cross College 7-6 in extra time in last week’s Senior A semi-final and they tackle James Cook High School in the final at Mt Smart Stadium No 2 at 4.30pm tomorrow, August 16.

Sports coordinator Jensen, 23, is delighted to be recognised with the coaching accolade, but says “I can’t really take all the credit”.

“I’ve been lucky enough to have a great bunch of boys who have shown great leadership to get the team our success.

“Two players that have stepped up are Kenshin Tsutsui and Andrew Mana who have been outstanding at trainings and games,” Jensen says. “We’ve put a lot of focus on the boys just getting out there and enjoying the game. They play their best footy when they’re playing for each other. The boys have a unique bond that has helped us find our way into the final.”

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