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Okapi, STA Win in Florida

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Okapi, STA Win in Florida

Action from Okapi v Orlando Saturday.

The Florida state High School final will be a rematch of the South Florida regional final, as both the Okapi Wanderers and St. Thomas Aquinas teams won semis on Saturday.

These two teams played on April 1 in the South Regional final, and Okapi won 26-24 on the final play of the game. The final next week promises to be a close one.

On this weekend, one of the semis was close. STA took on North winners Tampa, scored early, and ran out to a 12-0 lead. Tampa replied, and then STA replied to make it 17-5. Tampa kept coming and scored a try and a penalty, but STA held on 17-13.

Chase Schor Haskin had a superb game at No. 8 and also captained the side, while Eagle Impact Rugby Academy U16 all-star Dominic Tianga and Christ Deerwester rounded up an excellent back row effort for Aquinas. It has been the defensive and support work of this back row that has fueled the STA effort, as the team continues to improve.

Okapi, meanwhile, looked in control in a 49-12 defeat of Orlando. The Wanderers' ball handling was impressive as they played in front of a large crowd that included the Mayor of Weston, Fla. Prop Jacob Mendez was a powerhouse, but it was, said Head Coach Gavin McLeavy, "a real team performance from a group of lads that have really begun to gel over the challenging playoff period."