17 January 2016
The Bay of Plenty Women’s and Men’s Rugby Sevens teams tasted success during the opening day of the national tournament held in Rotorua.
The women’s team won three of their four games in spite of being a team made up of some more experienced mixed with some younger players.
The youngest member of the team includes Mystery McLean-Kora, a 16-year-old from Western Heights High School, along with fellow student the 17-year-old Sequoia Te Aonui. Another player, Hana Tapiata works at the Te Arawa Lakes Trust, but the team has been beset by injuries.
The Bay Women’s manager Regan Williams told The Mud the team did well given injuries in the past week to New Zealand-level players, so younger players had stood up.
The team worked well on defence in most games, with Regan saying many Sevens players at the tournament also play touch, so defence was important for the Bay.
The Bay women’s team captain Takiri Butler confirmed the squad had had seven injuries players with injuries coming in the sevens tournament.
The changes forced on the team was reflected in some inexperience at the start of their first game but the team then clicked into its work on defence particularly.
She said Bay teams at all levels – women’s, men’s and schools - brought a certain kind of mongrel to their game that made them harder to beat.
None of the games was easy, with only one lapse at the end of a long, hot day. The team beat Taranaki 29-7, Wellington 19-14 and Canterbury 22-12, before losing to Manawatu 19-0.
The Bay men’s team won all three of its games, beating Canterbury 28-7, Counties Manukau 24-19, and South Canterbury 14.7.
Bay Sevens teams run hot at national tournament
Captain's winning try
Captain Mark Clutterbuck scores after the hooter is blown to win a crunch match against Caterbury.