Hawke’s Bay and Manawatu won the respective men’s and women’s finals at today’s Central Region qualifying tournament at Playford Park in Levin.
Hawke’s Bay defeated Manawatu 26-17 to claim the men’s final and Manawatu pipped Wellington 24-17 with a try on the hooter to win the women’s final.
The Manawatu women defended their title they won at this tournament last year in Palmerston North, while victory was sweet for the Magpies men’s side after they were bundled out last year by Horowhenua-Kapiti and missed qualification for the Nationals.
The five men’s teams that qualified for the Nationals in Rotorua on 16-17 January were Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu, Wellington, Wanganui and Taranaki.
Wairarapa-Bush was the surprise packet of the women’s competition, their side getting up to beat Taranaki 31-7 in the playoff for 3rd and fourth and joining Manawatu and Wellington in Rotorua in the New Year.
The Wellington City Council ratepayers’ sponsored Wellington team finished third in the men’s section, while the Wanganui Bucher Boys finished fourth ahead of fifth placed Taranaki.
Wellington defeated Wanganui 46-7 in the men’s playoff for third and fourth, while defending Central Region champions Taranaki needed their 29-7 win over Poverty Bay in the playoff for fifth and sixth to make the nationals. Taranaki had lost in pool play to to both Hawke’s Bay and Manawatu.
Wellington and Hawke’s Bay had topped the two men’s pools with three consecutive wins in the round-robin matches.
The men’s semi-finals had seen Manawatu’s Vilimoni Koroi sprint 80 metres from a scrum feed to score give his side a 19-12 win over Wellington and Hawke’s Bay pushed hard by Wanganui throughout the first half before racing clear to win 19-0.
Wairarapa Bush stunned Taranaki in the women’s playoff for third and fourth by running in three unanswered tries to take a 19-0 lead late in the first half. Taranaki made a brief comeback, but the Wairarapa-Bush side kicked clear. Julie Ferguson-Ngawaka scored two tries in this match.
Manawatu beat Wellington 24-17 in a thrilling women’s final. Janna Vaughan burst through from close range with the last play of the game to complete her hat-trick and win the game for her side. Wellington, who had led 12-5 at halftime on the back of an Ayesha Leti’liga double had relinquished their lead then got back to 17-17 with a try to Caroline Sio.
Hawke’s Bay cleared out to a 12-0 lead in the men’s final against Manawatu, Penikolo Latu and Jonathan Ruru scoring early tries. Manawatu hit back with a stunning solo try to Jordan Bunce, but Hawke’s Bay captain Billy Rophia dived through to make it 19-7 at haltime. Neria Fomai scored again for the Magpies after the turnaround to make it 26-7, before Manawatu plugged the gap with a pair of tries.
Taranaki claimed fifth spot for the Nationals with a 29-7 win over Poverty Bay, following defeats in pool play to both Hawke’s Bay and Manawatu.
The biggest winning margin of the day was the Wellington women’s 54-0 win over Wairarapa-Bush , while the narrowest victory was the Wanganui men’s 20-19 win over Horowhenua-Kapiti.
The Northern Region Sevens tournament is tomorrow in Cambridge (Live on Sky TV from 12.30pm).
The two teams that won the Central Region Sevens were:
Hawke’s Bay (men’s): Marino Mikaelo-Tu’u, Jonathan Ruru, Penikolo Latu, Mason Emerson, Sisa Vosaki, Kaleb Whakataka, Jonah Lowe, Ellery Wilson, Shannan Chase, Lewis Marshall, Neria Fomai, Billy Ropiha
Manawatu (women’s): Krysten Duffill, Kristina Sue, Crystal Mayes, Nicole Dickens, Lauren Balsillie, Laurae Blake, Janna Vaughan, Corrineke Windle, Keri Hayden, Karin Ingram, Rebekah Tufuga, Vaine Greig
Men’s Pool matches
Taranaki 42 v 0 Poverty Bay
Wanganui 20 v 19 Horowhenua Kapiti
Wellington 21 v 00 Wairarapa-Bush
Hawkes Bay 29 v 10 Manawatu
Wanganui 19 v 17 Wairarapa Bush
Wellington 26 v 14 Horowhenua Kapiti
Manawatu 41 v 05 Poverty Bay
Hawkes Bay 29 v 07 Taranaki
Wellington 26 v 17 Wanganui
Wairarapa Bush 29 v 00 Horowhenua Kapiti
Hawke’s Bay 35 v 05 Poverty Bay
Manawatu 17 v 12 Taranaki
Women’s Pool matches
Manawatu 50 v 00 Taranaki
Poverty Bay 12 v 10 Wairarapa Bush
Manawatu 47 v 00 Poverty Bay
Wellington 54 v 00 Wairarapa Bush
Manawatu 45 v 05 Wairarapa Bush
Wellington 29 v 00 Taranaki
Taranaki 28 v 09 Poverty Bay
Manawatu 14 v 12 Wellington
Wellington 52 v 00 Poverty Bay
Taranaki 19 v 17 Wairarapa-Bush
Men’s Crossover matches
Semi-final : Manawatu 19 v 12 Wellington
Semi-final : Hawke’s Bay 19 v 00 Wanganui
3rd/4th playoff match: Wellington 46 v 07 Wanganui
5th/6th playoff match : Taranaki 29 v 07 Poverty Bay
Final: Hawke’s Bay 26 v 17 Manawatu
Women’s Crossover matches
3rd/4th playoff: Wairarapa-Bush 31 v 07 Taranaki
Final: Manawatu 24 v 17 Wellington
Sevens Rugby | 12 December 2015 | Club Rugby