The annual Te Tini A Maui (Central North Island Maori) Tournament is being played in Masterton this weekend, featuring teams from throughout the Hurricanes catchment area.
The Te Tini A Maui Tournament dates back 30 years. All Blacks Aaron Cruden, Aaron Smith and, most recently, Nehe Milner-Shudder have all played in previous tournaments.
This year representative teams from Wellington, Hawkes Bay, East Coast, Whanganui, Manawatu and Wairarapa-Bush are taking part.
The Tournament divisions this year are Senior Men (Tane), Senior Women (Wahine) and U18 (Taiohi).
The men’s teams play for the Hikaia Amohia Trophy, named after the King Country Kaumatua for his dedication to Maori rugby. King Country hosted, and won, the first tournament in 1987, while Wellington are the defending champions.
The U18s winners will receive the Jimmy Aupouri Memorial Taonga and the Women are playing for the Toko Te Kani Taonga.
The tournament at Masterton’s Memorial Park runs on Saturday and Sunday.
Regional Maori Rugby Tournaments have also recently been played for in Te Waipounamu (South Island) and in Te Hiku O Te Ika (Northern), with an inter-regional tournament coming up.
The Men’s (Tane) division is split into two divisions with five teams competing in total. The B division features teams from Wairarapa, East Coast and Hawke’s Bay playing each other once on Saturday and the top two in a final on Sunday. The A division is a straight final on Sunday between Te Upoko O Te Ika (Wellington) and Whanganui.
Likewise, the Women’s (Wahine) division will see Wairarapa and Manawatu contest a straight final on Sunday.
The Te Upoko O Te Ika (Wellington) team is: Apanui Heemi (captain), Eammon Tawhiwhirangi, Danny Herewini , Turanga Greenland, Rhys Reiri, Hilton Mexted, Rei Heremia, Kewa McMillan-Parata, Jamie Norman, Tawera Remeke-Styles, Manassah Wineera, Mike Williams, Mykel Herewini, Taina Hetet, Dean Ropata, Andy Ellis, Tane McMillan-Parata, Tony Smith, Reggie Kopua, Declan Hay, Dylan Selkirk, Maihi Henare
Broadcast coverage: Te Upoko o Te Ika will be commentating the men’s final of the Te Tini A Maui Tournament on Sunday at 2.30pm. Listen live on 1161AM or by visiting tunein.com
Source: Steven White http://www.clubrugby.co.nz/