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Waikato Men and Manawatau Women are crowned Champions

Sunday, January 14, 2018
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Fans were treated to a spectacle at the Bayleys National Sevens with the Waikato men and Manawatu women winning nail-biting finals at Rotorua International Stadium today.

The women’s Final featured perennial favourites Manawatu up against the form team of the tournament, Waikato.

It was a see-saw battle with the teams exchanging three tries apiece, all that separated them at the full-time whistle was one conversion, Manawatu holding out for a 17-15 win. It was Manawatu’s second title in three years.

Waikato’s Tenika Willison was awarded the Anna Richards Cup for Player of the Tournament.
The men’s Final featured two regional champions, Waikato and Tasman.

Tasman captain James Lash opened the scoring before Waikato hit back with two tries for the 14-5 half time lead.

Two second half tries saw Tasman launch a comeback, but Waikato were able to hold on for a 21-17 win. It wasn’t the only silverware for their team, with Jordan Bunce receiving the Joe Tauiwi Memorial Trophy for Player of the Tournament.

Click here for full results.

Enthralling day of action sets up bumper Day Two at Bayleys National Sevens

Saturday, January 13, 2018
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Day One of the Bayleys National Sevens entertained as promised with plenty of side steps, tries and surprise results.

Defending men’s champions Counties Manukau, playing in a pool of death, will not get a chance to defend their title on Day Two after losses to Waikato and Taranaki.

Nothing could separate northern champions Waikato and Taranaki when they met early in the day, battling for a 12 all draw. Waikato will go through as top qualifier in Pool A courtesy of a superior points difference.

They both face tough challenges in the quarterfinals, up against Auckland and Bay of Plenty respectively.
The home team, Bay of Plenty, looked strong on Day One, averaging 28 points a match – the most of any of the men’s teams. Auckland also go through from Pool B, their only loss against the Bay of Plenty men.

Bolstered by the inclusion of All Blacks Sevens players Tone Ng Shiu and Trael Joass, Tasman topped Pool C. The Mako men came into Nationals as the southern region champions and a 22-7 win over central winners Wellington secures a quarterfinal match up against Manawatu.

North Harbour were the dominant team in Pool D with three wins from three. Manawatu kept their hopes alive for Day Two glory, while finishing on equal points with Hawke’s Bay and Otago their point difference was the better of the three.
In the women’s competition the seedings played out as per the script with Waikato, Manawatu and Auckland all topping their pools.

Manawatu were forced to work for it though, losing their last pool match 12-19 to Bay of Plenty. The home team earlier suffered a shock loss to Wellington, the women from the Capital qualifying for the quarterfinals as best third-place team.

Defending champions Counties Manukau recorded two big wins before falling 38-5 to Auckland. Both teams go through to the quarterfinals, with Auckland no doubt having a target on their back with the best attack and defensive records on Day One.

Quaterfinals kick off tomorrow from 10.05am, broadcast live on SKY Sports.

See full results and Day Two fixtures here

National honours on the line for players and teams at Bayleys National Sevens

Thursday, January 11, 2018
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Sevens players will be looking to impress this weekend with National honours and professional contracts on the line at the Bayleys National Sevens tournament in Rotorua.

16 men’s teams and 12 women’s teams will compete in the two-day tournament which kicks off at Rotorua International Stadium on Saturday 13 January.

All Blacks Sevens coach Clark Laidlaw and Black Ferns Sevens coach Allan Bunting will be on hand with an eye to finalising their contracted squads for the year. Both teams are preparing for a busy 2018, which includes the Commonwealth Games and Rugby World Cup Sevens.

“Every year the National Sevens event uncovers brilliant new talented women and men and it’s an opportunity for players to represent their Unions and put their hands up for higher honours.

“It’s a massive year for sevens kicking off in Rotorua this weekend followed closely by the sell-out HSBC New Zealand Sevens in Hamilton in a few weeks’ time,” said New Zealand Rugby’s General Manager of Rugby, Neil Sorensen.

Pools and draw confirmed

Regional qualifying tournaments were completed in December across the country to confirm teams and seeding places.

In the men’s draw defending champions Counties Manukau is the top seed and leads a tough pool A that also features last year’s beaten finalists, Waikato.

Hosts Bay of Plenty are second seeds and top pool B, while central and southern region winners Wellington and Tasman top pool C. Manawatu are fourth seeds at the head of pool D.

On the women’s side of the draw, northern winner Waikato is seeded first and heads pool A, Manawatu tops pool B and Auckland leads pool C. Defending champions Counties Manukau join neighbours Auckland in pool C.

The full draw can be found here

Organisers of the National Sevens are encouraging Bay of Plenty locals and summer visitors to take advantage of the chance to see some of the best sevens players in the country in action.

Bay of Plenty Rugby Chief Executive Mike Rogers said the Union is excited to host the Bayleys National Sevens in Rotorua this weekend.

“We are looking forward to once again hosting this prestigious tournament and providing our local community with an abundance of quality rugby sevens action. The speed, skill and excitement of the sevens game, combined with provincial rivalries, ensures it’s a notable weekend for rugby fans. Plus the entertainment for kids means it is the perfect excuse for the whānau to be a part of.

“The Bayleys National Sevens is a fantastic event to be involved with and we are exceptionally grateful for the valuable support we receive from our partners, Bayleys, Rotorua Lakes Council and NZCT to ensure the tournament is a success,” said Rogers.

Key information: Bayleys National Sevens

Pools
Men

Pool A: Counties Manukau, Taranaki, Waikato, Wanganui
Pool B: Bay of Plenty, Auckland, Canterbury, Mid Canterbury
Pool C: Wellington, Tasman, Northland, Southland
Pool D: Manawatu, North Harbour, Hawke’s Bay, Otago

Women
Pool A: Waikato, Canterbury, Otago, Poverty Bay
Pool B: Manawatu, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, North Harbour
Pool C: Auckland, Counties Manukau, Hawke’s Bay, Southland

When: 13-14 January 2018
Where: Rotorua International Stadium
Go: www.ticketmaster.co.nz
Watch: Live on SKY Sport

Bayleys National Sevens set to kick off in Rotorua

Thursday, January 11, 2018
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Counties Manukau will be looking to defend their respective Men’s and Women’s titles this weekend when the 2018 Bayleys National Sevens kicks off at Rotorua International Stadium on Saturday 13 January and culminates with finals on Sunday 14 January.

The tournament will feature twenty eight teams from across the country, as they compete to claim their respective Men’s and Women’s national titles.

The Bayleys National Sevens will provide the community with a great day out. The flare and excitement of sevens rugby action will be coupled with a tasty bite to eat. Kids can head along and enjoy the More FM Whanau zone, with face painting and interactive games. With the summer sun heating up the Cancer Society will be there to ensure everyone slips slops and slaps.

Tournament Event Manager Allison Stewart comments on the excitement the event is generating
“There is a real buzz about town. It is great seeing the retailers getting involved and showing their support for the participating teams.

“With a number of Black Ferns Sevens and All Black Sevens players’ including, Black Ferns Sevens Captain Sarah Goss, World Rugby Women’s Sevens Player of the year Michaela Blyde and the formidable Portia Woodman we are spoilt for talent. In addition to the flare and excitement of the sevens game there is the More FM Whanau zone for kids and plenty of tasty food. The Bayleys National Sevens certainly has something on offer for everyone,” said Stewart.

Tickets are available for purchase from the gate; $15 for adults and free for children 14 years and under. Gates will open at 9.30am with the first match kicking off at 10.05am.

For full draw click here.

Waikato and Manawatu defend their Bay of Plenty Provincial Sevens titles

Monday, January 8, 2018
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Today's Provincial Sevens Tournament proudly sponsored by Seeka provided plenty of sevens action as teams prepared for next weekend's Bayleys National Sevens in Rotorua on the 13 and 14 January.

Following a round robin for the Women’s team, the final game of the day saw unbeaten teams’ Manawatu and Auckland tussle it out to claim top position. Manawatu impressed spectators; the side were clinical on attack and aggressive on defensive leaving Auckland scoreless. The side defend their Bay of Plenty Provincial Sevens title winning 19-0.

In the Men's Final it was a tantalising battle between to Waikato and Counties Manukau. Waikato showed their dominance holding a 12-7 lead over Counties Manukau at the break. Returning from break Counties Manukau attacked with precision, scoring consecutive tries to hold the lead into the final minute. However in the final seconds of the game Waikato scored a converted try to tie the scores sending the teams into extra time. Waikato restarted with purpose and made no mistake scoring within seconds of extra time kicking off to claim the 24-19 victory and defend their Bay of Plenty Provincial Sevens title.

Bay of Plenty Men's and Women's Sevens sides had a mixed day at the office, however were effective during periods and punished sides when opportunities arose. Looking ahead to the Bayleys National Sevens both sides will welcome the return of their respective New Zealand Sevens players' and will utilise the week to fine tune for next weekend's natioals.

Provincial Sevens Play Off Results:
Men's:

Tarawera Cup Final: Waikato 24 v Waikato 19
Tarawera Cup Semi-final 1: Waikato 14 v Samoan Barbarians 7
Tarawera Cup Semi-final 2: Counties Manukau 24 v Auckland 5

Putauaki Plate Final: Canterbury 19 v Tasman 7
Putauaki Plate Semi-final 1: Bay of Plenty 7 v Tasman 35
Putauaki Plate Semi-final 2: Wellington 17 v Canterbury 19

Mauao Bowl Final: Bay of Plenty Academy 14 v Manawatu 10
Mauao Bowl Semi-final 1: Manawatu 20 v Hawke’s Bay 17
Mauao Bowl Semi-final 2: Bay of Plenty Academy 32 v Northland 14

Women’s Final Placings:
1. Manawatu
2. Wellington
3. Auckland
4. Bay of Plenty
5. Waikato
6. Canterbury
7. North Harbour

Full Results: Click here

More FM Top Shop hits Rotorua shops

Monday, January 8, 2018
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More FM Top shop has hit the streets of Rotorua with retailers getting in behind the Provincial Teams who will be competing in this weekend’s Bayleys National Sevens.

Twenty eight retailers have adopted a sevens team and will be showing their support with bunting, signs and decorations.

Irene Nottage, Rotorua General Manager Mediaworks Radio sees the Bayleys National Sevens as a perfect fit for More FM and is delighted the retailers are joining them in supporting the teams ahead of this weekend.

“Rotorua has a proud rugby tradition with Rotorua’s More FM as a sponsor of the Steamers, getting involved with the Bayleys National Sevens was a no brainer for us and we are excited to see the retailers joining us to,” said Nottage.

Bayleys National Sevens Event Manager, Allison Stewart added “We are delighted with the support that we get from the Rotorua business community. This is such a great way to bring the Bayleys National Sevens downtown. The visiting teams take the opportunity to call into their supporting business and share stories from across the country.”

Mediaworks Rotorua will provide the two best dressed windows will receive a $500 Advertising voucher for use on MediaWorks stations each plus two tickets to the VIP Lounge to see the Bay of Plenty Steamers at a 2018 Mitre 10 Cup Home Game at the Rotorua International Stadium. Winners will be announced on More FM on Monday 15 January.

The Bayleys National Sevens will be held at the Rotorua International Stadium from January 13-14. Gates open at 9.30am on Saturday, January 13, with matches kicking off from 10.05am. Tickets for adults cost $15, while entry is $5 for children 14 and under. Tickets are available from the Rotorua Convention Centre and Ticketmaster.

Supporting Retailers:

House of Travel Rotorua – Bay of Plenty Men
Smith’s Sports Shoes – Otago Men
Webbs Shoes – Wellington Women
Sole Outlet – Counties Manukau Women
Kaspers Sports Bar – Waikato Men
Rotorua Hospice Shop – Southland Women
Meat Shoppe – Mid Canterbury Men
Red Rat – Canterbury Men
Ruck N Maul Sports Bar – Bay of Plenty Women
Trade Aid – Poverty Bay Women
Pak N Save – Taranaki Men
Rotorua TAB – Waikato Women
Side Pocket Bar – Counties Manukau Men
Scope Café – Southland Men
Footloose – North Harbour Women
Stirling Sports – Hawke’s Bay Men
Envy-2017 WINNER-Y Hawkes Bay Women
Parrots on Hinemoa – Hawke’s Bay Women
Abracadabra Bar and Café – Canterbury Women
Macpac – Tasman Men
Salon St Bruno – Otago Women
Designer Direct – Manawatu Women
Hennesseys Bar – Manawatu Men
Pollards Menswear – Wellington Men
Mo's Bar – Northland Men
VC’s Turf Bar – Wanganui Men
So Bar – North Harbour Men
Ponsonby Road Bar – Auckland Men

New city, new timing to freshen New Zealand National Sevens

Thursday, December 21, 2017
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New Zealand’s National Sevens Tournament will move to a new location and a new time of year to boost the number of top level players available to play, New Zealand Rugby has announced today.

The change will take effect after January’s Bayleys National Sevens in Rotorua, with the tournament then moving to Tauranga for the following three years starting in December 2018 where Tauranga Domain will play host to all the on-field action.

The move is hoped to see the best provincial talent available to compete and aligns the tournament with the high performance programmes of both the All Blacks Sevens and Black Ferns Sevens.

New Zealand Rugby High Performance Sevens Manager Tony Philp said the move is a great opportunity to get the nation’s top sevens players together at one event.

“Bringing the Nationals Sevens forward to December means that Unions will be able to call on players from their Mitre 10 Cup, Mitre 10 Heartland Championship and Farah Palmer Cup campaigns to be involved which will improve the standard of competition.

“It also provides a platform for selection to the All Blacks Sevens and Black Ferns Sevens for the following World Series.”

New Zealand Rugby acknowledged the efforts of Bay of Plenty and the Rotorua Lakes Council in hosting the National Sevens at Rotorua International Stadium for the past five years.

“We have enjoyed bringing the event to Rotorua and appreciate the efforts of all involved to make this tournament a success. It is exciting that the tournament will remain in the province and we look forward to our continued work with Bay of Plenty Rugby in delivering a fantastic event,” Philp said.

Bay of Plenty Chief Executive Mike Rogers said the Union was delighted the National Sevens would remain in the Bay.

“Sevens is a huge part of what we do and important to our community. We have enjoyed hosting this event in Rotorua for the past five years and are very grateful to our partners especially Rotorua Lakes Council for enabling us to grow this event into what it has become.

“Having the event in December in Tauranga gives us the ability to continue to evolve and grow the event as well as engaging with a different part of our Bay of Plenty community that will no doubt get in behind this event as has already been demonstrated by the fantastic support shown by the Tauranga City Council,” said Rogers.

Tauranga City Council Mayor Greg Brownless said hosting the National Sevens is an outstanding opportunity for the city.

“The passion and tradition of live rugby games is great for the fans and Tauranga gets a chance to show off everything that makes it such a great place to live. In addition to the economic benefits this tournament will deliver, it also gives our locals the opportunity to enjoy amazing experiences they can be proud of,” said Brownless.

Provincial Pride on the line at Regional Qualifiers

Wednesday, December 6, 2017
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Domestic sevens kicks into action this weekend with Provincial Unions across the country taking the field at three regional sevens events.

A total 36 men’s and women’s teams will compete at the Northern, Central and Southern Regional Sevens tournaments, with all three events to be live streamed on allblacks.com.

Up for grabs is qualification and seeding for the Bayleys National Sevens, hosted by Bay of Plenty in Rotorua on 13 and 14 January.

Waikato host the Northern Regional Sevens; their men are defending champions and will be looking for back-to-back titles. All six men’s teams from the Northern Regional Sevens will qualify for Nationals, but finishing places will determine all important seeding positions.

Counties Manukau will be the hot favourite in the women’s division, the reigning Northern Region and National champions will be looking to cement one of five qualifying positions.

Central Regional Sevens are hosted by Horowhenua Kapiti in Levin and feature eight men’s and five women’s teams in 2017. Wellington men and Manawatu women are the defending champions, with five men and four women’s teams advancing.

South Canterbury host the Southern Regional Sevens in Timaru with seven men’s and five women’s team to take the field in an effort to secure the five and three respective national’s berths. Tasman won the 2016 qualifiers and went on to make the plate final at Nationals, while Canterbury are the defending southern region women’s champions.

The three tournaments will be live streamed on www.allblacks.com as well as the host provincial unions' Facebook pages (links below).

Northern Regionals

Saturday 9 December, Memorial Park, Cambridge
Facebook live stream: click here
Men’s teams: Counties Manukau, Waikato, Auckland, Northland, Bay of Plenty, North Harbour
Women’s teams: Counties Manukau, Waikato, Auckland, Bay of Plenty, North Harbour
Download draw here

Central Regionals

Saturday 9 December, Playford Park, Levin
Facebook live stream: click here
Men’s teams: Wellington, Taranaki, Manawatu, Hawke’s Bay, Horowhenua Kapiti, Wairarapa Bush, Poverty Bay, Wanganui
Women’s teams: Manawatu, Wellington, Taranaki, Hawke’s Bay, Poverty Bay
Download draw here

Southern Regionals

Saturday 9 December, Alpine Energy Stadium, Timaru
Facebook live stream: click here
Men’s teams: Tasman, Canterbury, Southland, Otago, South Canterbury, North Otago, Mid Canterbury
Women’s teams: Canterbury, Otago, Tasman, Southland, Hanan Shield.
Download draw here

2018 Bayleys National Sevens tickets go on sale

Monday, December 4, 2017
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New Zealand’s top provincial men’s and women’s teams will compete for national honours over the weekend of 13 and 14 January in Rotorua.

The sixteen men’s and twelve women’s teams will provide exciting sevens rugby action, coupled with plenty of entertainment for the kids with The More FM Whanau Zone and fantastic food along with a festive atmosphere it will be an enjoyable weekend for rugby enthusiasts and families alike.

Bayleys National Sevens Events Manager Allison Stewart commented, "Once again we are looking forward to the 2018 Bayleys National Sevens. The excitement and flare sevens rugby brings will be fantastic to be a part of.

“We encourage people to come along and soak up the great atmosphere and watch top quality Sevens Rugby,” finished Stewart.

Each day will kick off at 10.00am at the Rotorua International Stadium.

Tickets are available from Ticketmaster with family concessions available. Tickets are available for purchase from Ticketmaster with family concessions available. $15 for adults, $5 for children under 15 and under-fives are free.

For further information on the Bayleys National Sevens head to www.nationalsevens.co.nz or to www.ticketmaster.co.nz for tickets.

Ticket prices:
Adult: $15
Child under 15: $5
Under 5's: Free
Family Pass: $35

Counties Manukau claim the double

Monday, January 16, 2017
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Counties Manukau are national champions.

In a stunning double effort, Counties Manukau have been crowned with both the men's and women's championship titles at the 2017 Bayleys National Sevens at Rotorua International Stadium today.

It’s a back-to-back championship win for the men who held off a determined Waikato but in the end held on for a 14-7 win.

The Counties Manukau women won their first ever title beating defending title holders Manawatu 24-17.

The Women’s Cup Final was an intense encounter between the two sides who had strong form in the pool stages of the tournament. Counties Manukau struck early with points in the first half thanks to two tries from Portia Woodman and one from Renee Wickliffe. Counties Manukau led 19-0 at the break.

Woodman dotted down for her third try early in the second half before Manawatu started a come-back led by Sarah Goss and Kristina Sue who scored two tries. Desperation and ill-discipline seeped into the final minutes of the game, with both teams copping yellow cards – at one stage with Manawatu playing with six and Counties Manukau playing with five players.

The men’s Final was a close-fought battle with both teams heading into the half time with a try apiece for a 7-7 half time score.

Showing how close the teams were, Counties Manukau only managed to get ahead thanks to a converted try with two minutes on the clock.

The two-day National Sevens tournament was the season finale with a total 16 men’s teams and 12 women’s teams qualifying from regional tournaments held last year.

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