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Counties Manukau claim the double

Sunday, January 15, 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.

Counties Manukau take out the Bayleys National Sevens titles

Sunday, January 15, 2017
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Counties Manukau Men went back to back to claim the Bayleys National Sevens in a nail biting final against Waikato. At half time the two sides were tied seven all. Following the break Counties Manukau secured the only try of the second half. Despite persistent attack from the Waikato side, Counties Manukau held on to win 14-7.

Earlier in the Women's Cup Final, Manawatu had hoped to defend their title but a determined Counties Manukau side were outstanding. Counties Manukau held an astonishing 19-0 lead at half time. However the defending champions showed tenacity and were relentless on attack. Ill discipline from Counties Manukau allowed Manawatu to capitalise but it was a little too late with Counties Manukau claiming the 2017 title with a 24-17 win.

Bay of Plenty's Kelly Brazier was named the Women's Player of the Tournament and Andrew Knewstubb from Tasman was named the Men's Player of the Tournament.

Finals Draw:
Men's Draw:
Men's Cup Final:

Waikato 7 v Counties Manukau 14

Men's Plate Final:
Auckland 28 v Tasman 21

Men's Bowl Final:
Bay of Plenty 19 v Canterbury 14

Men's Shield Final:
Otago 28 v Southland 0

Women's Draw:
Women's Cup Final:

Manawatu 17 v Counties Manukau 24

Women's 3rd and 4th Play Off:
Auckland 28 v Waikato 5

Women's Plate Final:
Canterbury 17 v Bay of Plenty 19

Women's 7th and 8th Play Off:
Wellington 21 v Otago 19

Women's Bowl Final:
Tasman 19 v Taranaki 24

Women's 11th and 12th Play Off:
Hawkes Bay 12 v North Harbour 19

Bayleys National Sevens play off matches are decided

Saturday, January 14, 2017
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Photo credit: Moran Images - Rick Moran

Counties Manukau and Manawatu will be looking to defend their respective Men’s and Women’s titles tomorrow when they turn out for their respective cup quarter finals.

Counties Manukau will be joined by Auckland, Hawkes Bay, Taranaki, Tasman, Waikato and Wellington in the men's cup quarter finals.

Where in the women's cup quarter finals Manawatu will be joined by Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Canterbury, Counties Manukau, Otago, Waikato and Wellington.

Finals Draw:
Men's Draw:
Men's Cup Quarter Finals:

11.30 Field 1 Waikato v Northland
11.50 Field 1 Auckland v Taranaki
12.10 Field 1 Tasman v Wellington
12.30 Field 1 Counties Manukau v Hawkes Bay

Men's Bowl Quarter Final:
10.05 Field 1 North Harbour v South Canterbury
10.25 Field 1 Otago v Bay of Plenty
10.45 Field 1 Canterbury v Horowhenua Kapiti
11.05 Field 1 Manawatu v Southland

Women's Draw:
Women's Cup Quarter Final:

10.05 Field 2 Manawatu v Wellington
10.25 Field 2 Bay of Plenty v Waikato
10.45 Field 2 Counties Manukau v Otago
11.05 Field 2 Auckland v Canterbury

Women's Bowl Semi Final:

12.10 Field 2 Tasman v Hawkes Bay
12.30 Field 2 North Harbour v Taranaki
Full Pool Play Results:
Men's Results:

Waikato 24 v Southland 14
Hawkes Bay 31 v North Harbour 7
Northland 24 v South Canterbury 7
Counties Manukau 26 v Manawatu 7
Bay of Plenty 17 v Canterbury 19
Taranaki 19 v Tasman 38
Wellington 31 v Horowhenua Kapaiti 7
Auckland 19 v Otago 12
Waikato 17 v North Harbour 10
Hawkes Bay 24 v Southland 21
Northland 33 v Manawatu 5
Counties Manukau 55 v South Canterbury 0
Taranaki 33 v Canterbury 5
Bay of Plenty 28 v Tasman 17
Wellington 17 v Otago 10
Auckland 40 v Horowhenua Kapaiti 12
Waikato 28 v Hawkes Bay 5
North Harbour 21 v Southland 14
Northland 14 v Counties Manukau 15
Manawatu 29 v South Canterbury 12
Bay of Plenty 17 v Taranaki 21
Tasman 17 v Canterbury 14
Otago 29 v Horowhenua Kapaiti 12
Wellington 5 v Auckland 12

Women's Results:
Counties Manukau 24 v Taranaki 14
Canterbury 25 v Tasman 0
Wellington 41 v Hawkes Bay 0
Bay of Plenty 24 v Auckland 19
Manawatu 33 v North Harbour 5
Waikato 12 v Otago 12
Counties Manukau 45 v Tasman 0
Canterbury 24 v Taranaki 10
Wellington 0 v Auckland 31
Bay of Plenty 42 v Hawkes Bay 5
Manawatu 20 v Otago 10
Waikato 22 v North Harbour 10
Tasman 34 v Taranaki 5
Counties Manukau 35 v Canterbury 12
Auckland 43 v Hawkes Bay 0
Wellington 0 v Bay of Plenty 33
Manawatu 17 v Waikato 12
Otago 38 v North Harbour 12

Bayleys National Sevens set to kick off

Tuesday, January 10, 2017
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Counties Manukau and Manawatu will be looking to defend their respective Men’s and Women’s titles this weekend when the 2017 Bayleys National Sevens kicks off at Rotorua International Stadium on Saturday 14 January and culminates with finals on Sunday 15 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 Hits 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. Thanks to ACC Sports Smart there will be free Wi-Fi to allow spectators to share their experiences on social media. Joining ACC will be their ACC ambassadors All Black Nehe Milner-Skudder and Black Ferns Sevens silver Olympic medallist Sarah Goss.

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.”

Stewart further highlights what the event has to offer, “With awesome talent on display, great weather, Black Ferns Sevens Captain Sarah Goss who will be partaking in the tournament will be joined by All Black Nehe Milner Skudder as the ACC ambassadors. The inclusion of the Hits Whanau zone for kids, the Bayleys National Sevens certainly has something on offer for everyone”.

Tickets are available for purchase from the gate; $15 for adults and free for children 14 years and under. Gates will open at 8.30am with the first match kicking off at 9.00am.

For full draw click here.

Rugby superstars team up with ACC

Monday, January 9, 2017
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ACC is teaming up with All Black Nehe Milner-Skudder and Olympic Silver medallist and Women’s 7 Captain Sarah Goss to promote staying injury free at the 2017 National 7’s.

These two superstars of the game will be showcasing ACC SportSmart and RugbySmart to the next generation of players.

ACC Sports Injury Prevention Manager Isaac Carlson said, Sarah and Nehe are fantastic role models; they are helping us to encourage people to prepare well before they play and learning the skills they need to reduce injuries in sport.

Over the weekend, ACC will be running skills and drills sessions, providing advice on warm up, preparation and how to recognise concussion.

“ACC SportSmart and Rugby Smart are evidence based programmes that help players reach their potential and stay injury free over a lifetime of sport

Everyone involved in sport from players, coaches and parents will have the opportunity to find out how players can improve their performance and reduce injuries.

“ACC has been working with New Zealand Rugby and several other national sporting codes to reduce injuries in sport, keeping players on the field and off the side lines.

ACC is tackling the issue of sporting injuries head on. Each year over 400,000 people injure themselves participating in sport and recreational activities in New Zealand at a cost of over half a billion dollars.

“However, with some preparation and the support of organisations like New Zealand Rugby, ACC believes we can bring these figures down, while also encouraging a lifetime of enjoying sport.”

Waikato and Manawatu take out Bay of Plenty Provincial Sevens

Monday, January 9, 2017
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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 14 and 15 January.

Manawatu faced Auckland in the Provincial Sevens Women's final. Manawatu held the narrowest of leads at the break, leading Auckland 7 - 5. The second half the teams tussled for possession. Auckland taking an early lead following the break. However it was Manawatu who captailised on their opportunities and held onto to defend their title with a 12 - 10 win.

In the Men's Final it was a strong Waikato side whom rained on the Samoan Barbarians parade. Waikato showed their dominance holding a 21 - 7 lead over Samoan Barbarians at the break. Returning from halftime the Samoan Barbarians attacked, however Waikato's defence proved difficult to break. Eventually they were rewarded late in the second half for their persistence. However it was Waikato who had the answer and responded with ease to extend their lead. Waikato eventually winning 31 - 17 claiming the Provincial Sevens Final.

Provincial Sevens Play Off Results:

Cup Final: Waikato 26 v Samoan Barbarians 14
Cup Semi-final 1: Waikato 28 v Counties Manukau 7
Cup Semi-final 2: Samoan Barbarians 29 v Northland 0

Plate Final: Auckland 14 v Manawatu 35
Plate Semi-final 1: Auckland 33 v Bay of Plenty Blue 24
Plate Semi-final 2: Hawkes Bay 24 v Manawatu 26

Bowl Final: North Harbour (defaulted) v Wellington
Bowl Semi-final 1: North Harbour 19 v Taranaki 7
Bowl Semi-final 2: Bay of Plenty Gold 26 v Wellington 28

Plate final: Wellington 21 v Waikato 17
Plate Semi-final 1: Wellington v Taranaki (defaulted)
Plate Semi-final 2: Waikato 15 v North Harbour 10

Cup final: Auckland 10 v Manawatu 12
Cup Semi-final 1: Auckland 20 v Canterbury 10
Cup Semi-final 2: Manawatu 32 v Bay of Plenty 7

Full Results:
Click here for full results.

New Zealand Team spots up for grabs at the Bayleys National Sevens

Tuesday, December 20, 2016
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Sevens players from around the country will be vying for selection into the All Blacks Sevens and Black Ferns Sevens when the country’s top sevens team gather in Rotorua for the Bayleys National Sevens tournament in early January next year.

Sixteen men’s teams and 12 women’s teams will compete in the two-day tournament which kicks off at Rotorua International Stadium on Saturday 14 January.

Players will have the chance to impress new All Blacks Sevens Head Coach Clark Laidlaw, who will be travelling from the UK to attend the event, and Black Ferns Sevens Head Coach Allan Bunting who will both be naming their squads for the 2016-2017 HSBC World Sevens Series after the tournament.

“There’s plenty at stake for players with both national team coaches on the sidelines looking to bring new talent into their squads as they start to build their teams for the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and the Tokyo Olympics in 2020,” said New Zealand Rugby General Manager Rugby Neil Sorensen.

“There are a number of contracted spots still available for the All Blacks Sevens and the Black Ferns Sevens. The Bayleys Nationals is an opportunity for players to put their hand up to be considered for national teams.

“Following the silver medal success of the Black Ferns Sevens at Rio we have seen a good growth in the women’s game, leading to an expansion of the women’s tournament with 12 teams playing this year.

“Now that sevens has a global audience as an Olympics sport the competition internationally is heating up. Fortunately we have great depth of talent, as seen in the three Regional sevens tournaments, and the Nationals promise to be a great display of sevens rugby,” Sorensen said.

Pools and draw confirmed
With regional qualifying tournaments completed and seedings confirmed, the pools have been announced for the Bayleys National Sevens.

In the men’s draw Waikato is the top seed and leads pool A and Northland heads pool B after winning and coming runner up respectively in the Northern Region qualifying tournament. Bay of Plenty leads pool C, and Central Region winners Wellington head pool D.

On the women’s side of the draw, central winner Manawatu is seeded first and heads pool A, Wellington tops pool B and Counties Manakau leads pool C.

The full draw can be found here

Organisers of the Bayleys 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.

“The Bayleys National Sevens Tournament will be a fantastic event for Bay of Plenty and Rotorua locals and holiday makers to get along to. It promises to be a fun packed weekend with some of the best sevens rugby in the world on display,” said Bay of Plenty Rugby Chief Executive Mike Rogers.

“The sevens adds to Rotorua’s vibrancy over the holiday period and will be a highlight of the summer events calendar, and at only $35 for a family of five to attend it is great value for money entertainment.

“The tournament is not only for rugby enthusiasts, it’s a great family day out with food and entertainment for the kids; what better way to spend a weekend”

Key information: Bayleys National Sevens



Pool A: Waikato, Hawkes Bay, North Harbour, Southland
Pool B: Northland, Counties Manukau, Manawatu, South Canterbury
Pool C: Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Tasman, Canterbury
Pool D: Wellington, Auckland, Otago, Horowhenua Kapiti


Pool A: Manawatu, Waikato, Otago, North Harbour
Pool B: Wellington, Bay of Plenty, Auckland, Hawkes Bay
Pool C: Counties Manukau, Canterbury, Tasman, Taranaki

When: 14-15 January 2017
Where: Rotorua International Stadium
Go: www.ticketmaster.co.nz
$15 Adult, $5 Child under 15, Under 5 Free, Family Tickets $35 (2A and up to 3C)

Tickets go on sale for the Bayleys National Sevens

Thursday, December 1, 2016
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New Zealand’s top provincial men’s and women’s teams will compete for national honours over the weekend of 14 and 15 January in Rotorua. The sixteen men’s and twelve women’s teams will feature All Black Sevens and Black Ferns Sevens representatives with others vying selection for their respective 2017 representative squads.

The weekend will be packed with exciting sevens action along with entertainment, The Hits Whanau Zone, ACC Sports Smart Zone and fantastic food along with a festive atmosphere.

Bayleys National Sevens Events Manager Allison Stewart commented, "The Bayleys National Sevens will this year showcase New Zealand's top sevens players, the flare and athleticism they bring is fantastic to watch.

"It is not only for the rugby enthusiasts but it is a great family day out with food and entertainment for the kids; what better way to spend a weekend"

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.

Click here to here to purchase.

Counties Manukau and Manawatu take out the Bayleys National Sevens

Tuesday, January 19, 2016
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Bustling, bumping and fast Sevens rugby allowed Counties Manukau to triumph 54-14 over North Harbour in the final of the Bayleys National Sevens at Rotorua on Sunday.
It was relentless pressure from the Pukekohe-based side who claimed the title for the first time since 1995 and capped a consistent performance over the two days.

Counties Manukau made a strong start with Savelio Ropati crossing within the first minute with Alex Samoa following soon after.

But Whiria Meltzer demonstrated why he had been such a key performer for North Harbour over the weekend to prise open the defences to score. Then, from the re-start the ball was ruled to have rebounded off Joshua Rowland's knee. The North Harbour captain had a good bounce and a free run to the line as the scores were levelled.

The final act of the first scoring act of the first half came after a superb break by Augustine Pulu. He made ground and then threw a perfect pass for Tavite Gadeisuva to score.

North Harbour were unlucky in getting over the line but were unable to ground the ball at the end of the first half.

Counties Manukau ran rampant in the second half with Ropati scoring first again and then Gadeisuva scoring successive tries to complete a hat-trick.

That was extended by Liam Daniela and then after some typically strong defensive play North Harbour ball was turned over and Josh van Leishout scored the last try.

The winner of the Joe Taiwi Memoral Trophy was presented to Augustine Pulu.

In the women's final Manawatu demonstrated their dominance of the shorter game when taking a 26-19 win over Wellington for their third win in four years.

It was a second day of upsets. Auckland's men, after their 19-24 extra-time loss to Wellington in the quarter-final, had to go through the extra minutes again in the Plate final when coming from behind against Manawatu before claiming a 19-14 win when Reiko Ioane crossed for the winning try.

North Harbour also caused an upset when beating defending champions Waikato 26-19 in their quarter-final. Counties Manukau were pushed hard all the way by Manawatu before claiming a 21-19 win. Bay of Plenty also got home in a tight finish to beat Taranaki 27-26.

Wellington were not able to maintain their momentum and were soundly beaten in their semi-final by North Harbour 28-14. But Counties Manukau were all over Bay of Plenty to claim a 31-10 win.

Surprises were not confined to the men's draw as Auckland, who have for so long dominated women's rugby in New Zealand, were beaten 21-10 in their play-off game. Manawatu claimed their finals berth with an extra-time win 17-12 over Waikato.

In the women's final Selica Winiata put Manawatu in front when finding acres of space on the blindside from a ruck in the Wellington 22m area.

Amanda Rasch made Manawatu pay for a restart that was straight into touch and while it took time, they finally got into position and it was Rasch who powered through on the angle to score. However, the try was unconverted.

But Manawatu struck back when Winiata threw a giant-sized dummy and she had a 40m run in. Wellington made the most of a post-half-time hooter penalty to take the ball the length of the field were Kat Whata-Simpkins cut open the defences and then held the ball in Winiata's despairing tackle to score and get Manawatu back to 14-12 at halftime.

Rasch looked to make a sideline break early in the second half but her infield pass was intercepted by Winiata who raced into the clear and then fed Crystal Mayes who raced in handy to the posts for the conversion to be added.

The win was sealed in the last two minutes when Kristina Sue got over from another of the side's quick penalty taps taking by Winiata. There was time for a consolation try in the last minute to Whata-Simpkins.

Whata-Simpkins had an extra bonus when selected to win the Anna Richards women's player of the tournament trophy.

Results were:



Auckland 19 Wellington 24 (extra time), Waikato 19 North Harbour 26, Counties Manukau 21 Manawatu 19, Taranaki 26 Bay of Plenty 27.

Northland 21 Otago 12, Canterbury 36 Wanganui 12, Mid Canterbury 7 Tasman 31, Hawke's Bay 38 South Canterbury 12


Wellington 14 North Harbour 28, Counties Manukau 31 Bay of Plenty 10

Northland 14 Canterbury 12, Tasman 7 Hawke's Bay 24

Auckland 38 Waikato 5, Manawatu 33 Taranaki 26

Otago lost to Wanganui, Mid Canterbury 7 South Canterbury 29

Counties Manukau 54 North Harbour 14

Wanganui 14 South Canterbury 12

Northland 17 Hawke's Bay 10

Auckland 19 Manawatu 14 (extra time)


Cup playoffs:**
Wellington 21 Auckland 10, Waikato 12 Manawatu 17 (extra time)

Plate playoffs:
Otago 34 Wairarapa Bush 5, North Harbour 19 Tasman 12


Auckland 36 North Harbour 17, Waikato 19 Otago 12

Canterbury 7 Wellington 33, Counties Manukau 0 Manawatu 24.

7th v 8th
North Harbour 10 Otago 26

9th v 10th (Bowl final)
Wairarapa Bush 10 Tasman 12

3rd v 4th
Canterbury 5 Counties Manukau 31

5th v 6th (Plate final)
Auckland 14 Waikato 19


Manawatu 26 Wellington 19

Bayleys National Sevens Play Off Matches are set

Saturday, January 16, 2016
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Bayleys National Sevens Men's quarter finals and Women's play off matches have been decided.

Men's Cup Quarter Finals:
11.25am: Auckland v Wellington
11.45am: Waikato v North Harbour
12.05pm: Counties Manukau v Manawatu
12.25pm: Taranaki v Bay of Plenty
Men's Bowl Quarter Finals:
10.05am: Northland v Otago
10.25am: Canterbury v Wanganui
10.45am: Mid Canterbury v Tasman
11.05am: Hawkes Bay v South Canterbury

Women's Cup Semi-Finals:
12.45pm: Canterbury v TBC
1.05pm: Counties v TBC
Women's Cup Play Off's:
10.05am: Wellington v Auckland
10.25am: Waikato v Manawatu
Women's Plate Play Off's:
10.45am: Otago v Wairarapa Bush
11.05am: North Harbour v Tasman

Full Saturday Pool Play Results:
Men's Results:

Manawatu 38 v 12 Tasman
Waikato 19 v 7 Canterbury
North Harbour 26 v 10 Wanganui
Counties Manukau 47 v 5 Mid Canterbury
Otago 7 v 17 Wellington
Hawkes Bay 15 v 21 Taranaki
Northland 0 v 21 Bay of Plenty
Auckland 38 v 5 South Canterbury
Manawatu 22 v 7 Canterbury
Waikato 17 v 14 Tasman
North Harbour 35 v 12 Mid-Canterbury
Counties Manukau 49 v 0 Wanganui
Otago 19 v 22 Taranaki
Hawkes Bay 7 v 10 Wellington
Auckland 40 v 7 Northland
Bay of Plenty 26 v 10 South Canterbury
Tasman 12 v 20 Canterbury
Waikato 21 v 15 Manawatu
Counties Manukau 26 v 5 North Harbour
Wanagnui 0 v 22 Mid Canterbury
Wellington 14 v 20 Taranaki
Hawkes Bay 26 v 19 Otago
Northland 26 v 0 South Canterbury
Bay of Plenty 12 v 40 Auckland

Women's Results:

Waikato 17 v 0 North Harbour
Counties Manukau 27 v 7 Otago
Auckland 19 v 12 Canterbury
Manawatu 32 v 0 Tasman
Wellington 24 v 0 Otago
Counties Manukau 35 v 5 North Harbour
Waiarapa Bush 12 v 17 Tasman
Manawatu 10 v 14 Canterbury
Waikato 20 v 5 Wellington
North Harbour 14 v 14 Otago
Auckland 34 v 5 Waiarapa Bush
Canterbury 38 v 0 Tasman
Counties Manukau 12 v 25 Wellington
Waikato 33 v 12 Otago
Manawatu 45 v 0 Waiarapa Bush
Auckland 40 v 5 Tasman
North Harbour 7 v 31 Wellington
Counties Manukau 26 v 12 Waikato
Manawatu 17 v 12 Auckland
Canterbury 50 v 0 Wairarapa Bush

For full draw and results click here.

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