Saturday, December 15, 2018
Under the blistering hot Bay of Plenty sunshine the best sevens talent went head to head on Day One of the TECT National Sevens.
In the men’s division, January’s National Sevens finalists Waikato and Tasman, along with perennial performers Counties Manukau set the standard, all going through pool play unbeaten.
Southland proved to be the surprise package, stunning Auckland 26-5 and beating neighbours Otago 17-14 to advance from Pool B.
Wellington men cruised through their first two pool matches without conceding a point before dropping to Tasman 24-10, but progress to Cup play offs as the second placed team from Pool C.
Pool D saw the tightest contest of the day, with Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki and Canterbury all recording two wins and a loss. Hawke’s Bay’s superior points difference put them through on top, while Taranaki snatched second place courtesy of their win over Canterbury.
Counties Manukau proved to have the best defence on day one, conceding just two tries, while Tasman showed their skill on attack, averaging 30 points a match.
In the women’s division it was Auckland leading the way, with the best defensive and attacking record, conceding just one try across their three matches.
Defending champions Manawatu topped Pool B while home team Bay of Plenty upset Waikato 24-7 to finish unbeaten from Pool C.
Otago tipped up Southern Region Champions Canterbury 24-12 to go through second in Pool A, while Wellington and Waikato finished second in their pools.
Counties Manukau and Canterbury round out the women's quarter finalists as the top third placed teams.
Seven pieces of silverware will be handed out on day two, from the Shield winners through to men's and women's Cup champions. Also up for grabs are the Anna Richards Cup and Joe Tauiwi Memorial Trophy for the women's and men's Player of the Tournament.