Manukau Courier : January 13th 2011
17 MANUKAU COURIER, JANUARY 13, 2011 SPORT Team fails to break 34-year drought Next time: The Counties Manukau Sevens team will have to wait till next year to try to win the national sevens title after they were beaten 19-12 by Auckland in this year's semifinals in Queenstown on Sunday. By ALAN APTED The National Rugby Sevens title remains as elusive as ever for Counties Manukau. They were beaten 19-12 by Auckland in the semifinals of the national championship in Queenstown on Sunday and must now wait another year to break what is a 34-year drought. Coaches Reo Graham and Joeli Vidiri are proud of the way their team performed but are disappointed at coming up short. The semifinal against Auckland was close and could have gone either way,'' Gra- ham says. We missed a number of opportunities. I thought this was going to be our year. It was a great effort by the team in such a close compe- tition but we still have unfin- ished business so we will be back next year.'' The two defining moments of the semifinal produced back-to-back tries for Auck- land. The first came from an Auckland knock-on at a line- out near the Counties Manu- kau 22. The second happened minutes later when Kaino Kaino was ruled to have knocked on when the ball appeared to hit him nearer the shoulder than the fore- hand. Counties Manukau had cruised into the semifinal, beating South Canterbury 45-5, Wellington 21-5, Hawke's Bay 24-17 and North Harbour 28-26. Graham was glowing in his praise for newcomers Reynold Lee-lo, Viliami Fihaki and Mark Selwyn and the baby of the team and the youngest player at the tournament, 17-year-old Jamie Taulagi. Lee-lo, Fihaki and Selwyn play for the Steelers but have never played sevens for Counties Manukau before. Graham says Taulagi impressed with his speed, tackling and his reading of the game. David Raikuna was the only Counties Manukau player named in the New Zealand Sevens training squad. Champions: The Auckland sevens team savour their finals win in Queenstown on Sunday. Photo: SOUTHLAND TIMES Sevens victory in south By ALAN APTED Four southside rugby players had leading roles in Auckland's vic- tory at the National Rugby Sevens Cham- pionship in Queenstown on Sunday. They were Tom Iosefo of the Papatoetoe Rugby Club, Tenina Sauileoge and Iosua Timoteo of the Otahuhu Rugby Club, and Joseph Tupe, the New Zealand schoolboy flanker out of De La Salle College, who now plays for Marist. Tupe won Auckland and New Zealand secondary school cham- pionships with De La Salle in 2008. Auckland beat Tara- naki 36-26 in the final. Iosefo was the undoubted star of the final -- his hat-trick of tries helped Auckland overcome a 26-12 halftime deficit. Saui- leoge also scored. The Auckland team, one of the youngest sides at the tournament, were coached by Pakuranga coach Wayne Pivac. Ecstatic after nationals Winners: Counties Manukau are the champions of New Zealand women's sevens after beating Waikato 28-17 in the final in Rotorua just before Christmas. By ALAN APTED Counties Manukau are the champions of New Zealand women's sevens. They won the crown by beating Waikato 28-17 in the final in Rotorua just before Christmas. The star-studded team of four Kiwi Ferns, a Black Fern and four players from the Auckland Storm were streets ahead of the oppo- sition. They beat Waikato 21-14, Manawatu 24-7, Auckland Marist 24-7 and Hawke's Bay 39-5. Manager Karla Matua says the players were ecstatic. We were a bit scratchy at the start but by the last two games the girls had found their feet and started to dominate the opposition.'' Sixteen-year-old Marama Davis was voted player of the tournament. The Auckland Storm player and New Zealand under-21 touch representa- tive bagged six tries during the day-long tournament. The Counties Manukau women also won the inaug- ural College Rifles Sevens the month before. The majority of the team play for the Manurewa Rugby Club. The team was: Sharnita Woodman, Shontelle Wood- man, Rona Peters, Marama Davis, Nadia Loveday, Laura Mariu, Stacy Brown, Aroha Savage, Hazel Tubic, Arihiana Marino, Karley Te Kawa, Paul Ale (coach) and Karla Matua (manager).
January 11th 2011
January 14th 2011