Counties Manukau sevens teams successful at home

Counties Manukau sevens teams successful at home

Counties Manukau have won both the men’s and women’s competition at their own provincial sevens tournament at Navigation Homes Stadium on Saturday.

It follows both teams finishing runner-up to Bay of Plenty last weekend in Whangamata.

The women’s team dropped their opening match of the day to Northland 31-12 in a surprise result but bounced back to beat North Harbour 20-12, Thames Valley 55-0 and Bay of Plenty 21-12 to win the competition – they finished tied with Bay of Plenty but won the tournament thanks to scoring more tries during the competition.

“We had a slow start to the day and took a while to switch on but once we found our confidence we created some good plays,” said player-coach Hazel Tubic.

“We were fortunate to have a couple of the Black Ferns players back which helped the younger girls find direction around the field.

“Stoked with how we managed to bounce back and grow throughout the day but still plenty of areas for us to work on.”

The men’s side completed a clean sweep of their four pool games to win their tournament.

They proved too strong for Northland 19-7 in the opening game before beating North Harbour 21-5, thrashing Thames Valley 35-7 and beating Bay of Plenty 24-12 to earn the tournament win.

“It was a good day all round,” said coach Jeremy Clark. “It was a really good team effort and a good improvement from last week when we were at Whangamata, so the decision making for picking the final 14 starts now and that’s probably going to be the toughest to make those decisions because everyone’s played a big part in where we are now so.

“It’s hard to pick any standouts because we had so many good players that performed today, I couldn’t single out any one player today - it was just really was such a team effort.”

Both teams will select their final group of 14 players for the Northern Region tournament next weekend.