2017 National Provincial 7s Draw

Pools – Men

Pool A Pool B Pool C Pool D
Waikato
North Harbour
Hawke’s Bay
Southland
Counties Manukau
Northland
Manawatu
South Canterbury
Tasman
Taranaki
Bay of Plenty
Canterbury
Wellington
Auckland
Otago
Horowhenua-Kapiti

Pools – Women

Pool A Pool B Pool C
Manawatu
Waikato
Otago
North Harbour
Wellington
Bay of Plenty
Auckland
Hawke’s Bay
Counties Manukau
Canterbury
Tasman
Taranaki

Draw

Most of the men’s games will be played on the main field while most of the women’s games are on field #2.

Where this is not the case, the field number is specified.

Time Men’s Draw Women’s Draw
10.25 M1 Waikato v Southland W1 Counties Manukau v Taranaki
10.45 M2 Hawkes Bay v North Harbour W2 Canterbury v Tasman
11.05 M3 Northland v South Canterbury W3 Wellington v Hawkes Bay
11.25 M4 Counties Manukau v Manawatu W4 Bay of Plenty v Auckland
11.45 M5 Bay of Plenty v Canterbury W5 Manawatu v North Harbour
12.05 M6 Taranaki v Tasman W6 Waikato v Otago
12.25 M7 Wellington v Horowhenu Kapiti
12.45 M8 Auckland v Otago
M9 Waikato v North Harbour #2
1.05 M10 Hawkes Bay v Southland #2 W7 Counties Manukau v Tasman #1
1.25 M11 Northland v Manawatu #2 W8 Canterbury v Taranaki #1
1.45 M12 Counties Manukau v South Canterbury #2 W9 Wellington v Auckland #1
Break for official opening
2.35 M13 Taranaki v Canterbury #2 W10 Bay of Plenty v Hawkes Bay #1
2.55 M14 Bay of Plenty v Tasman #2 W11 Manawatu v Otago #1
3.15 M15 Wellington v Otago #2 W12 Waikato v North Harbour #1
3.35 M17 Waikato v Hawkes Bay
M16 Auckland v Horowhenu Kapiti #2
3.55 M18 North Harbour v Southland
4.15 M19 Northland v Counties Manukau W13 Tasman v Taranaki
4.35 M20 Manawatu v South Canterbury W14 Counties Manukau v Canterbury
4.55 M21 Bay of Plenty v Taranaki W15 Auckland v Hawkes Bay
5.15 M22 Tasman v Canterbury W16 Wellington v Bay of Plenty
5.35 M23 Otago v Horowhenu Kapiti W17 Manawatu v Waikato
5.55 M24 Wellington v Auckland W18 Otago v North Harbour

Taranaki men name a solid team for the Nationals

Beaudein Waaka is back on deck, joined by Iopu Iopu Aso from the All Black 7s team.

The other familiar names in the team are NPC wing Jackson Ormond and the quick stepping Trinity Spooner-Neera, a one-time All Black 7s rep.

There’s no Kurt Baker or Lewis Ormond and Jesse Parete has transferred to the Bay of Plenty.

The team was soundly beaten in the final of the Central Region qualification tournament and did not look like world-beaters at the Bay of Plenty Invitational last weekend.

That said, Taranaki has been drawn in Pool C where they really just need to get past Tasman to make the Cup Quarter Finals because they should have too much for South Canterbury.

Taranaki men

Beaudein Waaka
Matt MacKenzie
Iopu Iopu Aso
Trinity Spooner-Neera
Jackson Ormond
Sione Ahokava
Cody McGrath
Jason Potroz
Pita Sowakula
Blake Hohaia
Liam Blyde
Jade Taylor

Auckland men’s 7s come together at the last minute

Auckland were in mixed form a the Northern Regional Qualifier last month in Cambridge.

They weren’t much better at Mount Maunganui last weekend either.

But this week they have named their strongest side of the season to contest the National provincial 7s.

Ex-All Black 7s Lolagi Visinia was powerful in Cambridge but didn’t play last weekend. He will be a handful at the Nationals with a strong support crew that includes current All Black 7s playmaker Rocky Khan and speedsters Ed Fidow and Joe Ravouvou.

The evergreen Tutu Tairea is the most experienced campaigner while youngsters Mosese Pepa and Sebastian Visinia will be looking to break out at every opportunity.

They are not favourites but with 12 championships under their belt, it would be foolish to write off Ed Coker’s men this weekend.

Auckland men

Rocky Khan (c)
Dave Afamasaga
Jona Sawailau
Lolagi Visinia
Sebastian Visinia
Tutu Tairea
Mosese Pepa
Ignacio Costa
Joe Ravouvou
Ed Fidow
Brody Lam
Jeremy Innes

The Men’s National Provincial 7s title could be a 2 horse race

Favourites often fail at the National Provincial 7s tournament, especially if they have won the Mount Maunganui tournament the week before. But it’s just a matter of time before that particular hoodoo is broken.

And this could be the time because Waikato are in extremely good form and they have been boosted this past week with the addition of experienced All Black 7s playmaker Isaac Te Tamaki.

This was already a talented side with ex-Fijian captain Emosi Vucago, the fleet-footed Sevu Reece and big Josh Gordon running wide.

Victory is not a foregone conclusion but with a likely Quarter FInal against Northland, little stands in the way of Waikato and a place in the semi-finals.

Counties Manukau

Counties Manukau will be a force at the Nationals more for the injection of All Black 7s stars than their current form because they haven’t got much of that. Truth is: they’ve been average.

Hence they have avoided the pressure of expectation and can get on with the job at hand.

And they can do so with the injection of All Black 7s stars Sione Molia and Sherwin Stowers. Add recent international Sam Vaka and you have the most potent attacking force in the country.

If their forwards can do their job holding opponents, this team could repeat their victory of last year.

If Counties Manukau win their pool they will meet the runner up from Pool A in their quarter final which will give them every chance of making the semis.

If results go to form, we could be looking at a Waikato v Counties Manukau final match up.

 

Auckland women bolstered for Nationals

Auckland women were poor at the Northern Regional Qualification tournament last month but they got back on track to finish strongly at the Bay of Plenty Invitational last weekend where they were pipped by Manawatu with a last second try.

They have tough, experienced forwards in Charlotte Scanlon, Niall Williams and Theresea Fitzpatrick.

Tyla Nathan-Wong is back and will partner with Kiritapu Demant in the halves.

Manawatu may still have an edge over their great rival as they have more pace and finishing out side but anything can happen on the day and this Auckland side have the capability.

Auckland Women
Charlotte Scanlan (c)
Tasha Davie
Leanne Thompson
Niall Williams (c)
Tess Gard’ner
Lara Diamond-Brahne
Tyla Nathan-Wong
Kiritapu Demant
Natahlia Moors
Theresa Fitzpatrick
Lydia Crossman
Shannon Leota

Hawke’s Bay Women lose their captain

Disaster has struck the Hawke’s Bay women’s 7s team in their lead up to the National Provincial 7s this weekend in Rotorua.

Captain Julie Ferguson-Ngawaka has a broken ankle and has been replaced by Kate Bradshaw who brings some much needed experience to a very young side that includes two 17 year olds.

Playmaker Shaylee Tipiwai steps up to lead the team in Rotorua.

The team qualified in the 4th and final spot allotted to the Central Region.

They will face Wellington, Bay of Plenty and Auckland in pool play on Saturday.

Hawke’s Bay
Laurae Blake
Nina Pineaha-Hyslop
Teilah Ferguson
Shaylee Tipiwai
Hope Hakopa
Felicity Powdrell
Niamh Jefferson
Trisha Hina
Kate Bradshaw
Sulieti Halafihi
Abbey Collier
Jaimee Edwards

2017 National 7s Preview – Men’s Draw

The men’s draw for the National 7s this weekend in Rotorua has some great match ups for Day#1.

The seeding has the 3 Regional Qualification tournament winners and last year’s champions leading each of the 4 pools that have a reasonably even look.

There will be some exciting matches on Day#1. Watch out for the Auckland v Wellington clash in Pool D timed for 5:55pm on Saturday.

See the Full Day#1 Draw

Pool A (Waikato, North Harbour, Hawkes Bay, Southland)

Waikato are the hot favourites going into the Nationals. They dominated their qualification event last month and won the Bay of Plenty Invitational on Saturday with another sound performance.
They have pace, strength and some of the trickiest little men around.
They also have the potential addition of All Black 7s stars Tim Mikkleson, Beaudein Waaka and Isaac TeTamaki.
North Harbour will be their toughest competition on Day#1.
Hawkes Bay are a long way from their heyday and Southland only bagged the last spot in the Southern Region.
That said, the Southerners are fully capable of causing an upset with the addition of All Black 7s Dylan Collier and recent squad member Junior Ngaluafe.
They also boast genuine express pace in former American Football player Steven Knight.

Pool B (Counties Manukau, Northland, Manawatu, South Canterbury)

Defending champions Counties-Manukau have a tough assignment with Northland and Manawatu to contend with.
They haven’t looked all that convincing in the lead up events but they will benefit immensely with All Black 7s stars Sherwin Showers and Sione Molia. Recent international Sam Vaka has been playing well so this will be a very powerful attacking unit.
Led by last year’s sensation Whiria Meltzer, Northland made the final of the Northern Region tournament and looked to have a nicely balanced side.
NPC loosie Matt Matich goes well up front and the Taniwha do play like a team so they are in for a good shout of making the Cup Quarters.
Manawatu will have a reasonably strong lineup. All Black 7s forward Antonio Kirikiri has gone well in the build up.
In the backs, 1-time international Jordan Bunce will be back so the match up with Northland at 1:25pm on Field #2 will be critical.
South Canterbury round out the pool.

Pool C (Tasman, Taranaki, Bay of Plenty, Canterbury)

It could be argued that the home side – Bay of Plenty – have been given a relatively easy pool with Taranaki, Tasman and Canterbury but on seeding it’s more like Tasman won that right by finishing top of the competitive Southern Region beating Otago in the final.
Taranaki were second in their Qualifier so it’s Bay of Plenty and Canterbury who have the minor seedlings in Pool C.
That said, Bay of Plenty have All Black 7s captain Scott Curry as well as speedster Regan Ware so they will be serious contenders.
Taranaki were well beaten in the final of the Central Region qualification tournament but they have the quick-stepping Trinity Spooner-Neera and vastly experienced Jackson Ormond to steady the ship.
All Black 7s forwards Lewis Ormond and Iopu Iopu-Aso may also be back.

Pool D (Wellington, Otago, Auckland, Horowhenua-Kapiti)

Wellington and Auckland are in the same pool but the top 2 teams go through so unless Otago and / or Horowhenua Kapiti cause an upset, that’s how Pool D will go.
Auckland were average in their qualification tournament while Wellington dominated theirs. This will be the biggest clash of the day (5:55pm).
Otago go well at the Nationals. They have pace in Gavin Stark and hard working forwards so they will be no easy-beats.
It’s great to see Horowhenua-Kapiti back at the Nationals after failing to qualify the last 3 years.

All Black 7s captain Scott Curry to play for Bay of Plenty

The Bay of Plenty men’s 7s team for the Nationals in Rotorua has been named and it includes All Black 7s captain Scott Curry.

Curry is from the Bay although spent a lot of time playing in the Manawatu region. He returned home when player payments were introduced for the All Black 7s but has not featured in provincial 7s competition since making the national team.

Curry joins workhorse Matt Clutterbuck and Jesse Parete up front making for a very strong pack.

The hosts also have Regan Ware in the side who will bring some much needed pace out wide on top of his recent international experience. Lalakai Foketi is the other name to watch in the backline.

Unfortunately recent international Teddy Stanaway has not recovered from a recent head knock.

Bay of Plenty have Canterbury, Tasman and Taranaki in their pool.

Bay of Plenty Men

Scott Curry
Matt Clutterbuck (captain)
Jesse Parete
Elijah Nicholas
Regan Ware
Adam McGarvey
Lalakai Foketi
Marnus Hanley
Akira Mako
Dan Hollinshead
Danny Kayes
Isaac Te Aute

The cost of Olympic failure

The fallout for New Zealand’s failed Olympians has been announced by the Government’s funding body, High Performance Sport.

Bottom line for Men’s Rugby: The All Black 7s program funding will be cut by $600,000 over the 2 years 2017-18.

What happens after that depends upon their performance at the 7s World Cup.

New Zealand Rugby increased player payments in 2013 in anticipation of receiving Olympic funding.

But that funding is to help teams “win on the world stage at Olympic and Paralympic Games and world championships”.

In a review of New Zealand’s performance, Andrew Alderson hits the nail on the head:

“The results should hasten a decision on where sevens sits as a New Zealand Rugby and HPSNZ priority.”

New Zealand Rugby talked up the Olympics when the announcements were made but when it came around players were filed in, then out, then back into the All Black 7s squad.

Mixing their 15 a-side commitments was far from optimal.

Other players may have been dissuaded by some within NZ Rugby although they’re strongly denying this.

Ardie Savea’s ‘punishment’ for leaving the program halfway through: elevation to the All Black 15s team.

Either way the All Black 7s performance at the next World Cup in 2018 in the USA will influence their tax-payer funding in the build up to the next Olympics in 2020.

That said, NZ Rugby may not be too concerned.

They have also just signed a new collective agreement that includes increases in player salaries.
[The details for 7s players have yet to be released]

In their first test, NZ Rugby responded well by electing to wait for the right coach (Clark Laidlaw) rather than rush a less experienced replacement for Sir Gordon Tietjens.

The next test will be when it comes to player releases for the World Cup.

Watch this space …

Central Regional Qualifier 2016 – Results

Manawatu women continued their domination of the Central Region with a 26-5 win over Wellington in the final.

These sides will be joined by Hawkes Bay and Taranaki at the Nationals in mid January.

Wellington continued their good form to win the men’s division 33-5 over Taranaki.

Hawkes Bay, Manawatu and Horowhenua-Kapiti round out the men’s qualifiers.

NOTE – East Coast were a late withdrawal from the men’s division

RESULTS

Women Round 1 Wellington 31-12 Taranaki
Women Round 1 Manawatu 29-5 Poverty Bay
Men Round 1 Hawkes Bay 21-14 Horowhenua Kapiti
Men Round 1 Wellington 19-19 Wanganui
Men Round 1 Manawatu 19-7 Wairarapa Bush
Men Round 1 Taranaki 29-12 Poverty Bay
Women Round 2 Taranaki 26-5 Wanganui
Women Round 2 Hawkes Bay 19-07 Poverty Bay
Men Round 2 Wellington 21-19 Hawkes Bay
Men Round 2 Wanganui 0-19 Horowhenua Kapiti
Men Round 2 Manawatu 14-24 Taranaki
Men Round 2 Poverty Bay 7-33 Wairarapa Bush
Women Round 3 Wanganui 0-39 Wellington
Women Round 3 Manawatu 31-7 Hawkes Bay
Men Round 3 Wellington 48-0 Horowhenua Kapiti
Men Round 3 Wanganui 12-15 Hawkes Bay
Men Round 3 Manawatu 26-7 Poverty Bay
Men Round 3 Taranaki 36-7 Wairarapa Bush
Women Playoff Hawkes Bay 26-5 Wanganui
Women Playoff Taranaki 26-10 Poverty Bay
Men Playoff Wanganui 5-12 Wairarapa Bush
Men Playoff Horowhenua Kapiti 24-12 Poverty Bay
Women Semi Final Wellington 39-7 Hawkes Bay
Women Semi Final Manawatu 31-0 Taranaki
Men Semi Final Wellington 21-05 Manawatu
Men Semi Final Hawkes Bay 0-34 Taranaki
Men 5th/6th Wairarapa Bush 7-12 Horowhenua Kapiti
Women 3rd/4th Hawkes Bay 5-17 Taranaki
Women Final Wellington 5-26 Manawatu
Men 3rd/4th Manawatu 12-21 Hawkes Bay
Men Final Wellington 33-5 Taranaki

Northern Regional Qualifier 2016 – Results

Counties Manukau won the women’s event and Waikato the men’s in blustery conditions at the Northern Regional Qualifier in Cambridge yesterday.

In the women’s division Bay of Plenty, Auckland, Waikato and North Harbour will join Counties Manukau at the Nationals in mid-January.

All 6 of the men’s teams will be there also.

RESULTS

Women’s 1 1 10:00am Counties Manukau 26-5 Auckland 1
Women’s 1 2 10:00am North Harbour  24-10 Northland 2
Women’s 1 3 10:20am Bay of Plenty 23-14 Waikato 1
Men’s 1 4 10:40am Counties Manukau 17-12 Bay of Plenty 1
Men’s 1 5 11:00am Auckland 19-5 Northland 1
Men’s 1 6 11:20am Waikato 31-19 North Harbour 1
Women’s 2 7 11:40am Counties Manukau 28-7 Waikato 1
Women’s 2 8 12:00pm North Harbour 20-0 Auckland 1
Women’s 2 9 12:20pm Bay of Plenty 53-0 Northland 1
Men’s 2 10 12:40pm Counties Manukau 28-7 North Harbour 1
Men’s 2 11 1:00pm Auckland 14-26 Bay of Plenty 1
Men’s 2 12 1:20pm Waikato 24-21 Northland 1
Women’s 3 13 1:40pm Counties Manukau 67-0 Northland 1
Women’s 3 14 2:00pm North Harbour 10-31 Waikato 1
Women’s 3 15 2:20pm Bay of Plenty 24-5 Auckland 1
Men’s 3 16 2:40pm Counties Manukau 10-22 Northland 1
Men’s 3 17 3:00pm Auckland 22-5 North Harbour 1
Men’s 3 18 3:20pm Waikato 31-7 Bay of Plenty 1
Women’s Semi Final 19 3:40pm Counties Manukau 28-0 Auckland 1
Women’s Semi Final 20 4:00pm Bay of Plenty 24-12 Waikato 1
Women’s 5th & 6th 21 4:00pm North Harbour 29-7 Northland 2
Men’s Semi Final 22 4:20pm Waikato 26-7 Bay of Plenty 1
Men’s 5th & 6th 24 4:20pm Counties Manukau 29-7 North Harbour 2
Men’s Semi Final 23 4:40pm Northland 24-10 Auckland 1
Women’s 3rd & 4th 25 5:00pm Waikato 19-5 Auckland 1
Men’s 3rd & 4th 26 5:20pm Bay of Plenty 29-17 Auckland 1
Women’s Final 27 5:40pm Counties Manukau 31-19 Bay of Plenty 1
Men’s Final 28 6:20pm Waikato 31-7 Northland 1

‘Waldrom says all his players will be available to play in the Nationals in Rotorua in January’

Seriously??

Gutsy move given there are just 12 days in between the National 7s and the Wellington 7s.

Maybe it’s ‘State of Origin’ thinking whereby the best 12 players left standing at the end will become the team to take to Wellington.

Not that I haven’t moaned like hell about our full-time professional players not all being available for any domestic events.

This time I had been moaning about the Nationals not being moved to a little earlier to accommodate the coaches’ Wellington preparations.

It would be absolutely brilliant to see DJ Forbes back in a Counties Manukau jersey!

Sherwin Stowers
Sherwin Stowers playing for Counties Manukau at the 2012 Bay of Plenty Invitational

Add Sherwin Stowers and Sione Molia and all of a sudden the Pukekohe-based side are looking strong contenders to retain their Nationals Crown – unlike after their performance in Cambridge this weekend.

That said, Waikato will gain the most from player availability as Tim Mikkleson, Dylan Collier and Isaac Te Tamaki become available to a team that already boasts serious talent fresh off a win at the Northern Regionals.

If Beaudein Waaka recovers from the injury he picked up in Dubai, it’s going to be fierce competition considering the talent and form of Emosi Vucago and Sevu Reece.

Iopu Iopu-Aso would definitely help out Taranaki’s front line – which could also be bolstered by the return of Lewis Ormond from injury.

Manawatu would welcome Antonio Kirikiri who has gone well in the first 2 events of the World Sevens Series after making 2 appearances last season.
[Ambrose Curtis is with the Blues preseason camp but hopefully this won’t rule him out of the Nationals]

Regan Ware played for Bay of Plenty at the weekend. Isaac Te Aute, Tedddy Stanaway and Joe Webber may all return by mid January as well.

If Waldrom is true to his word, this could be the best National provincial sevens tournament New Zealand has seen!

I can’t wait.