Papamoa Tavern Bay of Plenty reached the semifinals of the men's Cup competition of the Bay of Plenty Provincial Sevens tournament held at Blake Park on Saturday before running into a Northland kauri tree.
Wins over Poverty Bay, Wanganui and a loss to Waikato saw the Bay through to a showdown with the impressive Northland outfit led by outstanding Fijian Waisea Lawebuka. Northland jumped out to a 17-0 lead as the tiring Bay players fell off tackles and they cruised through to the final with Taranaki by 29-14.
For Bay coach Peter Woods there were some positives from the day's play but also much to work on ahead of this weekend's Bayleys National Sevens in Rotorua.
"This is where you learn. The mistakes like missed tackles, not rolling away at the ruck, 50/50 passes, holding onto the ball and keeping that possession are things these boys need to learn. You don't need to score from first or second phase; it could be by fourth or fifth phase so it is about keeping that composure," Woods said.
In Saturday's men's Cup final, Taranaki eventually overcame Northland after trailing 17-0 at halftime. The second spell was all one way traffic as Taranaki ran away with the game 31-17. Northland's Lawebuka was named tournament MVP.
In the women's Cup final it was a much closer affair between Manawatu and Wellington, with Wellington ahead 12-7 at the break. Manawatu capitalised on their opportunities and held Wellington scoreless in the second half to claim the title with a 19-12 win.
Manawatu's Kristen Duffil was named tournament MVP.
Bay of Plenty did not field a women's team.