UPDATED:Bay of Plenty knocked out of national sevens

By Gary Hamilton-Irvine

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Bay of Plenty lost their semi-final against Counties Manukau at the National Sevens in Rotorua today. Photo/Ben Fraser
Bay of Plenty lost their semi-final against Counties Manukau at the National Sevens in Rotorua today. Photo/Ben Fraser

The Bay of Plenty men's sevens team's run at the National Sevens has come to an end after losing their semifinal to Counties Manukau 31-10 this afternoon.

For the second straight year, the Bay men's team punched above their weight to progress to the Cup semifinals at the Rotorua International Stadium.

However, a strong Counties Manukau side ended their run today.
The Bay team scored first through Isaac Te Aute in the semifinal before Counties took control, getting out to a big lead in the first half before closing out the match in the second half.

The men's and women's Cup finals are still to be played today with Wellington women taking on Manawatu women at 4.55pm, while North Harbour men take on Counties Manukau men at 5.30pm.

A link to all the results and fixtures can be found below.

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Bay of Plenty lost to Counties in their cup semi-final this afternoon. Photo/Ben Fraser
Bay of Plenty lost to Counties in their cup semi-final this afternoon. Photo/Ben Fraser


EARLIER:

Three tries in the dying minutes plus a kick from close to the sideline saw the Bay of Plenty men's sevens team beat Taranaki 27-26 in their quarter-final today at the National Sevens.

The Bay looked dead and gone trailing 26-10 with only a few minutes left in their Cup quarter-final at the Rotorua International Stadium.

But three quick tries, including the last one after the clock had run down, saw the home team steal victory. Isaac Te Aute had to make his final conversion from way out wide to win the game and did just that to get the crowd roaring.

It means the Bay men are through to the Cup semifinals for the second year running and they will take on Counties Manukau at 2.25pm.

Read more:
Sevens: Live results and fixtures from the National Sevens in Rotorua

Earlier, defending champions Waikato men and Auckland women were both knocked out in their quarter-final matches.

The Bay scored first in their quarter-final after Te Aute made a big break down the right. A few plays later Matt Clutterbuck went in close to the posts but the conversion was missed.

Taranaki hit back almost instantly with a try to Kurt Baker. A Taranaki player was sent to the sin bin shortly after giving the Bay a good opportunity.
Speedster Mason Walker made sure the home province made the most of the extra man, scoring in the corner after getting on the outisde of his man, taking his try tally to six for the tournament.

Unfortunately for the home side, they could not hold onto the lead into the break, as Taranaki scored again right on half-time. The Bay trailed 14-10 at half-time.

The Bay had some early possession in the second half but spilled the ball in contact. Taranaki almost scored off the resulting scrum but some heroics by Walker and Teddy Stanaway in defence saved them.

However, the Naki were still next to score pushing the score out even further to 21-10. When they scored again off the kick-off it almost ended the contest.

But the Bay did not give in.

Three quick tries started off by a try to Stanaway saw the Bay steal a famous win.

Men's Cup semifinals today:
2.05pm: Wellington v North Harbour
2.25pm: Counties Manukau v Bay of Plenty

Women's Cup semifinals today:
12.45pm: Canterbury v Wellington
1.05pm: Counties Manukau v Manawatu

For live results and fixtures visit the Rotorua Daily Post website www.rotoruadailypost.co.nz.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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