Rugby: Baywide champs excitement builds

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Greerton Marist's Taylor Jones in possession against Rangataua Sports last season.
Greerton Marist's Taylor Jones in possession against Rangataua Sports last season.

The 2016 Baywide competition was launched in Mount Maunganui last night with all Baywide men's and women's clubs represented.

"We are looking forward to this year's Baywide club rugby competition," Bay of Plenty Rugby Union chief executive Mike Rogers said. "This year's competition will create great interest with both the men's and women's competitions shaping up to deliver a number of exciting games and great rugby that the community can get in behind and enjoy."

Bay of Plenty women's development manager Hayley Kerrison said it was great to see the continued growth of women's rugby in the Bay of Plenty, with a new Rangiuru team in this year's competition which begins on May 8.

Bay of Plenty Rugby Referees chairman David Hodgson is just as excited as the players.

"We've had some really exciting things happen over the off season. Some solid planning in the back office, coupled with some exciting recruitment and access for our premier referees to the new high performance sports training centre has created a real buzz amongst the team," he said.

The 2016 premier referees panel includes professional referees Glen Jackson, Nick Briant, Shane McDermott and Brett Johnson, last year's panel members Mate Samuels, George van den Anker, Jamie Bell and Mark Hollinshead plus new additions in Ryan Waite, Jackson Reuben and Aucklander Sam Fellows.

This year's Baywide club rugby competition will be supported by Gilbert.

Baywide Premier draw:

Tonight, 6.45pm

* Greerton Marist v Te Puna at Greerton Park

Greerton Marist: coach Kevin Lee, last year seventh

Te Puna: coach Daniel Quate, last year sixth

Friday, 2.45pm

* Arataki v Mount Maunganui at Arataki Park

Mount Maunganui the 2014 Premier champions and last year's semifinalist will be a stern first up challenge for last year's Division one winners Arataki.

Arataki: coach Marty Bourke, last year winners of Baywide Division 1

Mount Maunganui: coach Rodney Voullaire, last year third

* Paroa v Whakatane Marist at Lawson Park

Paroa: coaches Jimi McLean and George Harawira, last year 11th

Whakatane Marist: coaches Craig Edwards and Atlamoti Te Pou, last year 9th

* Rangataua v Te Puke Sports at Te Ariki Park

Rangataua coach: Aramahou Ririnui, last year 8th

Te Puke Sports: coach Craig Jeffries, last year runners-up

Saturday, 2.45pm

* Whakarewarewa v Rotoiti at Puarenga Park

Whakarewarewa: coach Kopae Irihei, last year 4th

Rotoiti: coach Dave McLean, last year 5th

* Opotiki v Tauranga Sports at Princess St Reserve

Opotiki: coach Dean Elmiger, last year 10th.

Tauranga Sports: coach Zane Winslade, last year champions

(thanks to Amanda Thompson, Bay of Plenty Rugby)

Baywide champions:

1990 Waikite, 1991 Eastern Pirates, 1992 Whakatane Marist, 1993 Mt Maunganui, 1994 Eastern Pirates, 1995 Whakatane Marist, 1996 Waikite, 1997 Ngongotaha, 1998 Ngongotaha, 1999 Tauranga Sports, 2000 Waikite, 2002 Whakarewarewa, 2003 Tauranga Sports, 2004 Whakatane Marist, 2005 Mt Maunganui, 2006 Whakarewarewa, 2007 Tauranga Sports, 2008 Tauranga Sports, 2009 Tauranga Sports, 2010 Tauranga Sports, 2011 Te Puke Sports, 2012 Te Puke Sports, 2013 Tauranga Sports, 2014 Mt Maunganui Sports, 2015 Tauranga Sports.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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