Tauranga Girls' win Premier title at Bay Sevens tournament

By Ruth Dacy

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TOP EFFORT: Tauranga Girls' College won the under-19 Premier title at the Bay of Plenty Secondary School Sevens tournament in Rotorua. PHOTO/Supplied
TOP EFFORT: Tauranga Girls' College won the under-19 Premier title at the Bay of Plenty Secondary School Sevens tournament in Rotorua. PHOTO/Supplied

Tauranga Girls' College were highly impressive in beating Rotorua Girls' High School 24-0 in the Under-19 Girls Cup final at the Bay of Plenty Secondary School Sevens tournament held Friday and Saturday in Rotorua.

A lack of match fitness and handling errors from Rotorua allowed Tauranga to establish a solid 17-0 advantage going into the break. A strong second-half performance, especially at the breakdown from Tauranga, helped establish a solid platform for them cruise over the finish line.

"I knew we were in with a good shot because we played good rugby throughout the tournament," Tauranga coach Jeff Robb said.

"In the end it was about self-belief and playing to structures. We made sure to spread the ball wide and create holes.

"The team also pressured Rotorua, shutting them down and competing at the breakdown."

Standout players for Tauranga in the tournament included playmaker Hope Garner and midfielder Bree Meyer.

Both finalists, like their male counterparts, qualified for the Condor Sevens.

Rotorua Boys' High School side Rotorua Boys Blue were crowned champions in the premier boys' Bay of Plenty Secondary School Sevens tournament final.

They retained last year's title after putting on an impressive display to defeat Tauranga Boys' 31-7 in the under-19 Boys Cup final.

Rotorua Boys' Blue head coach Scott Mayhew said a solid defence and structure were the winning factors on the day.

"We knew that Tauranga and other teams would bring a lot of flair and individuality but we just trusted our defence and stayed together as a team," he said.

"It wasn't great to lose a couple of players [sin bin] but I knew the boys had it in them to did that deep.

"Fitness-wise we are not where we need to be at the moment but we do practice with four or five quite often in defence so we are used to it but we will hopefully not do that at the Condors.

"Tauranga were very good. We knew that they worked hard and their four and five would be very handy with a lot of late cuts so we had to muscle up there and they also had quite a strong off loader so we had to make sure to get round him and cut them off."

Rotorua Boys Blue reached the final by beating Te Wharekura o Mauao 38-0 in the first semifinal whilst Tauranga Boys' beat Western Heights 38-5 in the second.

For reaching the last stage of the tournament both sides qualified for the Condor Sevens Auckland in early December.

Tauranga Boys' and Tauranga Girls' won their respective Under-15 titles. Tauranga Girls' had a 17-10 win over rivals Rotorua Girls' High School and Tauranga Boys' had an impressive 25-12 win over Rotorua Boys' High School.

Rotorua Boys' beat Otumoetai College A 28-5 in the Under-14 Open grade final while Te Puke High School took home the Under-19 Boys Development trophy after beating Papamoa College.

Full tournament results here:

- Bay of Plenty Times

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