A local premier rugby match was called off in Rotorua on Saturday after a player suffered a back injury.

The Baywide match between Rotoiti and Paroa at Emery Park was called off just 18 minutes into the first half.

Bay of Plenty Rugby Union media spokeswoman Amanda Thompson said a Rotoiti prop suffered a back injury and due to the serious nature of the injury the decision was made to call the match off.

She said he had severely bruised his ribs and lower back, but was okay and better than originally thought.

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The decision of calling a match off was at the discretion of the referee, she said.

Rotoiti premier team manager Clyde Whata said prop Arapo Whata was carrying the ball when he took a tackle and fell to the ground. Other players converged in from both sides and fell on him.

Clyde said the prop managed to roll on to his back but was in a lot of pain.

A physiotherapist at the game advised them not to move the injured player until the paramedics arrived. Once he had been assessed, team members helped lift him onto the stretcher.

Doctors at Rotorua Hospital believed he had only suffered heavy bruising to his lower back but were waiting to get him x-rayed just to be sure, Clyde said.

Arapo was in good spirits and was moving around so Clyde was confident he would be fine.

Ms Thompson said it was not known at this stage when the game would be replayed.

Baywide Premier Results:

Te Puke Sports 35 v Rangataua 20
Te Puna 56 v Whakatane Marist 8
Mount Maunganui 89 v Poroporo 0
Greerton Marist 20 v Tauranga Sports 20
Whakarewarewa 27 v Arataki 8
Rotoiti v Paroa called off due to player injury

Baywide Development Results:

Rangataua 25 v Te Puke Sports 21
Te Puna 74 v Whakatane Marist 5
Tauranga Sports 34 v Greerton Marist 20
Whakarewarewa 13 v Arataki 0
Rotoiti 50 v Paroa 28
Mount Maunganui won by default from Poroporo

Baywide Division 1 Results:

Judea 21 v Kahukura 12
Te Teko 36 v Katikati 12
Waikite 36 v Ruatoki 10
Marist St Michael's 25 v Opotiki 24
Rangiuru 29 v Waimana 27
Ngongotaha 56 v Papamoa 22