10 Minute Sport: Softball season; Sevens tourney


Softball: Season start


At long last the Western Bay of Plenty Senior Softball competition for 2012-13 was able get started last Saturday after weeks of postponements because of the bad weather and the grounds at Carlton St Reserve being too wet.

Seven senior games were played on Saturday afternoon on three available diamonds. Two games were played in the senior men's competition, and five in the senior women's.

Cardinals emerged as the overall leader on the day with four wins, two each to the men and women. Three of the victories were rather overwhelming and one a nailbiter.

In the women's competition there were two other victors; Ngati Kahu won two games and Rangataua one.

In the opening men's game, Cardinals overwhelmed Ngati Kahu in all departments to win in four innings 12-0.

In their second game they came up against much stronger competition from the new team Evergreens which was more or less a collection of seniors in age and experience. Play was so close that there was no score for a while but by the 4th innings Evergreens led 2-1, but in the 7th it was a 2-2 draw. In the consequent tie-breaker both teams scored but it was Cardinals who had the narrowest of possible victories winning 4-3.

In one of the opening women's matches, Cardinals took an early 11-0 lead over Otepou. Although Cardinals slowed down their scoring and Otepou did manage to open their score, Cardinals led 13-1 in the fourth innings, and it was game over in the fifth, Cardinals leading 17-2.

In the other women's opening game Ngati Kahu and Rangataua were tied 4-4 in the third innings, then Ngati Kahu inched ahead with a two-point lead and eventually zoomed ahead to win 13-7 in the fifth innings.

In the second round matches Ngati Kahu had an early 6-0 lead over Otepou. Then Otepou seized their chances and Ngati Kahu's lead looked less convincing at 11-10 in the third innings. The scoring then slowed and Ngati Kahu hung on to win 14-11.

In the other second round game Te Puke was no match for Rangataua who soon had a confidence destroying lead of 14-1 and went on to win 16-1 in the fifth innings.

In the only third round game, Te Puke came up against the champions of the day - Cardinals. With the aid of a few more advisers, Te Puke did manage a small score but then Cardinals were able to score at will and the game ended in the third innings with Cardinals beating Te Puke 20-4.

Senior Men: Cardinals 12, Ngati Kahu 0; Cardinals 4, Evergreens 3.

Senior Women: Ngati Kahu 13, Rangataua 7; Cardinals 17, Otepou 2; Ngati Kahu 14, Otepou 11; Rangataua 16, Te Puke 1; Cardinals 20, Te Puke 4.

Sevens: Schools tourney


The entrance of rugby sevens at the 2016 Olympics in Rio has been the catalyst for the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union's revitalised focus on the game.

Bay of Plenty rugby has a special affinity with rugby sevens. In April 1992, a Bay of Plenty team entered the Melrose Sevens in Scotland. The tournament was then considered the pinnacle world event of the shortened version of the game. Coached by New Zealand maestro Gordon Tietjens, the Bay of Plenty representatives emerged triumphant, defeating Kelso 17-12 in the final.

Bay of Plenty Rugby is taking the initiative to establish more opportunities for the local rugby community to develop their talent and skills in the sevens game. This season a comprehensive programme has been put in place for local players, coaches and referees to participate in sevens, from the secondary school game to players with national representation aspirations.

On November 1, the Bay Secondary School Sevens tournament will take place at the Whakatane Domain. The tournament will encompass Under-19 boys and girls divisions along with an Under-15 grade for boys. There is an extra edge to the Bay competition, with the Under-19 boys and girls winners progressing to the National Secondary Schools Condor Sevens in Auckland during December.

An additional incentive at the Eastern Bay tournament will be the selection of two secondary schools training squads. The best 18 boys and girls players will be selected to attend a Bay of Plenty Schools Sevens camp at Mount Maunganui on November 10.

Just two days after the schools tournament, the Bay club players will get their chance to shine in the abbreviated game. On Saturday November 3, the BOPRU club sevens will take place at the Eastern Districts Rugby Club at the Paengaroa Domain.

At stake in the Baywide Sevens competition will be two trophies named after two Bay legends of the game. The men will compete for the Gordon Tietjens Cup with the women's sides vying to win the Exia Edwards trophy.

BOPRU Sevens Programme key dates

November 1 BOPRU Secondary Schools Sevens, Whakatane

November 3 BOPRU Club Sevens, Eastern Districts, Paengaroa Domain

November 10 BOPRU Secondary Schools Sevens Camp at Blake Park, Mount Maunganui

December 2 National Secondary Schools Condor Sevens, Auckland

January 5 2013 BOPRU Provincial Sevens, Blake Park, Mount Maunganui

January 12-13 National Sevens, Queenstown

Water polo: Flippa ball


The Term 4 Flippa Ball league held on Sundays at the Papamoa School pool has seen a record number of teams enter, boosted by two teams from Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Matai near Te Puke, the first time Te Matai has ever entered.

"Our tamariki absolutely enjoyed their game today. The hope is that our kura will move on to waterpolo and then participate in the AIMS competition within a few years,"said Angie Wihapi-Priest, acting principal at Te Matai. For the record, Te Matai won their first-ever game.

Tauranga Water Polo Club currently runs two Flippa Ball leagues, one in Papamoa and one in Tauranga at Memorial Pool. The club has long considered running an additional league in the Te Puke area, but the closure a couple of years ago of the high school pool put paid to that. However, with Paengaroa School having opened their new pool the club is hoping to have a new Flippa Ball League start in 2013 based at Paengaroa, which would be great for all the Te Puke and Eastern cluster schools.

This season Te Matai and Fairhaven Primary schools are playing, and in the past teams from Pongakawa, Te Puke and Rangiuru schools have competed. There are eight schools in the eastern area so it'll be good to see if there is enough interest to warrant a separate league.

Netball: Award winners


The top secondary school netballers were announced at the Netball Bay of Plenty awards night on Friday night.

Umpire of the Year Alice McFall; Student Coach of the Year Tamsyn du Toit; Junior Coach of the Year Lisa McFetridge; Team of the Year Trident HS UNISS Team; Team of the Year Special Mention John Paul College; Coach of the Year Te Ahuru Waititi; Coach of the Year Special Mention Coral Palmer; Administrator of the Year Liz Davenport; Secondary School of the Year Mt Maunganui College; Netballer of the Year Samantha Sinclair.

Open Awards

Innovative & Exciting Coaching Development Taneta Riki; Innovative & Exciting Umpiring Development Netball Whakatane; Innovative & Exciting Competition Development Triple Treat Harbourside; Umpire Co-ordinator of the Year Phyllis Savage; Centre Umpire of the year Shakira Kingi; Regional Umpire of the Year Hikitia Gallagher; Fun Ferns & Future Ferns Coach of the Year Ramia Honatana; Primary/Intermediate Coach of the Year Ruth Rika; Club Coach of the Year Mary-Jane Araroa; Representative Coach of the Year Kym Hale; Coaching Co-ordinator of the Year Taneta Riki.

Coach of the Year Te Ahuru Waititi and Ruth Rika; Team Manager of the Year Uru Clark; Club of the Year Paroa Netball Club; Volunteer Administrator of the Year Mary Thompson; Volunteer Administrator of the Year Special Mention Kim Wilson; Volunteer of the Year Vanessa Leslie; Long Serving Volunteers Becky Tukukino, Maree Bodyand Uru Clark; Netball Centre of the Year Opotiki Netball Centre; Netballer of the Year Erena Mikaere.

Football: Season opener


WaiBOP Football opened their ASB National Women's League campaign with a 3-1 loss to defending champions Northern Football at Fred Taylor Park in Auckland on Sunday.

"On another day it could have been a different result," said head coach Peter Smith. "Our girls did extremely well against a formidable opposition which included eight players with international experience. In contrast we had three to four players making their National Women's League debut, including a couple of 15-year-olds. From a performance point of view we did well and were possibly the better team in the first half."

WaiBOP opened the scoring in the 37th minute following a good passage of play where the visitors held the ball well in the midfield. Jackie Pretswell then put a well weighted through ball behind the Northern defence for WaiBOP's prolific goal grabber Helen Collins to use her pace to beat the defence and open her account with a quality finish. Collins, a former age group international, netted 43 times over the winter season and shows no signs of letting up at ASB Women's League level.

The lead lasted a matter of minutes as Northern's Laura Mathis bundled the ball home after earlier hitting the woodwork to send the teams level at half time.

Smith said the WaiBOP players were comfortable at the break and confident of getting something from the match.

However, in the second spell Northern's experience tilted the balance in the hosts' favour and goals in the 63rd minute to Tessa Berger and 79th minute to Tayla O'Brien left WaiBOP chasing the game.

Both of Northern's second half goals resulted from set piece plays, with Berger's header coming from an Estelle Harrison corner, while Tayla O'Brien sealed the points in emphatic style, unleashing a top far corner special from the edge of the penalty area after WaiBOP had failed to deal with an earlier corner.

"It's a good learning curve for our girls as Northern's goals came from periods in the match where we momentarily switched off. However, we've identified this and it can be addressed, but when you're up against quality opposition you just can't do that."

Smith said he was happy with how the WaiBOP team knocked the ball about and how comfortable in possession they were, as this is a focus at training.

"Where we've got to get to is a stage where the players are comfortable being uncomfortable. What I mean by this is when you're under pressure, having the ability not to stress. You may be defending deep but you have to believe in yourself and each other to soak up the pressure."

Smith said this comes with experience and players believing in their own technical ability.

"We have some technically really good players. What we have to do is work on their self belief and get their physicality up to spec. However, I have to give credit to our girls with the way they stuck to the task and how they battled."

Smith said he was especially proud how National Women's League debutantes Issy Coombes, Emma Baker and Eileish Hayes preformed, while Rachel Porteous also stood up and Helen Collins lead the line well.

Next Sunday WaiBOP hosts the Northern based NZF U-17 side at St Peter's School Cambridge, with kick-off at 1pm.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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