Rugby: Rippa start to Bay junior season

By Ben Guild

Junior rugby in the Bay of Plenty region appears to be in good stead with more Rippa Rugby teams registered in early season competition than ever before.

Bay of Plenty Rugby development officer Kane Hames says the number of children participating has hugely increased in the last few years.

"It's been getting bigger and bigger. Our first year of modules we had 30 teams and last year it picked up to 98 and it's 103 this year," said Hames.

That number of teams translates to more than 1100 Bay of Plenty children playing the game, which is seen as an ideal lead in to Sevens rugby.

"It's a mixed game; it's all about developing the fundamental skills of kick, pass and evade.

"The main reason behind it is to provide development for the Rippa Rugby World Cups, which happen next term, but we added year one and two and year seven and eight in to bump up the numbers.

"This way, years one and two can develop in the game and it gives the year seven and eight kids something to do."

Inclusion is a big part of what the game is all about, with boys and girls able to play with and against each other in two 13-minute halves.

The Omokoroa module concluded with a finals day yesterday, which saw the Pahoia Bobcats and OPS Tacklers meet in the year one and two final, Katikati Cheetahs and OPS Dragons face off in the year three and four decider, Te Puna and Omokoroa Jaguars battle in the year five and six title match and Te Puna and OPS Untouchables play off for year seven and eight supremacy.

The Papamoa module finishes with a finals day today from 4pm.


- Bay of Plenty Times

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