When Greerton Marist start their sevens season this weekend they have two goals - to win their home tournament once again and to breed some new talent.
The Bay of Plenty Sevens Season starts tomorrow with the Greerton Marist Sevens at Greerton Park. There are 16 teams competing for the title, with the first games under way at 12pm and semifinals from 3pm.
There is a strong line-up for this year's tournament with five Tauranga teams as well as teams from Rotorua, Northland and Auckland competing. Greerton and Rotorua's Ngongotahā club have two teams entered, with one each from Tauranga clubs Te Puna, Rangataua, Rangiuru and Tauranga Sports, and one each Rotorua's Whakarewawera, Marist St Michaels and Waikite rugby clubs.
Last year, Greerton took out their home tournament and coach Phil Falamoe said the defending champs would love to go back-to-back and take another win this year.
He said the team had a good mix of players, with some coming from the South Island and Auckland, who were interested in joining Greerton Marist's 15s rugby season next year, playing in the sevens competition this weekend.
Falamoe said while they would ideally win the tournament, it was also about "breeding some new talent" in time for next year's Baywide competition.
This season, Greerton just lost to Te Puna in the final minutes of the semifinal. Falamoe said next season they hoped to go one better and be in the finals.
Club president Dave Small said Greerton Marist was looking forward to hosting its annual Sevens tournament, expecting to see plenty of entertaining rugby with the high calibre of teams taking part.