Rugby sevens: Olympic dreams
Greerton Park one year, Rio de Janeiro the next?
While the small Manawatu town of Feilding isn't exactly a rugby hotbed, a group of Feilding High School students are helping put their school on the map with the countdown to the inclusion of women's rugby sevens at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Feilding High won the inaugural North Island secondary schoolgirls' sevens title at Tauranga's Greerton Park, blowing their opposition away with near-flawless execution of rugby's short form.
They were the only one of eight competing schools to go through pool-play unbeaten, with Opotiki High School the sole side to score a try against them, while they also thrashed Wainuiomata 54-5 in the final, having beaten the Wellington champions 45-0 earlier in the tournament.
Feilding co-captain Deidre Roberts said the rise of women's sevens had spurred the players, who were a mix of existing rugby players, netballers and basketballers, to pay more attention to the game.
"Fifteens is more our game - we're Hurricanes region champions - but Jonesy (coach Robert Jones) has pushed us into sevens. We've all been part of the (New Zealand Rugby Union's) Go4Gold talent ID programme and have been trialling for that.
"Obviously we're not all going to make it but even trialling has taught us a lot about how to play sevens and we've all got the Olympics in mind."
Mauhrangi College beat Rotorua Girls' High 14-0 to take third, with Tauranga Girls' College fifth after beating Opotiki 22-5 yesterday in their last game. Putaruru College pipped Otumoetai 27-22 in the seventh-place playoff.
Football: Hit for six
A Waikato FC team stacked with former Tauranga players has been humbled 6-1 in the final of the White Ribbon Cup at Hamilton's Gower Park. Despite trailing 2-0 at halftime, Waikato were competitive but fell apart in the second half to give up four goals.
Cricket: Katikati delight
Katikati Cricket Club, which came out of hiatus four years ago, had their finest moment since winning the Tauranga-Te Puke premier title more than two decades ago when both the club's teams won Western Bay of Plenty championship titles at Fergusson Park on Saturday.
In the reserve grade final Katikati won the toss and elected to bat against Cadets. Three dropped catches early in the innings gave Katikati some breathing space and, led by Steve Jennings' 85, they went on to post a competitive 183-8, with Ben Warren chipping in with a useful 25. Morgan Bidois took 4-29 for Cadets.
Cadets' target of 184 looked achievable for the top qualifiers. Long-time reserve grade batsman Peter Albut was in good form, top scoring with 31, but Katikati was too good in the field, with Jamie Paton (4-31) and Ben Warren (3-29) doing the damage to remove Cadets for 161.
Katikati were even more emphatic in the B grade showdown with Grasshoppers. After posting 250-7 batting first, Katikati's second XI were always in the box seat.
For the second week in a row Bahavian Patel took control with the bat, hitting 67, with Colin Chase (47) and Matt Basket (41) both making solid contributions.
Andy Balfour's half-century for Grasshoppers gave them some hope but Katikati's bowlers led the way to restrict the opposition to 199-6, with Gene Darvill bowling superbly to take three wickets and Simon Turnbull finishing with 3-21.
Western Bay finals:
Reserve grade: Katikati 183/8 (Steve Jennings 85, Ben Warren 25; Morgan Bidois 4/29) def Otumoetai Cadets 161 (Peter Albut 66, Michael Fraser 31, Jamie Paton 4/31, Ben Warren 3/29, Matt Guptil 2/33).
B grade: Katikati 250/7 (Bahavian Patel 67, Colin Chase 47, Michael Basket 41; Ian Dalton 2/31, Wayne Anderson 2/57) def Grasshoppers 199/6 (Andy Balfour 54, Ray Body 34, Matt O'Neil 29 no; Gene Darvill 3/36, Simon Turnbull 2/32).
Football: Success at home
Teams playing at home won five and drew one of the games in the opening round of the Waikato-Bay of Plenty Federation football league's first division on Saturday.
Newly-promoted Ngongotaha overcame Claudelands Rovers at Stembridge Rd.
It was the visitors who opened the scoring after just four minutes when the villagers' defence failed to cope with a long pass into the box, but two good goals from Mitchell Miller had the home team ahead after 15 minutes before they went 3-1 ahead two minutes later when Neil Slater got on the end of a searching cross from Dane Willemsen.
Rovers narrowed the gap shortly after the restart and although they dominated territory and possession, woeful finishing cost them dearly.
With only three players from last season's title-winning team, Old Blues Coach Andy Legget knew that this year was going to be character building.
However, thanks to goals from Franz Marco and Rueben Wood, Old Blues were ahead 2-0 early against Whakatane Town.
The home team went to the break 2-1 down but three second-half goals gave them a deserved but flattering 4-2 win.
New Taupo coach Paul Drake was reasonably satisfied with his team's first-up performance at Crown Park.
Youngster Dylan Caldwell and Tin DeRoo scored early for Taupo who then allowed Otumoetai back into the game. Taupo had the better of a scoreless second-half and although they went close on several occasions, it finished 2-1.
Rotorua United missed a penalty in the 10th minute against Melville United at Gower Park and the game remained scoreless until the 70th minute when Melville broke the deadlock.
Rotorua conceded a second just minutes later and Melville sealed the three points right on full-time.
In other games, Otorohanga defeated Tauranga Boys' College 3-1 while AFC Fury gave up a 2-0 lead at halftime when they drew 2-2 with Waikato Unicol in what many suggested could have been a precursor to the relegation battle.
Men's federation one: Melville United 3 Rotorua United 0, Ngongotaha 3 Claudelands Rovers 2, AFC Fury 2 Waikato Unicol 2, Otorohanga 3 Tauranga Boys' College 1, Taupo 2 Otumoetai 1, Whakatane Town 4, Old Blues 2.
Federation two: Te Awamutu 1 Clube Algeria 1, Katikati 5 Tokoroa 2, Cambridge 3 Rotorua United 1, West Hamilton 1 Tauranga City 3, Matamata bye.
Waka Ama: Rostrum return
Tauranga-based Team Kingfisher are back, winning the weekend's 26km W6 men's open division at the Tauranga Harbour after two years off the podium.
Kingfisher (formerly Team Goodyear) won the inaugural Harbour Challenge in 2003 and went on a hot-streak, winning the next six races in a row, before not even making the podium in 2010 or 2011.
But they returned to form over the weekend, with Tyrin Thomas, Jordan Edmonds, Wiri Hohepa, Troy Dolman, Marty Helleur and Paul Roozendaal, who base their training at Okere Falls, scoring a convincing win over last year's champions Manukau.
The senior W6 race was from Sulphur Point Yacht Club to Maungatapu bridge and along the Otumoetai channel, with Junior W6, W1, W2 and surf ski competing over 16km and a 3km stand-up paddleboard race.
Cricket: Bay cleans up
Bay of Plenty won big at Northern Districts cricket's annual awards at Sky City Hamilton, with the minor association bagging five gongs, including all-rounder Brett Hampton taking the A team's player of the year prize.
Hampton, who played one HRV Cup Twenty20 game for the Knights, began the season as a pace bowler who'd shown some ability with the bat. By the end of the season, his batting had developed so much that he could be classified as a genuine all-rounder.
Bay of Plenty also won the Fergus Hickey Rosebowl for leading district, Eric Petrie Cup for being the champion club in the men's ND club championship (Otumoetai Cadets) and the Basil McBurney Trophy for the champion men's team in the district association second XI competition.
Right-arm seam bowler Brent Arnel took out the season's top individual honour, winning both the supreme Northern Districts Cricketer of the Year trophy and bowler of the year award, edging Bay of Plenty's Graeme Aldridge.
Both players took 43 wickets across the three formats, with Arnel's 36 Plunket Shield wickets to Aldridge's 28 the crucial difference.
Northern Districts 2011/12 season awards:
Cricketer of the Year: Brent Arnel
Batsman of the Year: Hamish Marshall.
Bowler of the Year: Brent Arnel.
Fielder of the Year: James Marshall.
Women's Cricketer of the Year: Morna Nielsen.
Men's A Player of the Year: Brett Hampton
Young Cricketer of the Year: Daryl Mitchell (Waikato Valley).
District Association Player of the Year: Brandon Hiini (Counties Manukau).
Academy Player of the Year: Nick Kelly (Counties Manukau).
Umpire of the Year: David Tidmarsh.
Allan McBride Trophy: Glenn Rowsell.
Service to Cricket: Kim Shaw (Gisborne).
Women's District Association Championship Cup: Poverty Bay.
Eric Petrie Cup: Otumoetai Cadets, Tauranga.
Basil McBurney Trophy: Bay of Plenty.
Brian Dunning Cup: Hamilton.
Fergus Hickey Rosebowl: Bay of Plenty.
Swimming: Awards aplenty
Katikati's Matahui Road School has won State Kiwi Swim Safe School of the Year at the Swimming New Zealand awards dinner in Auckland.
There was further success for the region when former Tauranga Girls' College student Penelope Marshall's 4 x 200m team was named New Zealand's relay team of the year.
London Olympian Lauren Boyle won the Swimmer of the Year award. Boyle qualified in three individual events and the relay for the London Olympics.
The North Shore swimmer, coached by Mark Regan at Swimming New Zealand's High Performance Centre, was also a finalist in the 400m and 800m freestyle at the 2011 FINA World Championships in Shanghai, a semifinalist in the 200m freestyle and guided the New Zealand team to eighth place and Olympic qualification in the 4x200m freestyle relay. Boyle established New Zealand records in all three individual swims.
She went on to compete in the World University Games in Shenzhen, creating history for any New Zealand university athlete in winning gold medals in the 400m and 800m freestyle, a silver in the 200m freestyle, bronze in the 1500m freestyle and led New Zealand to a silver in the 4x200m freestyle relay.
Surf Lifesaving: East End prevail
Papamoa and Mt Maunganui crews have been involved in some of the tightest racing of the weekend at the BP Surf Rescue New Zealand IRB championships at Warrington Beach near Dunedin.
The under-21 division proved the most competitive, with the four titles being shared between Papamoa (assembly rescue), Mount Maunganui (mass rescue), East End (single rescue) and Pauanui, who won Friday's tube rescue. It was the East End crew of Jared Gray and Scott Nelson that displayed the greater consistency, however, taking out the overall honours.
Assembly Rescue, under-21: Papamoa (Nathan Smith/Nicholas Oldham/Michael Hoebergen) 1, Mt Maunganui (Chad Wheeler/Kirby Wheeler/Sam Roy) 2, East End Black (Jared Gray/Scott Nelson/Zoe Avison) 3.
Mass Rescue, under-21: Mt Maunganui (Chad Wheeler/Kirby Wheeler/Fergus Rieger/Andrew Roy/Sam Roy) 1, East End Black (Jared Gray/Scott Nelson/Zoe Avison/Rebecca Busing/Lisa Cox) 2, Taylors Mistake (Liam Brown/Will Fisher/Lucy Harris/Bryony Vickers/Molly Bell) 3.
Points: East End 107 1, Sumner 51 2, St Clair 47 3, Waimarama 29 4, Paekakariki 25 5, New Plymouth Old Boys 24 6, Taylors Mistake 22 7, St Kilda 21 8, Waikanae 19 9, Otaki 18 10, Mt Maunganui and Sunset Beach 17 each 11 equal, Papamoa and Opunake 11 each 13 equal, Pauanui and United North Piha 7 each 15 equal, Westshore 6 17, Kaka Point 5 18, Waimairi 3 19, Waikuku 2 20, Brighton 1 21.
Hockey: Midlands success
Head coaches Lincoln Churchill and Hymie Gill have both picked four Bay of Plenty players for their respective Midlands under-21 men's and women's teams for the national tournament being held in Hamilton next month.
Midlands under-21 men: Gurav Correa (Waikato), Luke Coxhead (Tauranga), Elijah Graham (Waikato), Tom Guy (guest player), Cameron Hayde (Waikato), Connor Herewini (Bay of Plenty), James Linehan (Waikato), Abir Mukherjee (Tauranga), Lachie Musgrave (Waikato), Keegan Payne (Counties Manukau), Matt Rees Gibbs (Waikato), Tim Seifert (Waikato), Jamie Stones (Waikato), Kyle Westerman (Waikato), Chad Whitehead (Counties Manukau), Nic Woods (Waikato), Zac Woods (Waikato).
Midlands under-21 women: Bronte Angell (Waikato), Sam Charlton (Tauranga), Oriwa Hepi (Bay of Plenty), Anita Hope (Bay of Plenty), Tori Horsley (Tauranga), Natasha Jaques (Waikato), Abbie Johnson (Bay of Plenty), Mallory Jordan (Thames Valley), Kate Kernaghan (Waikato), Maddi McLean (Waikato), Brooke Neal (Waikato), Imogen Neil (Counties Manukau), Michelle Prendiville (Tauranga), Tegan Purser (guest player), Kim Tanner (Waikato), Lisa Wolliamson (Counties Manukau), Kayla Wilson (Waikato).
Rugby: Matakana blitz
Defending Seeka KI Western Bay of Plenty senior champions Matakana Island got their title defence campaign back on track on Saturday with a 78-0 victory against Papamoa.
Leading 45-0 at halftime, the win was never in doubt, with Mattie Samuels scoring five tries in the rout.
Last season's Combined Cup runner-up Mount Maunganui was no less dominant when they defeated Te Puna in the Baywide curtain-raiser at Blake Park, thumping the visitors 73-17.
Judea defended the Hardy Rosebowl Western Bay challenge prize for the second successive weekend when they repelled a spirited challenge from Rangataua 39-27 at Maharaia Winiata Park.
Grenada Park was a scene of triumph for both Arataki contenders. Arataki Black ran in eight tries on the way to defeating Eastern Districts 50-0 while Arataki Red waltzed away from Rangiuru 58-12.
Seeka KI Western Bay senior results:
Matakana Island 78 Papamoa 0, Arataki Black 50 Eastern Districts 0, Katikati 35 Greerton Marist 25, Tauranga Sports 57 Te Puke Sports 7, Judea 39 Rangataua 27, Mount Maunganui 73 Te Puna 17, Arataki Red 58 Rangiuru 12.