Anyone who has the watched rugby played in Samoa, Fiji or Tonga will never forget the experience.

The dynamic on-field action, music and boisterous crowds enjoying all-day food stalls are what linger in the memory.

A taste of all that is on show tomorrow at Arataki Park with the second 2017 STE Pasifika Rugby 10s tournament.

Last year's inaugural event was won by BOP Fiji in a thrilling final over the Samoan visitors from Wainuiomata called The Get Down Boys Club.


The boys from Wellington are back this weekend in a revised field of eight teams to ensure the day finishes earlier to maximise spectator interest.

The first kick-off on the pristine fields at Arataki Park is at 10am with the major final set down for 2.15pm.

Pacific teams from throughout the wider Bay of Plenty region have entered to be part of a special rugby and cultural occasion.

The idea to put the tournament together came from former Wellington stalwart Ati Aaifou-Olive and his committee, who have learned much from last year's first foray into what is so popular in Auckland and Wellington.

"I have cut the teams back to eight to have a faster turn-around. Last year the first game was at 8.30am and the final was at 4.30pm and the day dragged on. I found the core of people came between 12 and 2, so I am trying something new this year to keep the atmosphere going the whole time," Aaifou-Olive said.

He says the whole day is about promoting Pasifika to a wider audience.

"We are actually trying to turn this tournament into a real community event. Some of the teams are invitational and some are combined so it is a real mixture this year.

"We are also trying to make it so there is no money involved. No fees to pay for teams, free entry to watch. It is all about the community, the food, the music, the laughter, the rugby, with people enjoying aspects of the whole day's Pasifika flavour."

Murphy Taele is part of the organising committee that has representatives from most of the major Western Bay clubs involved.

"We are trying to get our community behind the event and sending out some opportunities for those guys who don't have this type of tournament to come together and play. It is all about getting together on the same page," he says.

"It was a bit of an experiment the first time and it went well for us last year. We had huge support from Samoans, Fijians, Tongans and all our palagi friends too."

Taele is grateful to the support from the players to commit to this weekend.

"A lot of players have come from outside the area to play. We realise there are other sevens trials on at the same time.

"But a big part of the day is the music, singing and dancing. We love the island food so there will be food stalls for the public to enjoy. We are also grateful to the Arataki club for helping us out in terms of the venue so we can run the event."