Look out for Napier Old Boys Marist at the national club sevens tournament in Auckland in February.

That was the call from speedster Saia Paese after he scored the match-winning try to give NOBM a 31-24 win against MAC in the final of NOBM's third annual sevens tournament at Napier's Park Island on Saturday.

This gave NOBM their third consecutive title at the event and a berth at the national tournament for the second consecutive year.

"We've got the team to do it. We're not the biggest team but these boys can play and they've got a lot heart," Paese, who wasn't a member of the NOBM side which finished second at last February's nationals, said.


However NOBM won't want to allow opposing teams to establish a 24-5 lead at the nationals and expect to win. At the same time the manner in which they fought back from that deficit in Saturday's final was admirable.

"We didn't have the ball in the first half. But at halftime we spoke about getting the ball and moving their big boys from side to side to tire them out and it worked," Paese explained.

Paese, 20, is hoping to remain in the Hawke's Bay Sevens team for the December 1 Central Regional tournament in Levin and the December 15 and 16 nationals in Tauranga.

Before Saturday's tournament he listed getting involved and supporting the ball carrier more as his biggest work ons and ticked those of in style particularly during the second half of the final.

"I'm happy with that. MAC had so much talent with the likes of Johnny Ika, Tom Iosefo and Fa'alemiga Selesele ... all international players," NOBM player-coach, tournament organiser and Maurice Trapp Group Hawke's Bay Sevens coach Ellery Wilson said.

"We pride ourselves on being small, fit and fast and it paid off," Wilson added.

Playmaker Ika scored two tries in the first half as MAC established a 17-5 lead. However when Ika was forced from the field with a cut to his head that was the turning point.

"That was a big blow to us. At first we were hoping it would be a blood bin but then we realised the cut needed stitches," MAC co-coach Len Huia explained.


"Our big boys got a bit tired towards the end of the game," Huia added.

Had Ika remained on the field and MAC won he would have been player-of-the-tournament. However NOBM and Hawke's Bay Sevens forward Ricky Hayes claimed this award with some superb aerial play in the second half.

The award was a late birthday present for Hayes, who turned 21 earlier in the week. It was appropriate Hayes was allowed to attempt the final conversion of the match which he slotted.

Halfback Zac Donaldson impressed for the hosts as did his older brother Luke Donaldson.

While former Magpies halfback Zac moved to the Bay in time for the 2016 season Luke has recently arrived in the Bay and will be available to play halfback and fullback in 15s next season for NOBM.

He will certainly be an asset for the remainder of their sevens programme too.

A regular member of the Samoan World Series sevens squad in recent years, Iosefo, was classy all day and it was a run away try from him, which he converted, that gave MAC their 24-5 lead.

MAC had earlier beaten NOBM 29-21 in round-robin play. MAC beat Napier Pirate Rugby and Sports 12-5 in their semifinal while NOBM beat Hawke's Bay Sevens champions Hastings Rugby and Sports 22-19 in their semifinal.

In the bowl final Havelock North beat Bridge Pa 28-7. New Zealand under-20s and Magpies loosie Devan Flanders was prominent for Havelock North and former Olympic Games swimmer Willie Benson, a regular 15s player for NOBM, scored Bridge Pa's only try.

The colts final, between two previously unbeaten teams, saw Feilding Agricultural College beat Napier Boys' High School 38-15.