Being presented with a birthday cake has become a tradition for Black Ferns pivot Krysten Cottrell at the annual Hawke's Bay Sevens tournament in Waipukurau.

However she didn't receive one on Saturday, a day before her 27th birthday. But she wasn't concerned.

"When you get to this age it's just another birthday," Cottrell remarked.

She was more delighted with her Taradale side going back-to-back in the six-team women's division of the Paladin-sponsored tournament at Central Park.


With Taradale's 29-28 win against Marist St Pats of Wellington in the final Cottrell claimed her fifth consecutive title and became the most successful women's player in the 36-year history of the event.

"It means more to win with your home club and I'll be back with Taradale again next year," Cottrell, who won her first three titles with Manawatu's Feilding Old Boys Oroua, said.

"That was a good Marist St Pats team ... they had two Black Ferns in there," Cottrell said, referring to former New Zealand softball and netball rep Marcelle Parkes, who scored three tries in the final, and Monica Tagoai.

"It was good to see the likes of Hastings, Clive, Otane and us fielding heaps of new young girls. These players usually transfer from sevens to 15s which is awesome for rugby," the Hawke's Bay union's women's development officer added.

Taradale's defence was atrocious throughout the final and early in the first half they trailed 21-7. A late try to Felicity Powdrell secured the Albie Baker-coached side the title.

Elated manager Mary Robertson was quick to point out the Taradale roster included three newcomers to sevens including French handball player Romane Miln who got in contact with the club via the internet.

With five tries from her last two games at the tournament speedster Parkes was unlucky to miss out on the women's player-of-the-tournament award.

It went to her teammate, playmaker Siobhan Solofuti.


Hawke's Bay Fijians won the Ian Baker Memorial Cup for the first time when they pipped Havelock North Blue 14-12 in the men's A grade final.

The Fijians, who included one Hawke's Bay-based player on their roster, Havelock North winger Will McGoon, established a 14-0 lead at halftime and all 14 of those points were scored while Joe Paulu was in the sinbin.

Havelock North were guilty of taking poor options and not running the holes enough in the first half. However, to the villagers credit, they fought back well in the second half with tries to Kalin Paewai and Liam Udy-Johns and a conversion to Adam Blake.

Havelock North's Mikey Vuicakau was yellow carded late in the match. Havelock North should have given former Hurricanes and Magpies loosie Hugh Renton more minutes in the final too.

The Fijians impressed with their swarming defence and spectacular support play throughout the day and playmaker Ponijese Kondrote, who converted both tries in the final, deserved the men's player-of-the-tournament award.

Joe Suka and Maika Nasilasila scored the Fijians tries in the final. Defending champions Hastings Rugby and Sports were eliminated in the quarterfinals with a 29-12 loss to MAC.

Havelock North Blue beat MAC 22-14 in their semifinal of the 15-team open men's grade and Hawke's Bay Fijians pipped Linton 17-12.

MAC's second team pipped Havelock North Black 17-15 in the men's B grade final. Former Magpies centre, 40-year-old Andy Barham, scored all three of the villagers tries.

A Tamatea team, which included two father-and-son combinations, Sheridan Kite and son Arama and Colin Hokianga and son Damarus, beat Independent All Stars by default in the men's C grade final.

Feilding High School won the colts A grade final with a 38-14 win over Napier Pirate Rugby and Sports. Nine teams chased this title.

Feilding's Terrence Graham took home the colts player-of-the-tournament award.

After Havelock North's withdrawal just two teams, Central and Taradale, played in the Barbarians over-35 grade.

The Taradale side, which included former Magpies captain and centre Jason Shoemark, beat Central 26-14 and 14-10. Central's Todd Rodgers won the MVP award for the grade.