The Bay of Plenty men beat Auckland 31-12 in the men's Plate final at the Bayleys National Sevens to finish fifth overall.
Bay of Plenty started the tournament with a bang, beating Mid Canterbury 43-0 in the first round of pool play. They then produced hard-fought victories over powerhouses Canterbury and Auckland, 19-10 and 24-14 respectively, to book a Cup quarter-final against Taranaki.
In the quarter-final they let Taranaki get out to an early lead through try-scoring machine Declan O'Donnell. Bay of Plenty finished strongly, thanks to a Teddy Stanaway hatrick, but they ran out of time and lost 24-17, consigning them to the Plate.
In the Plate semifinal it was Stanaway who opened the scoring, crossing the line in the first 30 seconds, and Bay of Plenty never looked back, cruising to a 26-7 victory to earn a place in the final.
Stanaway, one of the standout players of the tournament, opened the scoring in the final against Auckland. He was put into space on the right-hand side, near halfway, put a kick in for himself, raced around the defender, regathered and scored in the corner.
Captain Te Aihe Toma added another try as he shrugged off tackles with ease before scoring under the posts. Auckland responded with a try to Sam Livingston to reduce the deficit to 12-7. Josh Honey added a third try for Bay of Plenty to make it 17-7 at halftime.
Stanaway added his second try of the game shortly after halftime, before Ngarohi McGarvey-Black added another with a superb kick and chase, to extend Bay of Plenty's lead to 31-7 and secure the win.
Bay of Plenty coach Paul Tietjens said in losing the Cup quarter-final, his side learned the hard way that it was a two-day tournament, not just one.
"Obviously we were really disappointed after playing so well yesterday. Unfortunately, we didn't start well against Taranaki, there were key moments we didn't get right and they punished us.
"Obviously the boys bounced back against a good Manawatu side in the Plate semifinal and then beat a good Auckland side for a second consecutive day, so that was really pleasing. Any Auckland side you come up against is a good side, so to put 30-odd points was pleasing," Tietjens said.
He said McGarvey-Black and Luke Masirewa were his standout players of the tournament.
"They're both going into the New Zealand camp this week to play for contracts, so full credit to those boys. The boys around them, my core forwards and my captain, I couldn't have asked for a better side to play this tournament with," he said.
The national champions in the men's competition were Waikato, led by Zac Guilford, who beat Tasman 21-17 in a hard-fought final after surviving the 'pool of death' with Counties Manukau and Taranaki on day one.