The CMK Taranaki Bulls sevens side has finished second in the central zone qualifying sevens tournament after losing to Wellington 26-5 in the final. Despite the loss, Taranaki still qualified for the national tournament.
Played at Playford Park in Levin, the hot weather made for a challenging day for the 15 teams vying for qualification to the TECT National sevens tournament in two weeks.
Taranaki will be disappointed by their result in the final after only conceding two tries prior which included three pool matches and a semi-final.
Rhodes Featherstone opened the account for Taranaki in the final, but it was the work from captain Liam Blyde who darted around the blind side and passed back in field that set up the try.
Featherstone's try was the only Taranaki try in the final against a strong Wellington side.
Wellington scored three back-to-back tries before halftime, capitalising on Taranaki mistakes.
The first try came from an error by Blyde who threw the ball into the hands of a Wellington player to scored unopposed.
The second try by Wellington was from good speed around the outside the defence.
Wellington scored immediately off the kickoff to give them a healthy 21-5 lead at the break.
The team from the capital continued to rub salt into the wounds with one second half try to bring Taranaki's hopes of winning the tournament to an end.
Earlier in the day, the Bulls won all three pool matches against Horowhenua/Kapiti 45-0, Hawkes Bay 19-14 and Wanganui 45-0.
They continued their fine form in the semi-final against Manawatu winning 26-0 but struggled in the final.
The Port Taranaki Whio's fourth place finish at the tournament ensured qualification into the nationals.
The side was promoted into the semi-finals after beating Poverty Bay 30-7 despite losing their first pool match against Manawatū 48-0. Manawatū ended up winning the women's division.
In the semi-final, the Whio suffered a 31-5 defeat to Hawkes Bay.
The final game for the day for the Whio was the third vs fourth match against Wellington. Wellington was too strong winning 37-0.
The TECT National Sevens Tournament will be held on December 13-14 in Tauranga.