The CMK Taranaki Bulls sevens rugby team has finished third at the TECT National Sevens tournament played in Tauranga this weekend.
The tournament ends the 2019 rugby season.
Taranaki progressed into the semi-final, however, on a hot, long weekend, Taranaki lost 12-5 to Auckland, which was beaten by Waikato in the final.
In the semi-final, Taranaki scored first thanks to the speed of co-captain Liam Blyde, who was impressive all weekend.
Auckland bounced back immediately and took the lead 7-5 at the break.
That Auckland momentum continued as they stretched the score out to 12-5.
Taranaki made several mistakes in the match that Auckland capitalised on. Those errors proved to be the difference in the match.
Earlier in the tournament, Taranaki lost their opening match to North Harbour 17-12, but, despite the loss, the Bulls finished top of their pool after beating Manawatu 40-14 and Bay of Plenty 22-12 yesterday.
The positive pool play progressed the Bulls into the quarter finals on Sunday morning and showed some promise beating Southland 17-7 before losing to Auckland in the afternoon.
Along with Blyde, Jayson Potroz and Paul Perez were impressive throughout the weekend.
The Port Taranaki Whio were placed into the Bowl division after losing their three pool matches.
First, they were beaten by defending champions Manawatū 29-0, then Hawke's Bay 28-19 and thumped 59-0 by Counties Manukau.
The Whio beat Hawkes Bay 26-22 in the Bowl semi-final to progress into the lower division final.
The Whio lost the final against Tasman, finishing tenth.