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Bay Sevens Semifinalists

Monday, January 18, 2016

Bay Sevens Semifinalists

The Bay of Plenty men's sevens team have punched above their weight at the Bayleys National Sevens tournament in Rotorua, progressing to the semifinals for the second straight year. The Bay were seeded ninth going into the tournament but progressed all the way to the final four before losing their semifinal to Counties Manukau 31-10 yesterday. The young Bay team also recorded the comeback of the tournament scoring three late tries to beat Taranaki in their quarter-final 27-26.

It was the third year on the trot the National Sevens has been held at the Rotorua International Stadium featuring the best provincial sides in the country.

The national titles went to Counties Manukau, who defeated North Harbour 54-14 in the final of the men's division, while Manawatu took out the women's title beating Wellington 26-19. National selectors, including All Blacks Sevens coach Sir Gordon Tietjens, were out and about at the tournament looking for talent to boost their squads ahead of upcoming world series events and the all-important Rio Olympics. Bay men's captain Matt Axtens said his team did the province proud in front of their home support.

"It was definitely a goal of ours to make the final, and go one better than last year, but to make the semis is pretty good. In that quarter-final, the boys showed a lot of grit and determination and put a lot of pride in the jersey," he said.

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Photo / Ben Fraser

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