AUCKLAND WON its 11th national sevens title, beating Otago 36-24 in the final in Queenstown yesterday.
The Wayne Pivac-coached side – who lost to Manawatu and needed to come from behind to beat Hawke’s Bay on the opening day – overcame Taranaki and Waikato earlier on day two of the tournament to reach the decider.
A young Auckland outfit then overcame a 17-12 halftime deficit in the final to claim the title.
Otago looked like the team to beat on day two, beating the previously unbeaten Manawatu in the quarter-finals and Canterbury in the semifinals.
Auckland, meanwhile, pipped Taranaki 17-12 in the quarters, before overcoming Waikato in extra time in the semis.
In the final, a try in the corner just before halftime by former New Zealand representative Paul Grant saw Otago take a five-point lead into the break.
However, second half tries to Tenina Sauileoge, Malakai Fekitoa, Ben Lam and Alex Samoa secured the win for Auckland.
Otago did not leave empty-handed, though, with Buxton Popoali’i being named the player of the tournament.
Otago 31-5 Manawatu
Canterbury 19-17 Wellington
Waikato 19-7 North Harbour
Otago 31-0 Canterbury
Auckland 36-24 Otago
All the fixtures you need to plan your viewing pleasure!
Not all our own way for NZ teams
Pressure is on Benji, but shouldn't we remember SBW went to France (Toulon) for 2 years to learn the game.
With all of the news around concussion do you think there should be safety measures in place for players to ensure they don't play on after a head know? How and who should police that?
With the start of club rugby upon us, how can we maintain the value of the clubs in player pathways and community spirit.