Clubs and school teams from Wellington, Manawatu, Wanganui and Wairarapa-Bush. as well as several Hawke’s Bay clubs and invitational teams, will descend on Central Park, Waipukurau, this Saturday for the 37th annual Hawke’s Bay Sevens tournament.
The one-day tournament features Men’s, Colts, Women’s and a new Barbarians (over 35 years) grades, that will be played simultaneously across three fields.
Some 15 teams will play for the Ian Baker Memorial Trophy in the Men’s Section, in honour of the sevens rugby pioneer nicknamed “Cheesie”.
Hastings Rugby & Sports are the defending champions. Hastings have dominated the men’s title over the past decade, along with Havelock North who are coming off victory in last weekend’s Kimbolton 7s tournament.
These two clubs, along with teams from Napier Pirates, Tamatea, MAC and home club Central comprise the Hawke’s Bay Premier club entries, while Ngamatapouri (Wanganui), Linton (Manawatu), Martinborough (Wairarapa-Bush) and Marist St Pat’s (Wellington) are the inter-provincial raiders.
The Women’s grade play for the unique Jiangsu Sports Jersey . This is a signed, framed jersey donated in 2013 by the touring Chinese Jiangsu Sports Training Centre side. Five clubs and six teams will contest the women’s section, including last year’s winners Taradale and the Marist St Pat’s Women’s team from Wellington.
The Colts competition is for the Angus Cup. Nine teams are entered in the Colts tournament, including three school teams in St John’s College Hastings, Palmerston North Boys’ High School and Feilding High School. Napier Old Boys Marist are the defending Colts champions and are returning.
See the tournament’s Facebook event page HERE
Hawke’s Bay Sevens Tournament history:
The Hawke’s Bay Sevens was originally the Waipawa Sevens, run by the Waipawa United RFC and played on Coronation Park, Waipawa. This remained the venue for 18 years.
In 1994 the Waipawa United RFC and the Waipukurau HSOB RFC clubs almagamted to form Central Rugby & Sports. Today, Central is the only country club outside of Hastings and Napier competing in Hawke’s Bay Premier club rugby. Current and recent international players Brodie Retallick (All Blacks) and Emma Jensen (Black Ferns) began their careers at Central.
In 2001 the club moved permanently to Central Park and the Waipawa Sevens was renamed the Hawke’s Bay Sevens.
Teams and Pools: