25th May 2018
Sunday 20th March saw the fifth annual Waihi Sevens Rugby Tournament take place at the school’s northern fields, in excellent conditions. 32 teams were entered in the four grades (equating to 320 players) to compete for the shields and medals.
The school entered seven teams, two in each grade (named either ‘blue’ or ‘white’) except for the one Under 11 side.
The Under 10 ‘blue’ side earned a semi-final placing after an excellent round-robin performance, and then came up against Geraldine, but did not advance.
The Under 11 side went through their pool matches unbeaten, then won their semi-final against Waihora to earn a finals spot. From a Waihi perspective this was the match of the tournament, Waihi took the early lead against Methven, who then scored four tries to climb back into contention. Waihi finished strongly but were beaten by a chancy loose ball resulting in another Methven try.
The Under 12 ‘blue’ side probably deserved to reach the semi-finals, but found themselves on the wrong side of the draw, losing a close game against the eventual grade winner Taieri, drawing with a strong Point side and beating Southern. They did win their 5th v 6th playoff match against Geraldine.
The Under 13 ‘blue’ team won two of their three round-robin matches to advance to a semi-final against veterans Waihora, who they beat in a tight game thanks to two late tries from Luke Slee. However, a very well drilled Methven team managed to outscore Waihi in a fast paced final.
It was pleasing to see the return of Taieri after their absence last year, but it was notable that none of Timaru’s clubs were in attendance this year, counter balanced by a strong showing from South Canterbury’s country clubs.
The comments from the visiting clubs on the day and on ‘social media’ were again very favourable, and most of this credit must go to Dave MacLeod, the school staff and the Waihi Friends group for their tireless work in organising and running yet another successful Waihi Sevens Tournament.
Written by Jeremy Sutherland
The Winners where:
Under 10 - Prosser Shield - Southern (over Geraldine)
Under 11 - Everiss Shield - Methven (over Waihi)
Under 12 - Stone-Wigg Shield - Taieri (over Methven)
Under 13 - Orford Shield - Methven (over Waihi)