The Upper Hutt Rams have successfully defended the American Ambassador's Wellington club 7s title beating hosts Wainuiomata 29-21 in the Cup final at Mary Crowther Park this afternoon.
The Cup final was keenly contested with Wainuiomata snatching an early lead, Upper Hutt surging ahead by 10, Wainuiomata pegging it back to one, before Salesi Rayasi scored the winning try.
Down 22-21, Wainuiomata launched a last-ditch attack inside their 22. Daniel Schrijvers won a turnover. From the tap Joyner Key muscled ahead, drawing in two defenders before Rayasi was set free on the wing.
Rayasi was the most dominant player at the tournament. He scored 11 tries, including a hat-trick in the final. His long strides, power and nifty ball skills were a delight to watch, though sometimes he would be advised to temper his flamboyant passing.
Upper Hutt's other tries were scored by Josh Hunt and the industrious Max Pearson. Wainuiomata's effort was rewarded with tries to the impressive Nash Fiso-Vaelei, Dion Lealofi and Matthew Jacobs.
Earlier Jacobs had scored a try close to fulltime to eliminate Ories 12-10 in the semi-final. Ories appeared to have the game won when Andrew Ellis dashed away, but like he did in the last round of the Jubilee Cup, Jacobs delivered the goods at the end.
Wellington Lions prop Alex Fidow had been in commanding form for Ories. He scored three-tires and kicked a sideline conversion in a hard-earned 25-15 victory over Upper Hutt B and caused consistent concern for opposing defences.
Hutt Old Boys Marist were fast out of the blocks in pool play, but came unstuck to the Rams in the semi-finals. Rayasi was the difference again with two tries.
A Wellington team will be selected for a warm-up tournament in Auckland in a fortnight. There were a number of players who put their hands up for possible inclusion. Some of the most impressive on display included: Blake McGregor and Sheridan Rangihuna (HOBM), Jono Ihaka (OBU), Ben Peni (Avalon), Matt Peni (MSP), Esi Komaisavai (Norths), Keelan Whitman and Pepesana Patafilo (St Pat’s Town) and the before mentioned Pearson, Rayasi, Fidow and Schrijvers.
In the women's final St. Marys College added the Eleanor Roosevelt Cup to their Wellington Condors title pipping Oriental Rongotai 24-15. St. Marys rallied from 15-5 and a yellow card down to cause an upset.
Captain Amanda Rasch opened the scoring with a 60-metre burst for Ories and Fa'asua Makisi added a double as the seniors looked to take control over the schoolgirls
St. Mary's had a player sin binned, but that inspired a fightback. Playmaker Cheyenne Copeland spotted no sweeper and kicked ahead to collect the ball unopposed. Lyric Faleafaga then propelled them ahead with a well-taken team try before Copeland repeated the same trick to settle a memorable tussle.
St Mary’s had won all their pool matches, starting their tournament off with a 27-0 win over Hutt Old Boys Marist and scoring a try from the opening kick-off before the Eaglets had taken the field. They then beat Old Boys University and Avalon to book a Cup semi-final with Northern United who won last week’s warm-up tournament. With their tails up, they defeated Norths 26-12.
The Men’s Plate final was an electric affair; with Marist St Pat’s beating Old Boys University 33-27, rattling on an early lead and then holding off a second half flurry by OBU.
Northern United beat Petone in the final of the Bowl, Paremata-Plimmerton took the Shield St Pat’s Town took the four-team Colts section and Avalon beat HOBM in the Women’s Bowl decider.
The sevens season continues next weekend with a re-scheduled Men’s Satellite 7s tournament. Details to be confirmed.
Men's Pool Results
Upper Hutt Rams A 25 Old Boys University 5
Marist St Pat’s A 12 Wainuiomata 5
Avalon 33 Wellington B 0
Northern United 22 Johnsonville 0
Hutt Old Boys Marist 33 Poneke 7
Oriental Rongotai 25 Wellington A 15
Petone 34 Marist St Pat’s B 5
Paremata-Plimmerton 12 Upper Hutt Rams B 20
Upper Hutt Rams A 36 Avalon 5
Marist St Pat’s A 54 Johnsonville 5
Old Boys University 42 Wellington B 7
Wainuiomata 22 Northern United 0
Hutt Old Boys Marist 33 Marist St Pat’s B 7
Wellington A 34 Paremata-Plimmerton 0
Poneke 0 Petone 24
Oriental-Rongotai 25 Upper Hutt Rams B 15
Upper Hutt Rams A 33 Wellington B 0
Marist St Pat’s A 12 Northern United 12
Old Boys University 29 Avalon 5
Wainuiomata 54 Johnsonville 5
Poneke 29 Marist St Pat’s B 0
Wellington A 29 Upper Hutt Rams B 5
Hutt Old Boys Marist Petone
Oriental-Rongotai 35 Paremata-Plimmerton 0
Men’s Cup Semi-finals:
Wainuiomata: 12 Ories: 10
Upper Hutt 27 Hutt Old Boys Marist 7
Men’s Cup Final
Upper Hutt 29 Wainuiomata 21
Women's Pool Results:
Oriental-Rongotai 35 Northern United 0
Marist St Pat’s 19 Petone 19
Old Boys University 24 Avalon 12
St Mary’s College 27 Hutt Old Boys Marist 0
Northern United 19 Marist St Pat’s 15
Oriental-Rongotai 43 Petone 0
Hutt Old Boys Marist 0 Avalon 29
Old Boys University 17 St Mary’s College 24
Northern United 25 Petone 10
Oriental-Rongotai 36 Marist St Pat’s 7s
St Mary’s College 19 - Avalon 17
Old Boys University 29 Hutt Old Boys Marist 5
Women’s Cup Semi-Finals:
Ories 21 Old Boys University 10
St Mary's College 26 Norths 12
Women’s Cup Final
St Mary's College 24 Ories 15
Colts Pool Results
St Pat’s Town 27 St Pat’s Silverstream 14S
Hutt Old Boys Marist Oriental-Rongotai 12-34
Oriental-Rongotai 17 St Pat’s Silverstream 12
St Pat’s Town 42 - HOBM 7
Oriental-Rongotai 7 St Pat’s Town 42
St Pat’s Silverstream met Hutt Old Boys Marist
Men's Plate Winners: Marist St. Pats
Men's Bowl Winners: Norths
Men's Colts: St. Pats Town
Men's Shield: Paramata-Plimmerton
Women's Bowl: Avalon