After a short break, the 2018 rugby season kicks off this Saturday with the annual Bay of Plenty Provincial Sevens Tournament at Blake Park at Mount Maunganui.
This tournament is the final opportunity for these teams to prepare ahead of the National Sevens being played next weekend (13 and 14 January) at Rotorua International Stadium, the final national tournament at Rotorua before it moves to nearby Tauranga Domain at the end of the year.
Several of the country’s leading men’s provincial sides will line up at Sir Gordon Tietjens (Blake) Park, including defending national champions and pre-Christmas Northern Region tournament winners Counties Manukau, recent Central Sevens winners Wellington, defending BoP tournament champions Waikato and South Island raiders Canterbury. A Samoan Barbarians team will take the field, while home province Bay of Plenty will also field an Academy side in the 12-team men’s competition.
The day-long men’s tournament features four pools of three teams, with knockout rounds and a Cup final at the end of the day.
Recent Central Sevens and current BoP tournament holders Manawatu will be out to win a three-peat of BoP titles in the women’s section, with stiff competition expected to come from Auckland, whom they beat 12-10 in last year’s final, recent Northern and Southern regional winners Waikato and Canterbury, as well as Wellington, North Harbour and home side Bay of Plenty.
The seven-team women’s tournament sees each team play four games in a modified round-robin format, with competition points and then points differential deciding the winning team and minor places.
The day-long tournament kicks off at 9.00am with the opening men’s match between Bay of Plenty and the Samoan Barbarians. Waikato and Manawatu square off in the women’s opener in the first women’s match at 11.00am.
The men’s knockout rounds are scheduled to start at 2.00pm and the Cup final at 5.20pm.
Tickets are available for purchase from the gate; $5 for adults and free for children 14 years and under. Gates will open at 8.30am.
There are 38 games in total, spread across two fields. Heavy rain is forecast to ease by Saturday.
What: 2018 Bay of Plenty Provincial Sevens
When: Saturday 6 January 2018
Where: Blake Park Mount Maunganui
Time: 9.00am Kick Off
Entry Fee: $5 for adults U14 Free
Coverage: Follow @boprugby on Twitter for live updates, round-up and results at the end of the day.
Pool A: Bay of Plenty, Manawatu, Samoan Barbarians
Pool B: Tasman, Hawke’s Bay, Waikato
Pool C: Wellington, Auckland, Bay of Plenty Academy
Pool D: Counties Manukau, Canterbury, Northland
Waikato (seeded 1), Manawatu (2), Canterbury (3), Auckland (4), North Harbour (5), Wellington (6), Bay of Plenty (7)
9.00am Pool A Bay of Plenty v Samoan Baabaas
9.20am Pool B Tasman v Waikato
9.40am Pool C Wellington v Bay of Plenty Academy
10.00am Pool D Counties Manukau v Northland
10.20am Pool A Manawatu v Samoan Baabaas
10.40am Pool B Hawkes Bay v Waikato
11.00am Pool C Auckland v Bay Of Plenty Academy
11.20am Pool D Canterbury v Northland
11.40am Pool A Bay of Plenty v Manawatu
12.00pm Pool B Tasman v Hawkes Bay
12.20pm Pool C Wellington v Auckland
12.40pm Pool D Counties Manukau v Canterbury
2.00pm - 3.40pm: Semi-finals
4.00pm - 5.20pm – Finals
11.00am Waikato v Manawatu
11.20am Canterbury v Auckland
11.40am North Harbour v Wellington
12.00pm Waikato v Canterbury
12.20pm North Harbour v Manawatu
12.40pm Bay of Plenty v Auckland
1.00pm Waikato v North Harbour
1.20pm Bay of Plenty v Canterbury
1.40pm Wellington v Manawatu
3.00pm Waikato v Bay of Plenty
3.20pm Auckland v North Harbour
3.40pm Canterbury v Wellington
4.40pm Manawatu v Auckland
4.40pm Wellington v Bay of Plenty