Above: Tawa and Wellington halfback Kemara Hauiti-Parapara chases Wellington Black player Esi Komaisavai to the tryline in today's Tawa Sevens tournament.
Following in the footsteps of the Lions, the Wellington Sevens team have won a final.
Wellington White have thrashed their wider training squad counterparts Wellington Black, 46-5 in the final of the Clockwork Gold Tawa Sevens at Lyndhurst Park.
The eight-team tourney was a warm-up event for the Wellington rep squad who compete in the Counties Sevens next Saturday, looking ahead up for the Central Region qualifiers in December and qualification for Nationals in January.
There were 12 matches played in the morning with both Wellington teams advancing to the semi-finals. The White side accounted for Tawa Blue, 43-0, Wellington Axeman, 29-12 and Te Aroha, 45-12.
The Black’s eased past Toa, 38-7, Tawa, 36-10 and the Fijian Flyers, 21-7.
The best of the Tawa teams assembled to challenge the respective Wellington units in the semi-finals, and both tussles proved to be furiously competitive.
Wellington White eventually outlasted Tawa Red, 17-7. Initially Wellington White appeared to be coasting to victory when Jake Walmsley and Varani Komaisavai scored solo tries from well past halfway to make it 10-0.
However Tawa Captain TJ Fermanis bullied his way over after a robust construction by the hosts to make it 10-7. Wellington White pounced on a late and costly error to seal the deal.
Wellington Black required a last play try to Daniel Schrijvers to foil the other Tawa team 15-10. A runaway try to TK Bishop had Black ahead 10-5, but when Faraimo Nofoaiga turned into a human wrecking bull scores were suddenly tied at 10-apiece.
Red-carded earlier in the day, Nofoaiga turned into the villain again when he was yellow carded for a high shot leaving a gusty Tawa undermanned.
In the final Luke Bowden scorched away for two quick tries and the diminutive and dashing Walmsley was hard to contain as the White’s swiftly surged to an unassailable lead.
The second-half was like the Michael Jackson hit, "It doesn't matter if you're black or white" with both teams swapping jerseys and showing more compassion for each other than Gareth Morgan has shown for the SPCA this year.
Nash Fiso-Vaelei and Esi Komaisavai were among the other Wellington players not already mentioned to excel.
Scots College Wellington Under-18 selections Moala Katoa, Caleb Cavubati and Tai Neli represented Wellington as they prepare for the National Secondary Schools Condor Sevens in Auckland in December.
Other players to appear on the day included Horowhenua Kapiti Heartland duo James So'oialo and Kalim Kelemete, Wellington Lions halfback Kemara Hauiti-Parapara and joint Best and Fairest winner Hemi Fermanis playing alongside his brother TJ for Toa. Meanwhile, Taniela Koroi put in an honest day's work for the Tawa side, while his brother and Otago loose forward Chucky was in attendance.
The Te Aroha Eels league team didn't win a game, but were more competitive than the Warriors and deserve a lot of credit for fronting in an unfamiliar code
When undistracted by the misfortune of endangered species on Netflix, Bradd Forster proved to be an entertaining MC.
The WRRA did another great job officiating the event.
Lyndhurst Park was emerald green, the best condition Club Rugby has even seen it. We look forward to returning again in 2018.