Dunedin’s Alhambra-Union in 2009 was the last club to defend the Middlesex County Wavell Wakefield Cup.
Since then there have been seven different winners from six provinces, but defending champions and this year’s tournament hosts Eden are looking good to back-to-back on day two on Sunday.
Led by the Argentine Costa brothers, Eden comfortably won all three of their games and will return in the morning to Gribblehurst Park with high hopes of holding on to the New Zealand Club Sevens Championship title for another year.
Eden are joined by Hamilton Marist as the two unbeaten teams.
The other two pools were tightly contested with a pair of teams with two wins apiece in each.
Poor weather and at times torrential rain proved a leveller in many matches, with several games on day one in the balance until fulltime.
To see who will hosts Eden and Hamilton Marist as top seeds for the Cup quarterfinals on Sunday and who all four sides will play visit this link here https://edenrugby.herokuapp.com/index.html
Eden 24 – Havelock North 5
Marist Albion 17 - Fraser Tech 5
Eden 28 – Marist Albion 15
Fraser Tech 17 – Havelock North 10
Marist Albion 12 – Havelock North 10
Eden 26 – Fraser Tech 7
Tournament hosts Eden opened their account with a 24-5 win over the Havelock North Villagers. In torrential rain, Nico Costa (2) and Gareth William-Spiers scored tries as they led 19-0 at halftime. Nico Costa ran his hat-trick after halftime to sew the match up.
South Island representatives Marist Albion impressed in their opening 17-5 win over Hamilton’s Fraser Tech. The Canterbury champions, featuring a core contingent of Fijians, led 10-0 at halftime and soon stretched that to 17-0 with a clincher to Hano Crichton.
Eden outscored Marist Albion four tries to three in their second round 28-15, while Fraser Tech got on the board with a win by a converted try over Havelock North.
Marist Albion snuck into the top 8 quarter-final round with a 12-10 win over Havelock North at the end of the day, a quick tap and a runaway try under the poles on fulltime the difference.
Eden won their last match of the day 31-7 over Fraser Tech, Brodie Lam and Ignacio Costa (2) scoring the first three tries after the Hamilton side struck first.
Hamilton Marist 14 – Tauranga Sports 5
East Coast Bays 31 – Patumahoe 5
Hamilton Marist 28 – Patumahoe 17
Tauranga Sports 26 – East Coast Bays 17
Tauranga Sports 31 – Patumahoe 0
Hamilton Marist 19 – East Coast Bays 12
The Hamilton Marist Ravens scored a breakout try with the last play of the game to pull clear from Tauranga Sports 14-5 in their first match, while North Harbour champions East Coast Bays were clinical 31-5 winners in driving rain over Counties Manukau champions Patumahoe.
Hamilton Marist doubled their try tally in beating Patumahoe 28-17 in their second fixture and Tauranga Sports left East Coast Bays with plenty to ponder in winning their second round clash 26-17.
Tauranga Sports qualified for the top 8 with their second win and consigned the Steelers champions to their third straight loss with their 31-0 win late in the day. Josh Honey opened the scoring in the corner and they were in once more before the turnaround. Patumahoe put pressure on their line early in the second half, but Tauranga capitalised on handling errors to run clear in the remaining five minutes.
Hamilton Marist completed an unbeaten first day to top the Pool B group with a 19-12 win over East Coast Bays, to see the latter slip to the bottom 8 for day two
Old Boys Marist 22 – Greerton Marist 17
Pakuranga 17 – Napier Old Boys Marist 15
Old Boys Marist 29 – Pakuranga 7
Napier Old Boys Marist 31 – Greerton Marist 7
Pakuranga 31 –Greerton Marist 7
Napier Old Boys Marist 14 – Old Boys Marist 7
The lead changed four times in Northland champions Old Boys Marist’s 22-17 win over Bay of Plenty’s Greerton Marist.
Hawke’s Bay champions Napier Old Boys Marist missed a handy conversion following flyer Mike Buckley’s second try that would have seen them draw with Pakuranga. Instead, Pakuranga held on to win 17-15.
Old Boys Marist out-scored Pakuranga five tries to one to win 29-5 in their second match of the day in Pool C.
NOBM spread their wings in beating Greerton Marist five tries to one 35-7 in their second match.
Pakuranga were impressive in their 31-7 win over Greerton Marist, skipping to a 19-0 halftime lead and then 31-0 before a well-worked consolation try to the Bay of Plenty contenders.
NOBM worked hard for their second win of the opening day, scoring two converted first half tries and then holding off Old Boys Marist. The Northlanders crossed to close the score to 14-7 and pressed hard for a two minutes off the kick-off but couldn’t add another try.
Rangataua 15 – Upper Hutt Rams 12
Northcote 22 – University 17
Upper Hutt Rams 26 – Northcote 21
University 17 – Rangataua 12
Northcote 19 – Rangataua 0
University 21 – Upper Hutt Rams 12
2014 champions Rangataua beat the Upper Hutt Rams 15-12 in the first match of the tournament. Rangataua, featuring three former All Blacks Sevens players Matua Parkinson, Ruki Te Puna and Matt Clutterbuck, scored the match winner in the corner with a couple of minutes remaining. The Rams had scored earlier tries to Brandyn Laursen and Tynan Barrett. The Rams had a chance to win at the death but made a lineout error and the opportunity was gone.
North Harbour qualifiers Northcote caused a minor upset in the second match, beating Auckland 15s and 7s champions University 22-17. University thought they had the game won with a 70 metre intercept try, but Northcote regrouped and snatched victory at the end.
The Upper Hutt Rams bounced back to beat Northcote 26-21 in their second match in a thriller.
Northcote led 7-0 early on the back of more errors, but the Rams fought back to trail 19-21 with time almost up. Brandyn Laursen scored a hat-trick. Guest player Greg Foe then soared through a hole to score the match winner on fulltime.
University also bounced back in their second match to beat Rangataua 17-12 and Northcote then defeated Rangataua 19-0.
University came back from 0-12 down at halftime to beat the Rams 21-12 in their third and final game of the day. University piled on the early pressure in the second half and closed the gap to 7-12, before taking the lead with a try from a scrum turnover and sealing it with a third try at the end.