Women's sevens up for national title repeat

Last updated 12:00 06/01/2014

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The victorious Manawatu women's sevens rugby team are set to make history at the nationals at Rotorua next weekend.

They are the defending champions from Queenstown a year ago and won the Bay of Plenty tournament on Saturday. No-one has done the double in the same year, so this will be their time.

It has all proved worthwhile for team manager Ian Cokayne, an air force squadron leader, who has commuted back from England to help the team.

■ Word reaches us that former Downtown Cinemas movie magnate John Garrett will soon become Mr President.

He is understood to be the sole candidate for the next Manawatu Golf Club's president's position, to succeed accomplished player Ewan Westergaard who is stepping down. Westergaard had also been club captain as far back as 2009.

■ The Woodville-Pahiatua Racing Club hosted more than 2000 people at the Summer Festival Woodville Races on Saturday.

That was the word from Sputnik, a public relations company who have said it was a record number for the day. Veteran Woodville villagers confirmed they had rarely seen the car park packed back to the road. Gate takings were similar to most years and the tote was only holding its own, probably because it was a picnic meeting.

■ The Aussies are proclaiming the North Queensland Cowboys have signed the most talented 15-year-old in Australia, even dubbing him the "redhead whiz-kid".

He is Kalyn Ponga from Manawatu, who moved to Queensland with his family in 2011. He apparently said no to the Brisbane Lions, Queensland Reds, Brisbane Broncos, Sydney Roosters, Melbourne Storm and even ignored a golf career after having been the New Zealand under-13 champion in 2010 when at the Rangitikei Golf Club.

■ Palmerston North superstock driver Scott Joblin showed there's room for sportsmanship in speedway.

Joblin was mistakenly given fifth place in the second heat of the national final at Meeanee, Napier, on Saturday. He told officials of the error, but they took no notice.

Because of the error and a good third heat, Joblin was told he was third overall, but kept insisting there had been a lap-scoring error and he refused to accept third place. He gave it instead to team-mate Graeme Barr.

■ There will be $10,000 up for grabs on the Wednesday before the LawnMaster Golf Classic gets under way next month.

There will be a Horizon Golf Shootout in which 10 professionals will compete over nine holes in a shootout format.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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