Sterling sevens play tinged with regret
The Manawatu men's sevens team felt they had let themselves down slightly, despite putting in potentially their best-ever shift at the national championships.
Manawatu won the plate final, beating Bay of Plenty 40-17 in Rotorua yesterday, but felt they could have done better, as they only lost one game all tournament and that was to eventual cup finalists Auckland in the quarterfinals.
Auckland went on to lose the final to Wellington 26-17 and Manawatu felt if they had not lost to Auckland, they could have been in the final instead.
The quarterfinal was tied up at 14-all, but conceded a try in golden-point extra time and Manawatu assistant coach Reuben Parkinson said a couple of things did not go their way in that game.
"It was a tough one for us," he said. "We're really, really happy we got the result in the [plate] final but a bit disappointed because we really believed we're good enough to play in the cup final."
He said they should not have let it get to golden point and should have won the game in regular time.
In pool play, Manawatu drew with Hawke's Bay 19-all, beat Otago 19-10 and Waikato 24-5 and topped the pool. They missed out in the quarterfinal to Auckland, before beating Canterbury 26-19 in the plate semifinal.
Speed merchant George Tilsley, the former New Zealand sevens player, was named player of the tournament and he played well all weekend along with Karl Bryson, Adrian Curry and Timoci Seruwalu.
"Our senior boys, the older members were exceptional for us," Parkinson said. "They really helped us stick to our game plan and really helped the young ones, the exciting boys."
Captain Adrian Curry echoed Parkinson about how they should not have lost to Auckland, saying if they had reached the final, they would have given it a good crack.