Auckland double at Northern Region Sevens

BEN STRANG
Last updated 19:05 14/12/2013

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Auckland have won both the men's and women's Northern Region Sevens Tournament at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton.

Having scraped into the Cup semifinals with only one win in its pool, Auckland's men came good in the finals, beating Counties 36-7 in the semifinal, and previously unbeaten Northland 31-0 in the final.

The women's side were unbeaten throughout the tournament, beating Waikato 26-10 in the final.

After a sloppy opening to the men's final, Auckland captain Tutu Tairea opened the scoring with a 60m break in the right corner after seven minutes.

Northland's Jono Macali saved a certain try right on the stroke of halftime, but Auckland were back on attack after the break.

Ed Teofilo beat Macali for speed up the left wing to make it 14-0, as Kalione Hala kicked his second conversion.

Youngster Leon Fukofuka scored his first of two tries, running 50m to dot down, before Phoenix Hunapo-Nofoa crossed late on.

Fukofuka added the icing to the cake, grabbing his second try as the fulltime hooter sounded.

Northland had been unbeaten heading into the final, beating Auckland, North Harbour and Waikato Harlequins in pool play, and battering home side Waikato 27-17 in the semifinal.

Counties Manukau claimed third place, beating Waikato 24-12 in the third-fourth playoff, having gone down 36-7 in the semifinal to Auckland.

Auckland were comprehensive winners of the women's competition, going through the tournament unbeaten.

Captain Huriana Manuel starred for Auckland, capping her tournament with two tries in the final, while Kayla McAlister also scored two tries in the final.

Waikato Harlequins won the men's plate competition, beating North Harbour 34-12.

Auckland, Northland, Counties Manukau, Waikato and North Harbour have qualified for the men's national tournament, while Auckland, Waikato, Counties Manukau and Bay of Plenty qualified for the women's national event.

The National Sevens Tournament will be held in Rotorua on January 11 and 12.

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- Fairfax Media

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