The Akarana Timbers Pakuranga United 7s side have been crowned Auckland Club Champions for 2018 After five tough games at the weekend.
This is the club’s second title after winning the inaugural event in 2010.
In pool play Pakuranga accounted for Mt Wellington 29-12, Eden 26-0 and College Rifles 22-12. This saw them qualify top of the pool and secure a semi-final against top contenders University. In a tough battle between the two best sides on display, Pakuranga was down 5 -14 at half time but scorched home by scoring four second half tries to come away with a comprehensive 31-14 victory.
The final against a large Marist side again turned out to be an epic encounter with Pakuranga down 5-12 at half time again.
This time Marist came out firing after the break and looked to be going the length of the field before inspirational “sweeper” Gerald Van Wyk cut the runner down just short of the try line, turned over possession and started a counter attack which saw Pakuranga score to level the scores at 12 all.
This broke the Marist resolve and Pakuranga quickly added two late tries to run away with a 22 -12 win.
“It was a fantastic day for the team. The boys played outstandingly all day and I am rapt for them as winning tournaments is tough to do in the 7s game,” said coach Mark Dickison.
“For me, being a recent player who has moved into coaching, I really felt the same emotions I did as a player and came away absolutely knackered at the end of the day. It was a great day for our club.”
The victory qualifies Pakuranga to return to the NZ Club 7s to compete for the Middlesex Cup to be held at Eden Rugby Club in early 2019 where the team will be looking to add to their first NZ title they won in 2013.
Akarana Timbers Pakuranga United Auckland Club Champions:
- Will Rew (Captain)
- Ben Lyford
- Gerald Van Wyk
- Simon Fauoo
- Andrew Fauoo
- Niu Osika
- Quentin Hill
- Aula Silipa
- Ratu Wye
- Sione Ahokovi
- Tika Lelenga
- Sinele Williams
- Michale Van Wyk
- Tyler Casey
- Head Coach: Mark Dickison
- Manager: Iain Leigh