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For the second year in a row, the Hibiscus Coast Raiders have taken out the Scottwood Trust NZ Rugby League National 7's Cup.
The Raiders made it look incredibly easy when they romped over the Central Falcons, winning 40/10. The 10 points to the Central side actually flatters them as the Raiders rarely let them into the game. Whilst Hibiscus were the form team of the tournament they were actually almost nudged out of the final by a very determined Otahuhu/Ellerslie side in the semi final.
Otahuhu almost had the game wrapped up when, with seconds left on the clock, the Raiders tap kicked off, chipped over the defensive line, regathered and scored. It must have been heart stopping stuff for their supporters but they came through in the end. Scorers for the Raiders were, Daniel Floyd (3), Shaun Ata (2), Stewart Heslop (2) and Piripi Menary (1). Ben Lythe and Shaun Ata kicked a goal each. Tim Cahill and Lui Vete got on the board for Central. In other results, the Bowl was taken out by the Eastern Tornadoes side in a final played against the West Coast. Pretty amazing to see a team from the Coast come up, take on the big boys and end up playing a final. Power to you guys and hope to see you here again next year. For the record, the final score was 20/4 to the Tornadoes. The Plate was won by the Canterbury Bulls over the Mt Albert Lions 22/16. Again it was the semi that almost provided the upset of the weekend. Canterbury Bulls v Canterbury Province, with the provincial team proving superior to the Bartercard side for the vast majority of the game. Only desperation allowed the Bulls to score at the death and book a berth in the final. It would have been an interesting plane trip back to Christchurch had things been slightly different. Player of the tournament : Chris Newton - Canterbury Buuls Team of the tournament : Central Falcons Today, as with yesterday, was very poorly attended. I don't know if it was the sultry overcast conditions or what, but the day did not produce the passion and the pizzaz of yesterday. The teams appeared flat and the crowd were strangely silent. A senior NZRL official indicated to me that the format may be restructured as a 9's tournament and definitely not scheduled up against the Rugby World 7's comp. A shift in venue to Ericcson Stadium may also be on the cards. In my opinion, more advertising and promotion would attract more fans to the game, because, unless this happens, the sponsors will lose interest very quickly.
SCOTTWOOD TRUST NZ NATIONAL RUGBY LEAGUE 7's RESULTS: DAY 2 (Finals Day) - Sunday 6 February 2005, North Harbour Stadium, Auckland
SCOTTWOOD BOWL SECTION
SCOTTWOOD PLATE SECTION
SCOTTWOOD CUP SECTION
SCOTTWOOD CUP WINNERS 2005: HIBISCUS COAST RAIDERS One of the outcomes of the tournament was to select a squad to compete in the St Mary's 7's. John Ackland, Graeme Norton and Duane Mann have selected the following players : Chris Newton - Canterbury Bulls Tangi Ropati - Marist Richmond Joshua Davis - Wellington Shaun Ata - Hibiscus Coast Odell Manual - Hibiscus Coast Robinson Godfrey - Mt Albert Daniel Floyd - Hibiscus Coast Charlie Herekotukutuku - Canterbury Bulls Paul Atkins - Otahuhu/Ellerslie Phil Shead - Mt Albert Mark Latu - New Zealand Defence Forces Hohepa Kahu - Central Falcons
There is also a New Zealand / Australian Maori side that will be taking part in the 2005 St Mary's Invitation Rugby League Sevens and the following four New Zealand based players have been selected from the Scottwood Trust NZ National 7's tournament.
In alphabetical order: Player Name - Franchise/District
1. Hayden Davis (Wellington) 2. Nathan Hohaia (Taranaki Sharks) 3. Royaldo Leoni (Otago) 4. Sam Rapira (Waicoa Bay Stallions)
On behalf of the NZRL we wish all the players and coaching / management staff all the best for the tournament.