Entries are significantly down but the tournament is far from out for tomorrow’s traditional Labour Day Condor 7s at Naenae College.
Senior Boys, Senior Girls and Boys U15s tournaments will be played simultaneously on two fields at the Lower Hutt school, with the Boys playing for the Christian Cullen Cup and the Girls for the Kat Simpkins Trophy.
The tournament returns after a year’s hiatus, owing to Covid. Defending champions from 2020 are St Pat’s Silverstream (Boys) and St Mary’s College (Girls).
Sevens rugby is a chance for players to shine in school colours for the final time, and as such there have been some notable performances from recent tournaments. Such as current Lions champions Peter Lakai and Riley Higgins propelling Silverstream to their 17-14 win over St Pat’s Town in last year’s final, their first title since 2014 and only their second overall. Silverstream had beaten 2017, 2018 and 2019 winners Scots College 26-22 in their 2020 semi-final.
Of these boys schools, Silverstream and Scots return for another tilt, but St Pat’s Town are unable to or unwilling to commit to a 2022 campaign, the most noted non-starter amongst several schools that could be expected to be there most years.
Just five schools will be lining up in tomorrow’s Christian Cullen Cup, with Silverstream and Scots joined by Wellington College, Rongotai College and Mana College.
They will play a single pool round-robin (four games each), with a straight final.
The two finalists will earn the right to represent Wellington at the National Condor 7s in Auckland in December.
The girls competition is even thinner, with just three schools represented. They will play a double round-robin (four games), followed by a final.
The girls contenders are perennial winners St Mary’s, who have won this every year since 2015, Wellington Girls’ College and Scots College.
At the most recent tournament in 2020, St Mary’s won the Kat Simpkins Cup with a 22-12 win over first time finalists Sacred Heart College.
In the Boys U15 tournament there is one pool of Four teams (Pool A) and one pool of three teams (Pool B). Teams will play a full round robin of games. Then there will be cross over quarter finals (1st B v 4th A, 2nd B v 3rd A, 2nd A v 3rd B). 1st in Pool A will qualify directly to the semi-finals.
The first game of the day is at 9.00am and the last fixture of the afternoon kicks off at 3.50pm.
Flashback. The tournament teams from 2014’s tournament:
Thomas Umaga-Jensen (Scots)
Asafo Aumua (Silverstream)
Alex Fidow (Scots)
Saia Paese (St Pat’s Town)
TJ Va’a (Scots)
Piri Parone (Wellington College)
Peter Umaga-Jensen (Scots)
Tuisamoa Poata-Ezra (St Bernard’s)
Lester Maulolo (Silverstream)
Losi Filipo (Silverstream)
Vern Sosefo (Silverstream)
Malo Manuao (Scots)
Salesi Rayasi (Silverstream)
Paige Misky (WEGC)
Alicia Print (St Catherine’s)
Marcelle Parkes (WEGC)
Ayesha Leti ‘L’iga (Porirua College)
Megan Gill (St Oran’s)
Julie Tusa (Aotea College)
Georgia Broughton (WEGC)
Mila Buchanan (WEGC)
Lesina Obeda (Aotea College)
Lufina Siaosi (Taita Colege)
Petra Ikenasio (Porirua College)
Ana Afuie (St Catherine’s)
Tina Hamlin (St Catherine’s)