Thursday, 24 May 2007

Blueskin Bay Rugby Fives Tournament 2007

Most teams cancelled their appearances in the first ever Blueskin Bay
Fives held on Sunday 20th May. A City team withdrew on Friday with
nagging injuries, whilst the Varsity team invited were mysteriously
ill from Saturday night food and drink (the waitress is still
unknown). The local Whare did not have enough notice to prepare a good
side this year but are keen to be a force in next year's tournament.

Warrington could not muster any meaningful presence and the expected
challenge from Waikouaiti touch players did not survive the first
hurdle. Waitati Athletic were well represented and contended the title
against a 'Combined' – a Harlequins and Athletic selection. Athletic
looked the best with an early lead of 3-1 but just before half-time
with a man down the tide turned. Harlequins dug in and whittled the
lead down. At 3-all Athletic scored with a typical Oxley intercept,
Digby Hodgson persued but was left floundering and bit the dust. 4-3
turned to 4-5 as Stuart Griffiths showed every inch of his pedigree
(former captain of Canterbury B Rugby Union reps) in setting up a try.
With sublime ease Stuart crossed with the winner for Combined.

Rugby 5s has two versions: the least-played version allows kicking on
the last touch. The kicking game title was contested by an Appleby
team and Combined.

Peter 'Inga' Appleby scored a 25-metre try which was the highlight of
the game and has thrown a challenge to all Blueskin mature people who
think they are past it. Village sport is for everyone and Inga Appleby
punctuated that. Rugby 5s looks forward to his talent for next season
and Harlequins have made an offer to this exciting winger for the 2008
and 2009 seasons.

Combined won 5-4 to take a second title by the same margin. Stuart
Griffiths was a close Player of the day winner.

by Digby Hodgson

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