On Target Drilling Kumeu beat all to win Harbour Club 7s
For the first time in Kumeu Rugby’s (formerly Western United) history they have won a Premier trophy, taking out the North Harbour Sevens Club Championship held at Helensville Rugby Club on Saturday. The On Target Drilling Kumeu team were certainly not one of the fancied teams going into the tournament based on previous results, the team went through the tournament unbeaten, knocking over notable teams in the process.
The first pool game versus the hosts Helensville was approached with some caution as the traditional rivalry of neighbouring clubs is always there. After trading early tries Kumeu were able to pull away 36-12 victors. Next up and the team really got into their stride versus a strong Takapuna side winning 31-17. Last year’s winners Northcote have been a bogey team for Kumeu at 15-a-side and a tight contest was won 14-12, meaning Kumeu topped their pool going into the knockout stages.
Next up Marist in the Quarter Finals, who were fit but Kumeu’s power and support play started to come through in a comfortable win. 15-a-side champions East Coast Bays awaited in the semis and this was a huge game. Kumeu scored probably the try of the tournament with Pita Volavola able to break out from our own dead ball area and with great support play, the length of the field try leveled the scores. But another Bays try put the pressure on. More than a minute after the final hooter sounded experienced Sevens player Peni Buakula broke the Bays defence, and with the conversion the game was won 19-17.
5 games down the players were tired but just one last push in the final for a team that now was really believing in themselves and playing some great Sevens. North Shore have always been strong but Kumeu had most of the possession in the first half producing two well constructed tries against a stubborn defence to lead 10-7 at the break. Shore came back in the second half to lead 14-10, but with a couple of minutes remaining that man Buakula did it again scoring under the posts to give a 17-14 lead. Very tense couple of minutes followed, the players out on their feet, Shore in possession, but with the defence just holding they kicked, the ball was gathered by Kumeu, kicked out and the trophy was Kumeu’s. A huge effort from a team that was underrated by most but believed in each other and very much took a “never say die” attitude into all the games.
From this winning team 3 players are now training with North Harbour 7s team – Dillon O’Leary, Pita Volavola and Peni Buakula. Playing in the National Club 7s tournament held in Wellington next February is also being considered with some fundraising to be done. All in all a great way to finish the season and Kumeu are looking forward to the 2020 season with increased confidence and pride. #UpTheMu
Team – DJ O’Leary (captain), Sam Ashby, Peni Buakula, George Henderson, Troy Hirst, Mila Lalotoa, Dominic Mario, Sai Nasila, Filipo Sefu, Tuna Tautalafua, Matu Tevi, Wheriko Tawhiri, Pita Volavola
Managers – Mark Hall and John Buchanan