Thousands gathered in Whakatāne to support and play in the 29th Annual Whakatāne Touch Tournament. It's one of the most popular club tournaments in New Zealand but there can only be one winner of the Men's Championship title.
Victory couldn't be any sweeter.
Bruce Kake from the Bulletz touch team says, “Nothing is bigger than this when it comes to the club team over all the summer, everybody has worked hard and there's five to six teams that could win this every year.”
Bulletz came out of the blocks with an early charge against long-time rivals from Rotorua, Lock N.
In the second half the South Auckland based team blew Lock N out of the water and gave them no other choice but to retreat.
However Lock N had their own share of joy with speed to burn.
Bulletz took out the grand final 7-2, a successful start to the year alongside their women's team who also took out the Open Women Plate.
“Just stoked with my boys we put in the hard yards and we've been training over the summer and over the xmas period and New Year's, so it's been a tough gig and it's to win here. So it's massive,” says Kake.
Event manager George Rogers praised his team of organizer's making sure the 72 teams made the most of their experience in Whakatāne.
Organiser George Rogers says, “This was an awesome day for everyone and I'm pleased with my team for the shared hard work in hand. Choice”