Whakatāne hosts Tai Mitchell Rugby tournament

By Mere McLean
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

The Tai Mitchell Rugby tournament holds a special place in the Bay of Plenty region and this year it's being hosted by Whakatāne.

The tournament caters for primary and intermediate levels.  There were 250 players and over 200 coaches, officials, parents and supporters watching the future rugby players of the Bay of Plenty.

Ray Tuhaka says, “This event is great for our children who are looking to make the All Blacks team if that's what they aspire to.  This is where it all starts.”

Te Whānau-a-Apanui is one of the 10 teams in the tournament.

According to the president of the Primary Schools Rugby Union, they were only put together last week.

Wayne Fell says, “Yesterday for instance, I think it was 17 all at half time with Tauranga East. Generally they are last, don't score a lot of points.  This year they've put together six or seven tries and its development for them boys down there as well.”

Tuhaka says, “The teams here cover the Bay of Plenty, so that's Te Whānau-a-Apanui, Ōpōtiki, Whakatāne, Rangitaiki, Galatea, two teams from Rotorua and two teams from Tauranga and Te Puke.”

Today ends the round robin section of the tournament.  Tomorrow, the semi-finals will kick off with the finals being held on Wednesday.

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