Waikato 2019 Touch National Champions

By Rahia Timutimu

Seventy-seven teams from around the country came together over the weekend to compete at the 2019 Bunnings National Championship held in Rotorua. There were 14 categories, from Under-21 right up to an Over 55-men category. 

Waikato won the main title at the competition and featured in many Semis and Finals of the competition.

Open Men:

This category was by far one of the biggest of the whole competition with eleven teams competing, which resulted in the teams splitting into two pools. Waikato Open mens had a stellar competition, winning all of their matches and narrowly beating Kapiti Horowhenua in the Semi. Counties Manukau were great competition for the Waikato side, sending the match in a drop off when all scores were tied at 8-all. Mita Graham’s Waikato team won with three men on the field

FINAL SCORE FOR GRAND FINAL:

Waikato Open Men – 9

Counties Manukau Open Men – 8

Open Mixed:

Like the Open Mens category, the open mixed category was just as big with eleven teams. The overall winners were Auckland Open Mixed who only lost one game in their pool play against Waikato which was their second match of the tournament. It was Waikato who they faced in the final of this category, but instead of losing by one point they beat Waikato by one point.

FINAL SCORE FOR GRAND FINAL:

Waikato Open Mixed – 10

Auckland Open Mixed – 11

Open Women:

Seven teams competed in the Open Women section, with the three Auckland-based teams doing well. In the end two Auckland teams battled out in the final, with the Auckland Open Women white team winning overall by one point against Counties Manukau.

FINAL SCORE FOR GRAND FINAL:

Counties Manukau Open Women – 7

Auckland Open Women White – 8

U-21 Boys:

Waikato U-21 Boys found this competition relatively easy, winning all their matches before the grand final five points in the end, which showed in the final, overcoming Otago by ten tries.

FINAL SCORE FOR GRAND FINAL:

Waikato U-21 Boys – 17

Otago U-21 Boys – 7

Under-21 Mixed:

Counties Manukau may have won their Under 21 mixed section but they had a scare in their first match at the Nationals, losing to the Bay of Plenty by 1 point. However the side from South Auckland learnt from that loss and beat Wellington by 2, North Harbour by 7, Canterbury by 7, Taranaki by 3 in their pool play. In their semi-final they continued their winning ways beating North Harbour by five tries. They definately improved during the duration of the competition, proving too strong for Bay of Plenty and getting revenge for their first game loss against the side, winning by six points overall in the final.

FINAL SCORE FOR GRAND FINAL:

Bay of Plenty Under-21 – 6

Counties Manukau Under-21  - 12

Under-21 Womens:

With 6 teams in the Under 21 Womens section (Whanganui, North Harbour, Counties Manukau, Waikato, Otago and Te Taitokerau) Te Taitokerau made the final, to win against Otago by one point.

FINAL SCORE FOR GRAND FINAL:

Otago Under-21 – 7

Te Tai Tokerau Under-21  – 8

For more information and to view all results, check out their website.