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The 2022 Sevens season started like any other, dusty old rigs playing touch with some of Northcote’s finest young prospects. With a strong core group and some unreal talent coming through, we were quietly optimistic of our chances against any team and had the chance to prove it at the Auckland University Invitational tournament.

We went 3 from 3 in the pool stages against East Coast Bays, Pakuranga and Marist with huge performances from both Leon Marsters and Harry Johnson. We had a hard-fought Semi against a well drilled Varsity team who were kind enough to give us some work ons going into next week as they exploited our weaknesses for the win. The tournament was very well set up and run and the support for the boys was as ever, magnificent.

After a good week’s training and some back and forth emailing about how to spell eligibility, the boys were fizzing, and the weekend looked like one for history books. Selection was difficult as the talent on display both on and off the field was immense. Special mention to the boys who showed up on the day ready to jump in should injury strike, a tribute to the club’s culture.

We were put in a tough pool where we faced Kumeu winning comfortably 50-7, then a Massey team who controlled the game well were able to snatch a 29-10 victory from us. Martin Watson stepping up in both games with great restarts and better leadership. As the saying goes, a kick is only as good as it’s chase, and our young debutant Jacques Raath was on hand to make every kick-off from Martin look like they were playing a game of catch between each other.

Our quarterfinal came against Mahurangi who brought the fire and passion we were expecting and even some extra pace to spare. After some tough physical battles and a couple of outrageous calls from the sideline supporters, we were able to come away with a 22-14 win. Next up was our old mate Massey who were able to come away with the win despite some great defensive work from Hone Haerewa and Josef Foley, with Tim Webster and Elliot Bryers showing all the natural attacking skills that make them so valuable in any team. With no 3rd/4th playoff game we got into the third half with our debutants Jacques and Hone having a lovely beverage of ‘Lion Rouge d’une botte.’

We would like to send a huge thank you to everyone who has shown support in any way. To our sponsors Northcote Old Boys and Redcliffe Shipping, thank you for helping us have success on and off the field and we look forward to giving back where we can. To the ladies in the kitchen keeping us fed and to the boys on the sidelines keeping us hydrated a huge thanks to you, without you guys we wouldn’t have half as much fun.

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