The Turf Hotel Tasman men’s sevens side will look to make it a hat-trick of wins at the South Island regional tournament this weekend.
BY JONTY DINE [Nelson App]
Having taken out the 2016 and 2017 editions and finishing runner-up in the national champs last year, Tasman will be among the favourites heading for Timaru on Saturday.
Fresh from leading Stoke to the Motueka Sevens title, the dynamic Sam Chamberlain will captain the side which features an array of local talent.
Central’s Timoci Tavatavanawai lit up the Tasman Trophy this year with his blistering speed and will be one to watch this weekend while Waimea flyer Eremino Tau will be another danger man for Tasman.
Also, in its arsenal is the powerful Te Puoho Stephens who will be keen to make his physical presence felt.
The women’s squad features just four players backing up from last year’s campaign.
Skipper and Black Ferns sevens player Jess Drummond says the squad is well balanced.
"We have been training hard for the last month and a half and have made pleasing progress with our culture and physical skills.”
Jess says the side has had a few injury niggles which they will need monitor throughout the weekend with a squad of only 12.
Last year Tasman narrowly missed qualifying for nationals after losing to Southland and Jess said they will target the Southlanders this time with only four teams attending and a top three finish required.
"We know our strengths and we need to make sure we use these to our advantage.”
While Jess brings some international experience to the squad there are plenty of rookies that be making the step up to provincial footy.
"We have a very young side this year who are still learning the game, so patience will be key.”
Both sides aim to qualify for the National Sevens on December 15-16 in Tauranga.
This year’s three Regional Tournaments will be live streamed. The live stream will be available on AllBlacks.com and on Facebook.
Tasman Men: Sam Chamberlain (C), Timoci Tavatavanawai, Te Puoho Stephens, Erenimo Tau, Fletcher Matthews, Falaula Fotu Moala, Jayden Woolley, Graham Urquart, Jesse Pitman, Stein Schreiber, Josh McPherson, Michael Vaeno. Coach – Sam Gibbens.
Tasman Women: Jess Drummond (C), Stephani Mitchell, Lyric Siaki, Amanda Fitisemanu, Olivia Bird, Jess Foster-Lawrence, Rachael Wood, Sydnee Wilkins, Anya Schultz, Demi Salton, Leah Miles, Wairakau Greig. Coach – Bevan Thompson/Chris Binns
- 1 pool of 4 teams
- Full round robin = 4 x games each
- Teams ranked after pool play and progress to:
- 3 v 4 play 3rd & 4th ranking play off
- 1 v 2 play a final for 1st & 2nd rankings
- Top 3 teams qualify for the December 2018 National Sevens
- 1 pool of 6
- Round robin across pools – 5 games each
- Ranking will be determined by how teams finish in pool play
- Top five teams qualify for 2018 TECT National Sevens