SPORTS

Masirewa Scores In Waikato Win

Waikato have won the national 7s tournament in Rotorua after surviving early setbacks to defeat defending champions Wellington in the final yesterday. Down 12-0 early, Waikato stormed back to win
19 Jan 2015 10:42
Masirewa Scores In Waikato Win
Luke Masirewa scored a brace of tries for Waikato in the final.

Waikato have won the national 7s tournament in Rotorua after surviving early setbacks to defeat defending champions Wellington in the final yesterday.

Down 12-0 early, Waikato stormed back to win 38-19 at the Rotorua International Stadium.

Tamati Samuels gave Wellington an ideal start when he dummied his way through the Waikato defence to grab a lead.

Ambrose Curtis was next to cross for Wellington, dragging two defenders towards the line before barrel-rolling over to score.

Moments later Waikato’s Luke Masirewa broke through the Wellington defence and ran 70m for the score.

Masirewa wasn’t done, grabbing a second on halftime after Chad Bracey put in some good work up the right touchline.

That gave Waikato a 14-12 lead at the break, and soon after they had more to celebrate.

Wellington botched a line out inside Waikato’s half, and from there Dylan Collier ran 60m for a try under the posts.

If that didn’t put Waikato fans into dream land, Declan O’Donnell did with five minutes to play, jinking and jiving through the defence to score under the posts.

On a high, Isaac Te Tamaki then put in a try saving tackle up the other end, preventing Wellington from earning an instant response.

Wellington did get across the line again, however, through Belgium Tuatagaloa, but then Collier broke free to grab his second of the game for Waikato.

As if that wasn’t enough, O’Donnell scored his second on the final hooter, handing Waikato a 38-19 win.

Waikato coach PJ Williams said 7s tournaments were won on Day Two, and his team fired all day.

“We knew we had to do what other teams hadn’t done, and that’s take them on up the middle,” Williams said.

“We had to be big and physical, don’t go wide on them because that’s what they like, and I think they took us a bit lightly.

“We’ve got leadership. Declan O’Donnell, Wharenui Hawera, DJ Collier, Luke Masirewa, guys that are real leaders and on Day Two they take over.

“I’m not a ranting, raving coach. I let them take over today and they deserve all the credit. I’ve just sat in the background and provided the detail.”

Wellington coach Scott Waldrom meanwhile said his team didn’t front in the final.

“There’s no hard luck on our part. We failed to turn up and Waikato played well,” he said.

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