Australia sevens success over NZ at Waitangi Day clash
SEVENS: Australia had the last laugh when they snared the inaugural Waitangi Day Sevens title over New Zealand in the closing minutes of the decider.
Trailing 0-14 to the Kiwis at halftime, Australia executed a fine second half comeback to creep up on the Kiwis and put themselves back in contention in the deciding game on Saturday at Emu Park's Bicentennial Oval.
Marty Ohl was the hero for Australia when he touched down in the final minute of the match to assist his team to a 19-14 victory over NZ to hold up the Dodds Family Waitangi Day Trophy for the first time.
In the best of three games format, Australia secured the first match 26-7 before NZ struck back in the second, to win 10-12.
Lester Roberts, who plays flyhalf for the reserve grade Capricorn Coast Crocs side, was a standout on the paddock for the Kiwis, backing up his team mates and scoring all of NZ's tries in the three games.
The tournament, hosted by the Cap Coast Crocs, aimed to celebrate cultural diversity within the club and the large Kiwi contingent of members, organiser Dean Smith said.
"It was a massive success for the club, we had around 250 people turn up to watch and the ground was packed," Smith said.
"Following the rugby, people stuck around for a bit of a party, the hangi was pulled and the Kiwis did a haka."
Smith thanked everyone who made the day the success it was including Central Queensland rugby development officer Peter Fardon who "very fairly" refereed the matches.
"We will definitely be holding this event again," Smith said. "Our goal is to make it a 15-a-side competition where we invite players from other clubs to play as a bit of a prestigious thing and the way it went this year, it looks like it could happen in the near future."
Funds raised from the event went to local charity the Jason Rich Foundation, which supports year 12 drivers through defensive driving courses.
Cap Coast Crocs
The Crocs play in the Central Queensland Rugby Union reserve grade competition and have started pre-season training for the upcoming season which starts in April.
Training is on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Emu Park's Bicentennial Oval, at 6pm. All welcome.