Waihi under-13 player Lachie Harper is tackled by Taieri
Blue player Jacob Day during last year's Taieri Sevens.
Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
High-powered referees will be in action at the Taieri
Sevens on Sunday as several Highlanders and a lot of Eels take
The semifinals and finals will be controlled by Otago Rugby
Union regular referees.
About 1000 players are expected to play in the 53rd annual
Taieri Sevens competition at Peter Johnstone Park on Sunday.
''Last year, we had 93 10-player squads and we are expecting
to have at least the same this year,'' member of the Taieri
club's organising committee Vince Horsewood told the Taieri
This includes teams from the country districts in Otago from
Queenstown and Wanaka to South Otago.
There are seven age groups - from 7 to 13 - and about 160
games will be played. Play starts at 10am and ends at 2.30pm
with the presentations.
Each team gets at least three round-robin games. The leading
teams then go into a semifinal and final in each age group.
Round-robin games have seven-minute spells and there are
10-minute spells for the semifinals and finals.
Horsewood explained why the tournament had been so successful
and lasted such a long time.
''It is the only sevens tournament held for kids around
Dunedin,'' he said.
''We do it for the younger kids and I think this is why it is
The tournament is not only about playing rugby but also about
The organisers expect 600 pies to be consumed, 300 patties
and even more sausages.
''The sausages are the most popular,'' Horsewood said.
''More of them are consumed than anything else.''
There are big support crews with all the teams.
Add on parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and there will
be about 1500 adults on the sidelines watching the games.
The Taieri club has the biggest and most successful
children's club in Otago and has 19 teams competing in this
year's schoolboy Metropolitan competitions.
''We have 275 players in junior rugby in the club,''
Planning for this year's event started six weeks out for the
Work begins at 6.30am on the day, when marquees and barbecues
are set up.
''We make the call by 7.30am if the tournament is to be
called off and delayed until the reserve day, on Monday,''
Feeding hungry sevens players:
• 600 pies.
• 300 patties.
• Untold more sausages.