Thursday, March 27, 2014
Tonight members from the premier rugby clubs, along with supporting members of the community gathered at Pilot Bay to celebrate the start of the 2014 club rugby season.
Bay of Plenty Rugby Union CEO, Mike Rogers, and President John Dowling, both wished the teams well for the season ahead. Mike Rogers said, “We are excited about the upcoming Bayfair Baywide Club competition. Tauranga Sports have set the standard in the last couple of years and I am confident we will have a quality 2014 competition as all the clubs have raised their game. I am also looking forward to seeing how the Bay of Plenty Union’s extra support through video analysis and coaching support assists clubs to improve the competition.”
Bayfair is again the naming rights sponsor for this season. Kylie McGregor, Bayfair Shopping Centre Marketing Manager says sponsoring club rugby is a great fit for the centre, which is a hub for the local community. "Bay locals are proud supporters of local rugby, and we are looking forward to another great year for Bayfair Baywide club rugby. We know the majority of our shoppers and retailers are rugby-mad, so any opportunity to link up with the players and the club proves a popular hit. We hope that the community will join us in cheering on our boys and girls for a stellar 2014 season.”
The team captains got a lesson in stand-up paddleboarding on the water wearing their team jerseys and had a friendly race for bragging rights heading into the season, with Te Puke paddling in first.
This Saturday 29th March "Bayfair Baywide Premier Competition Round One"
(All games at 2.45pm)
The match up with Mount will be Rangiuru's first Premier game after winning promotion as 2013 1st Division Champions. Mount Maunganui, the 2013 premier runners up will provide a stern first up challenge. The game is to be hosted on Rangiuru’s upgraded home ground so we can expect a big crowd at the game.
Opotiki is a close knit team who often prove hard to beat on their home ground. They will be facing Te Puna this weekend who is being lead by new coach Erin Cossey. These two teams seem to bring the best out of each other and this could prove to be another closely contested battle.
Greerton Marist have been building the last two years and will be a strong contender for the title. Te Puke may be affected by the promotion of Rangiuru into the Premier Competition but is a regular play off team and Coach Craig Jefferies knows how to prepare a winning team.
Whakawerawera along with a number of new players also have a new coach, former Bay of Plenty Steamer, Ngarimu Simpkins. Local bragging rights are on the line in the first round, and this is bound to be a tough game with neither team willing to give anything away.
Tauranga Sports will be a targeted team as the 2013 Premier Champions. They are a team with good depth and again look strong across all positions. Rangataua who will be upbeat after their recent success of winning the national club sevens title will back themselves to pull off an upset at their home ground in front of their loyal supporters.
A new feature for the premier grade this year is an official Rhino “Bayfair Baywide Club Rugby” match ball with all premier clubs receiving balls from union partner POWA Products. There will also be a new award up for grabs called the 'Rhino POWA Kicking King' for the player who scores the greatest amount of points during round-robin play. This player will be presented with a trophy and voucher at the annual BOPRU awards night.
For more information on this topic, please contact:
Mike Rogers, Chief Executive, Bay of Plenty Rugby Union
firstname.lastname@example.org | 029 478 4292