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Tai Mitchell set to embark on Blake Park

Wednesday, July 5, 2017
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Tomorrow will mark the start of this year's Tai Mitchell tournament, where teams will go head to head to claim the Tai Mitchell Shield and Bill Murray Trophy.
The Tai Mitchell tournament began in 1938, and is one of the most important events in the Bay of Plenty Junior Rugby calendar run by the Bay of Plenty Primary Schools Rugby Council.
This year two pre-season qualifying tournaments have been held splitting the ten teams into two divisions one playing for the Tai Mitchell Shield and the other playing the Bill Murray Trophy.
The six teams that will compete for the Tai Mitchell Shield will be Te Puke, Tauranga West, Tauranga North, Tauranga East, Opotiki and Whakatane. The Billy Murray Trophy will be contested for by Galatea, Rangitaiki, Rotorua Maroon and Rotorua Gold.
Whilst the tournament is all about the boys, this year’s tournament provides an excellent opportunity for young referees to also grow and develop.  Ten referees from Waikato, Taranaki and Bay of Plenty will control the 25 games, under the direction of four experienced referee coaches. 
Seamus Collins Chairman of the Tai Mitchell organising committee commented, “It has been a great build up with the pre-season tournaments ahead of the Tai Mitchell Tournament. We don’t doubt these tournaments will provide the base for another fantastic and fiercely competitive Tai Mitchell tournament show casing the upcoming talent in the Bay of Plenty.”
“We appreciate the work that goes in from all ten teams’ involved especially their coaches and team management to get their teams ready for this tournament.  We are looking forward to all their hard work hitting the fields from tomorrow, until the final on Sunday,” said Collins.
“We are looking forward to having the opportunity to host this year’s Tai Mitchell Tournament and wish all the teams the very best of luck,” Collins finished.
The tournament doubles as a trial for the Bay of Plenty Roller Mills team, which will represent the province at the northern regional tournament against sides from Northland, Auckland, Thames Valley, King Country, Waikato, Taranaki and North Harbour.
The tournament will run from Thursday 6 July to Sunday 9 July.
Tai Mitchell Tournament History:
The Tai Mitchell tournament began in 1938. This year marks the 76th year of the Tournament. All boys attending the tournament are to weigh 53kgs and under.
Tai Mitchell Shield:
The original Tai Mitchell Shield was presented by Mr Henry Taiporutu Mitchell in 1938, for competition among the primary school teams representing the Bay of Plenty Rugby Sub-unions. Mitchell was a renowned Rotorua sports administrator and a supporter of all codes.
Bill Murray Trophy:
The Bill Murray Trophy was presented in memory of Bill Murray, a former rugby stalwart and the Primary School Union’s secretary of many years.
The awards presented at the end of the tournament are:
Player of the Tournament Jim McKinnon Trophy
Shepheard Trophy for Sportsmanship.
Bill Murray Trophy (Plate Competition Winner. 5th place)
Rob Shaw Cup (4th place)
Gavin Parkinson Trophy (3rd place)
Lawrence Boynton Trophy. (2nd place)
Tai Mitchell Shield (1st place)
Tai Mitchell Draw and Results:
To view the Tai Mitchell draw and results, please click here to visit our website.

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