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2020 Farmlands Cooperative Western Bay Premier & Premier Development Finals

Thursday, August 20, 2020
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The Charles Hardy Memorial Cup and the Charlie Whetumarama Kakau Memorial Cup

Tauranga Sports will host two finals this Saturday at the Tauranga Domain, under the Ministry of Health’s Covid-19 Alert Level 2 restrictions. After a stellar season, Tauranga Sports have earned hosting rights for both 2020 Farmlands Cooperative Premier and Premier Development finals after finishing on top of the table in both grades.

With the 2020 Baywide club rugby season being interrupted due to COVID-19, the men’s senior competition was then made into a local round with the Western Bay of Plenty Sub-union committee taking charge. This meant that the competition format was shortened to 8-week round-robin games with the eight teams playing each other once.

One of the clubs, Arataki, were severely affected by Covid-19 with many of their players coming from migrant workers. As a result, they were unable to field a development team. The Western Bay Sub Union, chaired by Matt Welsh, came up with a unique solution; they approached the highest ranked local division one club from the 2019 standings to see if they would like an opportunity to participate in the Western Bay Development competition. Judea gratefully accepted the challenge and they now find themselves competing in the final of the Premier Development competition.

Farmlands Cooperative Regional Manager Dolly Halley says the sponsorship is a positive reflection of the company’s connection to the Bay of Plenty community.

“We are a community focused company and therefore supporting the BayWide Club Rugby competition was a no brainer for us. Being able to support our local community is our focus and this is a perfect fit for our company” says Halley.

Due to the current Level 2 restrictions, spectators are strongly encouraged NOT to attend and instead watch both finals on the livestream on the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union Facebook page here: www.facebook.com/boprugby/

Click here for the 2020 WBOP Premier and Premier Development finals programme

Farmlands Cooperative Western Bay Premier Men’s Final

This year’s Farmlands Cooperative Western Bay Premier Men’s final is a replay of the 2019 battle, with Tauranga Sports deservedly hosting the final by finishing top of the table and winning their semi final last week against a spirited Rangiuru outfit.

Tauranga Sports captain, Josef Meek comments “the team is extremely excited to again be part of the Bay final. We set out the goal to go one better than we did last year and it is only right for us to go do that against the current champions Te Puna.”

“It will be a spectacular game and look forward to seeing the top two teams go at it once again.”

“Hosting the final means everything to our club. We have a great club and awesome supporters who travel from all over the show to get to our games, so it is very special to be able to get the home final for them."

Their opponents, Te Puna travelled to Murray Salt Stadium last week and rolled over their more fancied opponents Te Puke Sports to earn a place in the final.

Te Puna Premier head coach, Peri Marks is looking forward to the challenge, saying “like most clubs and communities we have faced our challenges this year. However, through these challenges we gained opportunities for investment in ourselves and the club. Tauranga are well coached as they have a great set piece and systems that have allowed them to be the best defensive and attacking team in the competition. We will be looking to play our game and express ourselves on attack and defence. This scenario is a bit like the 300 Spartans going to war at the Gates of Hell against the Persian army.”

The two Premier teams will be contesting for the Charles Hardy Memorial Cup this Saturday under the Western Bay Rugby Sub Union competition. The trophy was originally presented to the Tauranga Rugby Sub Union in 1958 and won by Te Puna that year.

Farmlands Cooperative Western Bay Premier Development Men’s Final

Tauranga Sports earned top spot and hosting rights in the Farmlands Cooperative Western Bay Premier Development final by winning 7 from 7 in round robin play and then winning last week’s home semi final against Te Puna 28-20.

Luke Robinson, Tauranga Sports Development Captain, is looking forward to the challenge that Judea will bring saying “the boys are pretty pumped with this weekend’s opportunity. It’s something as a team and as a club we wanted to achieve and now we’re here. Hopefully the hard work pays off.”

“Being able to play in a final before our home crowd gives us all a lot of pride and belief that winning a competition in what’s been an unusual season would be something we won’t forget.”

Judea travelled to Rangataua last weekend and took on their higher ranked opponents to win a nailbiter 27-24 to earn their place in this weeknd’s final.

After defeating Paroa in the Division One final last season and being promoted, Judea are set to play their first Premier final since 1998, coincidently that final was also against Tauranga Sports.

Judea head coach Sam Peita is looking forward to the challenge.

“For Huria, rugby is not just about the team but about the whanau, the kaumatua, the club and the wider community who are passionate supporters so the team are going to approach the final as we have done all season with heart and kaha backed by the whanau” says Peita.

The Premier Development final winner will receive the Charlie Whetumarama Kakau Memorial Cup, which was first won by Rangataua Sports Club in 1969 and last presented to Otumoetai Cadets in 1985.

Under the level 2 COVID-19 measurements, Tauranga Sports in conjunction with the two opposing clubs; Te Puna and Judea and the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union are well prepared to follow their Covid-19 Safety Plans with regards to hosting home games under alert level 2 restrictions.

Each of the three clubs involved has been allocated 2 x 100 max mass gathering sections for their supporters, one in the grandstand and one on the concourse. These sections will be kept two metres from their neighbours, will have separate entrance ways, will have individual contact tracing measures with Tauranga Sports using Gate 1 and Judea and Te Puna using gate 2 to access the venue.

The players, coaches, match officials, team management, sponsors and dignitaries will be located in a separate 100 max mass gathering group and kept separate from the crowds. They will be limited to movement between their change rooms and the field and those not participating in the matches will sit behind the technical zones on chairs.

There will be no access to any of the controlled areas by anyone outside of these 100 max mass gathering groups. All inquiries to gain access to these places are to be directed to the individual clubs.

Other than those spectators arranged to attend through their clubs, all other spectators are advised NOT to attend and instead watch the matches on the livestream.

The Western Bay of Plenty Senior Reserves competition still has a few more weeks of games with their final being played on Saturday 12th September in which the winner will receive the Phelan Cup.

Please remember if you are a player or involved with one of the teams playing:

  • If you’re sick or have flu-like symptoms, STAY HOME. Don’t go to rugby this weekend.
  • If you’re going to attend a venue as a spectator, follow the wishes of the host club. Check in, use the hand sanitizer, avoid physical contact with people and stay 2 metres away from the person beside you.
  • If you attend a club room afterwards, only 100 people are allowed! You must check in, use hand sanitizer, be seated and be served.

2020 Farmlands Cooperative Western Bay of Plenty Senior Men’s Premier & Premier Development Club Finals
Saturday 22nd August, Tauranga Domain
Premier Development Final: Tauranga Sports vs Judea, 1.00pm kick off
Premier Final: Tauranga Sports vs Te Puna, 2.45pm kick off

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