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Rugby sevens double for Counties Manukau

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 15/01/2017

Counties Manukau have completed the national rugby sevens double, winning both the men's and women's titles in Rotorua.

The men defended their title with a hard-fought 14-7 win over Waikato, while the women downed title-holders Manawatu 24-17 in an intense encounter on Sunday.

Counties Manukau struck early with first half tries, two from Portia Woodman and one from Renee Wickliffe, to lead 19-0 at the break.

Woodman dotted down for her third try early in the second spell, but Manawatu battled back with tries to Sarah Goss and Kristina Sue, who crossed twice.

Desperation and ill-discipline seeped into the final minutes of the game, with both teams copping yellow cards - at one stage with Manawatu playing with six players and Counties Manukau with five.

The men's final was a close-fought battle, both teams heading into the half time with a try apiece for a 7-7 half time score.

Sevu Reece opened the scoring for Waikato after three minutes, with Vuga Tagicakibau levelling the scores two minutes later.

With defence a feature from both teams in the second half, Counties Manukau secured the winning try when Peni Buakula crossed with two minutes left on the clock.

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