Canterbury men and Otago women take Southern titles

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Lynn McConnell     14 Dec 2014     Getty Images

Joseva Ravouvou rampaged his way over for the first try of the final, continuing his storming play of the 42-12 semi-final win over Mid Canterbury.

He demonstrated his ability to confound the defences when he charged through the line, cork-screwed out of tackles and then lobbed an outrageous gridiron pass to Anthony Tailua waiting on the wing to give Canterbury a 12-0 lead.

Tasman got themselves back in the game with a good build-up which saw Trael Joass cross for a try which was converted.

Into the second half, a shemozzle of a lineout saw Canterbury lose the ball and Sione Holani raced away with the ball to level the scores. But that only fuelled the Canterbury fires and an increase in tempo created a chance for Matt James to cross on the right flank and to run around close to the posts to claim a 19-12 lead.

Otago provided an upset in the women's section when claiming a 24-17 win over Canterbury in the final. It followed a preliminary round victory 21-19 over the defending champions.

Canterbury scored first in the final through Lucy Ryan who raced half the length of the field to score. But Otago came back strongly with Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali constructive in mid-field where she proved tough to pull down while also able to throw some long passes.

Renaye Flockton profited from one pass to score Otago's first try and Subritzky-Nafatali kicked a key conversion from wide out to claim the lead. Then she was in the action again at Greer Muir held a huge pass to give Otago a 12-5 halftime lead.

Ryan scored soon after the re-start and with the conversion from straight in front of the posts the score was levelled. Then moments later Kendra Cocksedge demonstrated her experience and skill in working the defence inside and out to score in the corner to give Canterbury a 17-12 lead.

However, Otago came back strong and it was no surprise that Subritzky-Nafatali's bullocking run provided a chance for Phillipa Symes to put her speed to use in racing in for a try wide out. The distance from the posts didn't matter as Subritzky-Nafatali landed a superb conversion.

Just to put some icing on the effort, she then set up a pass which allowed Angelena Sisifa to ensure the victory.

The men's qualifiers for the national tournament in January are: Taranaki, Counties Manukau, Manawatu, Waikato, Wellington, Auckland, Canterbury, Tasman, Northland, Bay of Plenty, Otago, Wairarapa Bush, North Harbour, Mid Canterbury, South Canterbury, Horowhenua Kapiti.

The women's qualifiers for the national tournament in January are: Manawatu, Waikato, Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Otago, Counties Manukau, Taranaki, Canterbury, Southland.

Southern Sevens results:

Canterbury 31 Tasman 5, Otago 34 South Canterbury 7, Canterbury 26 Mid Canterbury 0, Otago 33 Southland 12, Tasman 31 Mid Canterbury 7, South Canterbury 28 Southland 5, Otago 17 Tasman 5, Canterbury 31 South Canterbury 10, Canterbury 42 Mid Canterbury 12, Tasman 22 Otago 19.
Fifth and Sixth: South Canterbury 24, Southland 10
Third and Fourth: Otago 29, Mid Canterbury 19

Final: Canterbury 19 Tasman 12

Tasman 19 South Canterbury 5, Canterbury 41 Southland 10, Otago 43 South Canterbury 0, Canterbury 20 Tasman 7, Southland 24 South Canterbury 0, Otago 37 Tasman 5, Otago 28 Southland 22, Canterbury 54 South Canterbury 0, Tasman 24, Southland 22, Otago 21 Canterbury 19.

Third and Fourth: Southland 22 Tasman 19

Final: Otago 24 Canterbury 17