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Otago men, Canterbury women dominate southern sevens

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Lynn McConnell     28 Nov 2015     Getty Images

But it took a thrilling finish with Thomas Johnson scoring after the final buzzer to claim the win.

Otago scored first in the final through Josh Clarke and then Ben Miller scored after Gavin Stark made a key break.

However Tasman came back with a converted try, and a second try to go to halftime locked up at 12-12.

In the second half Matt Whaanga scored for Otago but Tasman came back to again level the scores at 17-17.

Stark was through again after a break from within Otago's 22m area and with the conversion the lead was 24-17.

But then Tasman scored successive unconverted tries to get out to a 25-22 before Johnson struck last for the winning try.

Otago qualified for the final after a thrilling 21-19 win over Canterbury. After leading 12-7 at halftime, Canterbury got out to a 19-7 lead before Otago surged home. Stark scored with the try converted and then Miller scored to level the scores with the conversion getting Otago home.

Tasman had an easier route to the final beating Mid Canterbury 38-12 in their semi-final.

Otago had earlier beaten Tasman 24-19 in their preliminary round game. Again, it took a late try, to Shae Tucker, to secure the win. They backed that up with a 33-14 win over Canterbury and a 24-12 win over Southland.

Southland later lost to South Canterbury 19-29 to miss out on the chance to play in the national sevens. Their earlier 12-31 loss to Mid Canterbury left them facing the fifth and sixth play-off with the winner to advance.

Otago, Tasman, Canterbury, Mid Canterbury and South Canterbury qualified for the nationals.

Canterbury won the women's final over Otago 22-17.

In the preliminary round game, Canterbury got out to a 19-0 lead before Greer Muir replied for Otago. That was to be Otago's only score however, as Canterbury finished with a comfortable 31-5 win.

Otago started with a 22-7 win over Tasman and then a 55-0 win over South Canterbury's women.

However, in the final, form from the final was reversed as Otago got out to a 12-0 lead courtesy of tries to Zoe Flockton and Muir. Canterbury got their first right on halftime.

Canterbury scored three successive tries before Otago pulled back the margin with Flockton's second try.

Tasman won the women's clash to decide third and fourth place when beating South Canterbury 62-0 to see Canterbury, Otago and Tasman qualify for the national sevens in Rotorua in January.