Playing Up reign supreme at Whakatane Touch tournament

By Te Ao Māori News

After a two-year absence, Playing Up returned to the finals with immediate impact.

Playing Up playmaker, Wiremu Takerei said "all day, every games a final, you have to be in it to win it.

The early stages saw both sides attack the line. 

Playing Up were out for revenge after being knocked out of last year’s semi-final by Defending champions, Wairere.

“Wairere are an awesome team and always give it up to Mits and his boys, they're always here always at the top so we knew it was gonna be a hard game,"  Takerei said. 

Playing Ups defence was impenetrable for the most part, forcing errors all throughout the Wairere camp.

Playing Up snatched a 3-1 lead at the break.

Wairere coach, Whitiaua Black said the message to his boys at the break was simple. "Just stick to the basics and do them well. It was important to keep pushing forward to their five-metre line." 

Playing Up's class prevented any comeback. Allowing the Aucklanders to apply the skills that took the side to the top in 2011, 2013 and 2014.

Black said the best team won. "They were far better than we were. We failed to rose to the level that they did and I congratulate them." 

Takerei says his side was thrilled with the win. “We’ve been away for two years, missed out last year semi-final so I'm ecstatic you know us older guys are leaving soon so just to finish off it's been awesome.

Playing Up returned to Auckland with their fourth Whakatane Touch championship since the clubs inception just seven years ago.