Two BOP Rugby finals cancelled after player told to get tested

By Te Ao - Māori News

Two rugby final fixtures in the Bay of Plenty have been cancelled after a player was advised by the Ministry of Health to get tested for Covid-19 and self-isolate. 

Rangataua chairperson Erin Gardiner said, “When the news initially came to light our executive committee were all uncomfortable with playing the game, and after having a video conference with Rotoiti late last night we are absolutely convinced we’ve made the right decision.” 

The player, who visited one of the locations of interest in the Tauranga area, has since self-isolated and is awaiting Covid-19 results. An official for Rangataua, who wished not to be named, said the player did the right thing.  He said when the player realised he had visited one of the locations of Interest he contacted the Ministry of Health for further advice straight away. 

"It wasn’t a decision easily made, however on advice from BOP Rugby Union and with the current climate around Covid-19 the decision was made to cancel." 

Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said,  "The truck driver travelled to Hamilton, Cambridge and Tauranga. The case identified is a truck driver who travelled across the Auckland border as part of their work to make deliveries.

"The driver was tested after isolating as a household contact of another case. This case emphasises the importance of testing those who cross over the Auckland boundary," said Dr Bloomfield.

Locations of interest 

The Ministry of Health says there are a small number of exposure events after an Auckland truck driver tested positive for Covid-19 after completing deliveries in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty. 

A bakery in Mt Maunganui and a Tauranga service station have been linked to a person with Covid-19. The Uppercrust Bakery Mt Maunganui has been identified as a location of interest and was visited on two occasions. The first visit by a Covid positive person was on Saturday, September 11, between 10.10 am to 12.05 pm.  The Tauriko BP, at 1 Taurikura Drive, was visited by a Covid-19 positive person on Saturday, September 11, between 7.45am and 9.15am.

The truck driver, who has been linked to the existing outbreak, worked for one of Foodstuffs' partners and had picked up loads from its Landing Drive distribution centre, delivering them to a number of stores in the region, as well as the Waikato and Bay of Plenty.

Fixtures Cancelled

Two of the Farmlands Baywide Premier Rugby matches have been cancelled. The Premier 2 final between Rotoiti and Rangataua and the Premier 2 Development final between Rangataua and Marist St Michaels have both been called off overnight. The Bay of Plenty Rugby Competitions and Emergency Committee will decide next week what to do with the trophies.  

Greg Temple, chairman of Marist St Michaels, said, “We really feel for the Rotoiti and Rangataua clubs. They’ve put in a lot of mahi to get to where they are. We also 100% support their decision.” 

Victoria Grant, Rotoiti Premier 2 Men's Head Coach agreed, “Rotoiti is a small community and any risk of a Covid outbreak here is too much of a risk. We applaud the player and his courage and honesty for doing the right thing and coming forward, and to the club for being open and honest and allowing us to be a part of the decision-making process.” 

Games being played at Alert Level 2

No public access is permitted at any of the finals of the games under Alert Level 2.  

The host clubs have developed their Level 2 Covid-19 Safety Plans and made arrangements with their opposition to cater for team bubbles, which cannot exceed 100 people.  

The Premier 1 Final will be live-streamed for free on the Bay of Plenty Rugby Facebook page.