Tag vet­er­ans shine

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

A Porirua over- 35s tag team won their grade for New Zealand at the Tag20 in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ment in Bris­bane last month.

The 12-mem­ber side trav­elled to Aus­tralia for the tour­na­ment from Oc­to­ber 17 till 20. They won the right to rep­re­sent New Zealand af­ter win­ning a na­tional tour­na­ment in March.

With play­ers aged be­tween 35 and 42, New Zealand was one of the older sides so trained hard in the leadup, co-cap­tain Cas­sius Kuresa said.

‘‘We had to be su­per-fit,’’ he said.

Aus­tralia, Samoa and Niue were the tough­est com­pe­ti­tion of eight en­trants, Mr Kuresa said.

The fi­nal was a 6-5 nail­biter against Aus­tralia, who had smashed the Ki­wis by five points ear­lier in the tour­na­ment.

‘‘They gave us a bit of a hiding in the rounds.’’

Tag20 be­gan three years ago as a faster ver­sion of flag foot- ball. Tag and flag are them­selves quite new sports, but over the last decade Porirua has em­braced them more than rugby league, which they are based on.

‘‘ We prob­a­bly have more peo­ple play­ing tag than league,’’ Kuresa said.

Porirua’s over-35 side be­gan play­ing to­gether only this year, and are keen to re­peat their suc­cess next year and es­pe­cially in 2015 in Hawaii.

‘‘That gives us an in­cen­tive to stay fit and stay to­gether,’’ Kuresa said.

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