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They came, they saw, they punted...


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Forceback in action


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The Outback celebrate their win in the final


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Southern Shanks

News Release

March 11, 2006

They came, they saw, they punted…

Mangatainoka served up a large slice of back yard Kiwi culture today when it played host to the inaugural Tui Forceback World Series. The chance to compete in this uniquely Kiwi contest drew 64 teams from around the country to the Wairarapa town in the hope of being crowned World Forceback Champion.

One hundred and fifty two games of Forceback later, at the business end of the competition, “The Outback” from Hamilton were crowned World Forceback Champions.

The deciding match was played out in front of a crowd of over 3,000 spectators, with the winning point coming from a hoofing kick from Jarrod Pain.

Team captain Brent Smaddon said, “We’re stoked about the win, the boys have been training hard leading up to the games, practising their kicking and catching skills, so we knew we were in with a chance.”

“It’s been a great day out and even better to end it with the win – we’ve got a bit of after-match diagnosis to run though now in preparation for next year.”

Jarrod Bear from Tui says, “It’s been a great day out in Tuiland. The teams, spectators and community have really got in behind the event. One team even brought their own grandstand for their supports - now that’s brilliant!”

“Each team had at least four games, so they had ample opportunity to show off their kicking skills to the brewery girls.”

And it wasn’t just ball skills on display – the creative costumes donned by teams drew more than a few admiring glances.

A team of kilt-wearing “Highlanders” were early leaders in the style stakes while frock-wearing Brucetta and Davina look-a-likes were favourites with the crowd.

Ex-All Black Glen Osbourne showed the teams how to kick it, taking the field for the longest punt competition at half-time. Osbourne faced stiff competition from Dunedin’s Chris Bell, who took it out with an outstanding 76 metre punt.

World Series winners The Outback team will be immortalised with their names engraved on the Tui Force Back trophy. As well as this, the team goes away with 14 crates of Tui, silver tankard mugs and of course bragging rights for the year.

Money raised on the day went to the Mangatainoka Rugby Football Club to be used for the restoration of the clubs grandstand.

ENDS

Key Stats from the Day

- 448 players
- 64 teams
- 152 games of Forceback
- 25 professional referees from the Pahiatua Rugby Club
- Over 3000 spectators
- Teams came from as far a field as Queenstown, Christchurch and Auckland

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