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Kiwi world cup teams remain untouched

Kiwi world cup teams remain untouched

New Zealand’s elite touch rugby teams remain unbeaten after Day Two at the Touch World Cup in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

The Touch Blacks – consisting of three elite squads and a Mixed Over-30’s Masters squad – scored 144 touchdowns over nine games this morning and conceded only 13.

Touch NZ Chief Executive, Dale Stephens, said the competition on Day Two was much tougher than the first day, in particular with the Kiwi mixed open team winning an extremely tight game against Cup favourites Australia.

Women's open player Anita Kerrigan from Canterbury was sidelined with a hamstring injury but is expected to be back in action for the quarter finals on Sunday morning (NZ time). Mr Stephens said the mid-30’s temperatures were taking their toll also, with a Scottish referee being hospitalised yesterday with heat stroke.

Tomorrow’s competition is expected to be tougher still for New Zealand, with all four Kiwi teams facing Australia and both mixed teams also up against strong South African teams.

“New Zealand has finished second behind Australia at each of the previous five World Cups, so the motivation’s definitely there to win,” Mr Stephens said. But he also warned that, besides Australia, South Africa and England were teams to watch out for. “They’re fast-growing forces in the game.”

The round robin competition will continue until the quarter finals on early Sunday morning (NZ time), with the finals scheduled for early Monday morning.

This year’s tournament features 55 teams from 16 countries also including Australia, USA, Cook Islands, South Africa (hosts), England, Scotland, and Singapore. In addition to four teams, New Zealand has provided three referees for the tournament.

Touch is New Zealand’s largest team sport, with 317,000 people participating last year.

Results from Day 2
Men’s open: New Zealand 16, South Africa 4; New Zealand 20, Wales 0.
Women’s open: New Zealand 17, Wales 0; New Zealand 15, South Africa 1.
Mixed open: New Zealand 6, Australia 5; New Zealand 16, Jersey 1; New Zealand 23, Switzerland 0.
Mixed over 30s: New Zealand 17, Singapore 0; New Zealand 14, England 2.

Draw for tomorrow morning (20 January 2007)
Men’s open: New Zealand v Australia; New Zealand v Japan.
Women’s open: New Zealand v Australia; New Zealand v Scotland.
Mixed open: New Zealand v South Africa; New Zealand v Australia; New Zealand v Jersey.
Mixed over 30s: New Zealand v Australia; New Zealand v South Africa.


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