All Black-coached U20 Rugby Team Runs Away with 2015 ALOHA WORLD SEVENS Men’s Cup Title
Kahuku High School Wins AWS Women’s U20 Cup Final
Honolulu, Hawaii – Team Messam-SPI, the Under-20 Sevens Rugby team personally coached by current New Zealand All Black player Liam Messam, ran away with the Men’s Cup championship 55-0 – unseating Hilo Reign at the 2015 ALOHA WORLD SEVENS international Sevens Rugby tournament on Saturday (March 21) at Aloha Stadium.
In the AWS Women’s U20 Cup final, Kahuku High School outlasted the Hilo Reign 17-12 in a hard-fought match.
The tournament featured eight mens and six womens U20 teams and 14 Keiki Flag Rugby teams.
The two-day AWS tournament also featured an exclusive Friday night exhibition 15s rugby match between Kahuku High School, the 9th ranked high school rugby team in the USA and current Hawaii State Rugby champions, and St. Anne’s Catholic Secondary School from Ontario, Canada. Kahuku blew away their outmatched cross-border competitors 72-0.
The Kahuku 15s Men’s team has been invited to the national school rugby championship at San Diego in May.
Olelo Community Media TV, which covered the two day event with a five-camera crew and on-site production truck, will broadcast two separate AWS sporting events. The Kahuku-St. Anne’s 15s rugby match will be broadcast statewide throughout Hawaii on Olelo (Channel 53) four times. These are the air dates announced by Olelo: Sunday, April 26, at 7:30 p.m.; Monday, April 27, at 12:30 p.m.; Wednesday, April 29, at 10 p.m.; and Sunday, May 3, at 1:30 p.m. The match will be uploaded and streamed on Olelo’s web site after the first air date.
The Kahuku 15s Men’s team has been invited to the national U.S. high school rugby championship at San Diego in May.
The second original AWS broadcast by Olelo will feature Sevens Rugby matches exclusively with all the complete Cup finals and semi-finals in their entirety. The broadcast dates have not been determined yet.
On the morning of both days, the AWS organizers included matches by 14 Keiki Flag Rugby teams from Oahu, Maui and the Big Island in three age categories: 5-7; 8-10; and 11-13.
THE KEY FINAL DAY (MARCH 21) U20 MATCH SCORES
Men’s Cup Semi-Finals
Kahuku – 0 vs. Team Messam-SPI – 26
Hilo Reign – 19 vs. Laie Parkside – 14
Women’s Cup Semi-Finals
Hilo Reign – 19 vs. Kalihi Raiders – 5
Kahuku High vs. BCI (Canada) – Kahuku High by forfeit
Men’s Plate Final
Kahuku High – 20 vs. Laie Parkside – 7
Women’s Plate Final
Kalihi Raiders vs. BCI – Kalihi Raiders by forfeit
Men’s Bowl Final
Kalihi Raiders – 19 vs Samoa Islanders – 5
Men’s Shield Final
Pacific Rim vs. Kahului – Pacific Rim by forfeit
The 2015 tournament marks the ALOHA WORLD SEVENS debut at Aloha Stadium, Hawaii’s largest and most prestigious sporting venue with 50,000 seats.
“Our goal is moving our AWS tournament to Aloha Stadium was to continue to build on the prestige of the event. Our long term goal is to host a Junior Rugby World Championship in Hawaii at the stadium,” said Reg Schwenke, Co-Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer.
“The stadium administration was overwhelmingly supportive and cooperative in ensuring our event was as successful as it could be from an operational and logistical perspective. We truly appreciate that,” Schwenke added.
Aloha Stadium manager Scott Chan wrote the AWS organizers after the tournament: “Congratulations on your event! I am pleased to hear that, for the most part, all went well. Your kind words reflecting the work relationship between your staff and Aloha Stadium is greatly appreciated. We look forward to future opportunities.”
The 2016 ALOHA WORLD SEVENS is now scheduled for March 17 through March 19, 2016 most likely at Aloha Stadium – pending Stadium Authority Board review in late April.
McKay Schwenke, Co-Founder, Executive Vice President and AWS Tournament Director, was effusive in his optimism for the sport in Hawaii and the local athletes who compete at all age levels: “We feel this tournament represents an enormous opportunity for our Hawaii athletes to gain exposure to be considered for USA national teams in Sevens and 15-a-side rugby. I personally feel that our top athletes in Hawaii can compete with anyone from the U.S. mainland.”
The four ALOHA WORLD SEVENS Co-Founders are Reg, McKay, Carolyne and Angie Schwenke. Governor David Ige and Lt. Governor Shan Tsutsui signed a special proclamation saluting the AWS organizers for their community efforts to build and develop the sport of Rugby in Hawaii as a means of countering child obesity through the safe practices of Keiki Flag Rugby initially and later tackle rugby in a disciplined fashion.
Lt. Governor Tsutsui, a strong supporter of the AWS event, issued this statement just before the tournament began: ““We are excited that the Aloha World Sevens tournament returns to Hawaii this month,” adding that “we are most especially proud of the positive work that Aloha World Sevens has done with our youth and community through developing and growing the interest of rugby in Hawaii.”
Sevens Rugby is now considered the fastest growing new sport in the United States. Within 18 months, the AWS organizers hope to make it the fastest growing new sport in Hawaii.
They have plans to develop community Keiki Flag Rugby leagues on all major Hawaiian Islands working with parent/grandparent volunteers. Their vision, however, will depend in large measure on securing corporate sponsors to provide the means by which they can implement their vision.
The AWS major Platinum Sponsors are: World Rugby Shop, Olelo Community Media TV, Pepsi, Gilbert, Rukutai International (China) and studio853.
The AWS Gold Sponsors include: Dominos Pizza, U-Haul, Enterprise Rent a Car, Hawaii Tent and Events, Eagle Electric, Kona Winds Electric, LeMalae.com, Alapa Plumbing and Best Choice in Construction.
Individuals or corporations interested in future sponsorship opportunities with AWS should contact Reg Schwenke at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2016 ALOHA WORLD SEVENS is shaping up early to include the largest group of international teams that will participate from Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, New Zealand, Australia, American Samoa, Kenya and Jamaica. Top U.S. mainland high school teams are also expected as well as Hawaii’s top U20 teams from Oahu, Maui and the Big Island.
In its inaugural ALOHA WORLD SEVENS tournament in June Zealand’s national championship high school girls Sevens Rugby team from Hamilton Girl’s High School, defeated a determined Australian Barbarians select team 22-12 to win the U20 Women’s Cup final. In the Men’s competition, the Honolulu Titans edged Kahuku High School 24-22 in the Cup final.
Hamilton Girls High successfully defended their New Zealand national championship title at the Condor 7’s New Zealand National Secondary Schools tournament in Auckland in December 2014. They were selected to play in the Sanix World Rugby Championship in Japan – which conflicted with the 2015 AWS tournament schedule.