Tuesday 13 September 2011 | Published in Regional
A self-converted try from a Cook Islands resident has secured New Zealand the 2013 Rugby World Cup Parliamentary World Cup, that is.
New Zealand High Commissioner to the Cook Islands John Carter helped lock up the World Cup for his nation with a try in the teams final match against Argentina.
New Zealand won all three of its matches, easily accounting for Argentina 40-0 and France 44-0, while surviving a scare against South Africa 13-7.
Nine teams participated in the tournament, including New Zealands old rivals in Australia and the United Kingdom, to try to topple the defending champions and hosts.
They were unable to do so and New Zealand went on to win its fourth World Cup in the tournaments fifth outing.
Carter said he hoped the parliamentarian outfit could provide an inspiration to New Zealand.
Weve won four out of five now, we just hope the All Blacks can match us, he said.
Though the tournament was kept low-key, each match was filmed to be broadcast on pay-TV at some stage and to make up DVDs for the participating players.
Carter said the DVD would be cherished in his household, and expected it may get a few viewings in the years to come.
I could use it to show the grandchildren how to do it, he joked, referring to his try against Argentina.
Carter played down his effort in the match, saying he crossed the line on the goodwill of his teammates and a bit of luck.
Any one of three others couldve scored that try, but they held on until I could stagger over the line, he said.
The teams long-term kicking star and ex-All Black Ofisa Tonuu handed the ball back to Carter for the conversion, who was surprised by the move but not shaken enough to miss the kick.
The tournament was played under similar rules to golden oldies rugby, with an emphasis on good fun and relationship-building between the parliamentarians, said Carter.
Carter, who also acted as the tournament director, said the Parliamentary World Cup relied heavily on sponsorship, to minimise the cost to taxpayers, and provided the MPs with a great opportunity to form new links and build on existing relationships.