Scrum a record maker

By BEN FLOOD

ATTEMPT: Selica Winiata waits for participants to line up. PHOTO: BEN FLOOD
ATTEMPT: Selica Winiata waits for participants to line up. PHOTO: BEN FLOOD

Palmerston North put themselves on the map last Thursday as they set the unofficial record for the world's largest scrum with 1757 people.

The current record is held in Fukuroi, Japan, with 1565 people.

Another attempt recently took place in Ireland in April, which had 1740 participants. Every attempt takes up to 12 weeks for Guinness World Records to analyse and confirm.

Organised by the Palmerston North City Council as part of their Winter Festival, the scrum was set up on Palmerston North Boys' High School's field, where students came out in force to make up the majority of participants.

The deciding factor in pushing the numbers past the benchmark was thanks to help from some touring British and Irish Lions' supporters.

After an hour-and-a-half of organising under the beaming sun, participants were marched out towards the North St-side of the grounds, where three rows were formed either side in traditional rugby fashion.

Black Ferns' Selica Winiata had the responsibility of releasing the ball into the scrum.

"This isn't something that happens every day and to be asked out of everyone in the Manawatu, I was pretty honoured to be a part of it," she said.

Shortly after 2pm, Winiata released the ball and kicked it away as soon as it was hooked out.

Palmerston North Boys' High School deputy rector Gerard Atkin felt the school grounds were the right place to hold the record attempt.

"It was a logistical choice to hold it here due to the school's population and our young men were certainly enthusiastic about being part of such a unique event."

Justice of the Peace Bronwyn Meads attended the event as an official for Guinness World Records to confirm the numbers.

"I would have loved to participate but, I enjoyed watching it from the sidelines. I got half the day off, beautiful weather -- I couldn't have had a better day."

�WATCH: See a video and more pictures of the scrum on our Facebook page.

- Manawatu Guardian

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