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Short Passes – 25 February

Short passes is Club Rugby’s  news in briefs and noticeboard column for 2019.

If you have news, notices or want a shout-out for anything email or send us a message on social media. Club Rugby also welcomes assistance in putting this together, so if you want to help in the news in brief-gathering process please get in touch.

Plenty of pre-season rugby coming up over the next three weeks.

A touring Argentinian team from the Hindú Club in Bruenos Aires is in town this week and playing games against Wellington College at the college’s artificial at 12.30pm Wednesday and an OBU Colts invitational side at Boyd Wilson at 6.00pm. Scots College also meet an Argentinian side at Boyd Wilson at 4.00pm.

The Upper Hutt Rams combined Premier and Premier Reserve squads play visiting Manawatu clubs College Old Boys and Feilding Yellows in a double-header from early afternoon on Saturday. Johnsonville are playing last year’s Horowhenua-Kapiti champions Toa at Ian Galloway Park. The Petone and Oriental-Rongotai squads are meeting at the Petone Rec. Wainuiomata and Tawa are meeting at Mary Crowther Park. Paremata-Plimmerton and Hutt Old Boys Marist meet at Ngatitoa Domain. The Petone Presidents are hosting the New Orleans Crawfish from the USA at North Park.

The Wellington Axemen are travelling to Hawke’s Bay to take on the Napier Pirates club in their opening match of the new season.

The annual Sir Gordon Tietjens 7s secondary schools tournament is being played in Palmerston North this coming weekend. Teams and draw to be released later in the week. Former girls champions St Mary’s College won’t be there as they only got an invite last week and had to decline.

The Hurricanes Development team beat the Crusaders Knights 42-38 in Christchurch on Saturday. The Hurricanes Development team are now known as the Hurricanes Hunters and the Hurricanes are now the Hurricanes Development team according to some people questioning their selection policy in their loss to the Crusaders.

The Six Nations is enthralling this year, with the Welsh Dragon slaying the English 21-13 in Cardiff over the weekend. Wales have now won 12 in a row, a record. Wales have also beaten England in 1949, 1959, 1969, 1979, 1989, 1999, 2009 and 2019! Wales to beat in England in 2029 could be a shred long term bet for those with some spare Satoshis to spend.

This coming weekend, the Hurricanes U20s play the Chiefs U20s in Hamilton. The following Saturday, 16 March, sees the combined Hurricanes Development/U20s team play against the New Zealand U20s trialists at Massey University. This is good for the players involved, but not great for the clubs the many players are going to be drawn from with both Manawatu and Hawke’s Bay Premier club rugby competitions also starting that day and Wellington clubs in their final weekends of preparations before the start of the Swindale Shield on 23 March.

It’s the 20th season of rugby at Westpac Stadium this year. Taking it back to the first game there on 25 February 2000, with new recruit Jonah Lomu scoring two tries in the Hurricanes’ 40-23 win over the Sharks:

See below for the two teams and the cover of the official match-day programme from that epic night.

The North Harbour Rugby union has dropped junior representative rugby. The union, which represents 12 clubs, will also not send an under-13 team to a popular junior tournament.

General manager David Gibson said the change had been debated for more than a year and the decision was in the players’ best interests.

“It’s been a bit of a process over the last 14 to 15 months, born out of our purpose which is to improve lives through rugby and when we speak to that we think about what we’re trying to achieve, and that’s maximising engagement and growing participation with good quality experiences.

“For us when we think about our junior rugby space it’s really around some of the evidence that’s out there around this climate of development, and fun around our junior rugby programmes. We want to make sure we put the participant at the centre of this and provide a framework that they can enjoy themselves and play this great game that is rugby.”

The union has just under 10,000 members, around 7000 of them junior. READ MORE HERE 

Be in the game:

Condolences to the Duignan family:

The 26th National Deaf Rugby Championship is in Auckland over Easter Weekend. Deaf and Hard of Hearing and welcome  to play for three zones, Northern, Central and Southern. For more contact Tony Kuklinski NZ Deaf Rugby Football Union by email

Following on from the Jonah Lomu flashback above, the front page of the programme (featuring David Holwell) and the Hurricanes and Sharks teams that met in the first 15-a-side match at Welliington’s new stadium on 25 February 2000 is below:

Taranaki Rugby is mourning the loss of its patron, life member, past president and double centurion, Ian “Legs” Eliason who passed away on Sunday night, aged 73.

Taranaki Rugby chairman, Lindsay Thomson, said it was an incredibly sad day for Taranaki and New Zealand rugby and our thoughts are with the family at this time.  He was a “humble passionate rugby ambassador who will be greatly missed but fondly remembered”.

Eliason holds the New Zealand provincial record (with Canterbury’s Fergie McCormick) of 222 first class games for Taranaki achieved from when he was first selected as an 18 year old in 1964 through to 1981, when he retired, aged 36.  He had the unique distinction of both his 100th and 200th games for Taranaki being internationals – against England in 1973, won 6-3, and against Italy in 1980, won 30-9.

He played his whole club career for Kaponga and coached them when his playing days were over.

He was selected on the 1972-73 All Black tour of Britain and France and appeared in 19 matches.

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