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Short passes 25 March

Above: Tawa’s Kemara Hauiti-Parapara and Tawa’s scrum press towards the try line against Petone. Hauiti-Parapara started the match at first five-eighth but moved into halfback in the second half. PHOTO: Barry Stead.

Another hot sunny day to open the new season of rugby around the Wellington region. Conditions were just about perfect for most summertime activities on Saturday and if some players weren’t too fit beforehand they will be now.

Can’t wait for Saturday again? Neither can we, so see you at Porirua Park on Friday afternoon for the Hurricanes Development vs Japan A clash from 2.00pm. Going by past matches involving Japanese teams (think this corresponding fixture in Levin a few years ago) this will be fast-paced, high-action stuff. The only downside is that it will likely suck a number of leading players out of club rugby on Saturday.

Swindale Shield games on Saturday 30 March are HERE

Outstanding gesture by the Poneke and Marist St Pat’s clubs on Saturday morning:

Steven Va’a – 4 tries on debut for Ories.

Two players scoring four tries on Saturday in the opening round!

Steven Va’a –  on Premier debut – scored four tries for Oriental-Rongotai against Paremata-Plimmerton and his brother Reuben scored another two. Has another player ever scored four tries on Premier debut before in Wellington club rugby?

Luca Rees made the switch from Ories to Northern United in the off-season, and he scored four tries in his maiden game for this new club against Johnsonville. Rees’s try-scoring strike-rate is off the charts for a forward. Check out his record since the start of last season below, which includes 25 tries in 20 games and 4 tries as well in his previous match against Johnsonville:

A big week of waiting for the world’s best referees as their bosses meet in London to determine the squad for this years Rugby World Cup in Japan. Twelve referees will comprise the core squad, along 7 in Assistant Referee duties and four TMO’s. Will Wellington duo Ben O’Keeffe and Mike Fraser be amongst those numbers?
Rugby fever remains deep it seems. Despite the warm temperature on Saturday Clubrugby is aware of one young fellow who turned up to be a ball boy for his clubs Premier side, and had to be talked out of wearing his headgear while doing it!

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More information coming soon…

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Plenty of good Premier Reserve action on Saturday – this time of year is a good one (not least because the weather is still agreeable) to get our there early and catch some 1.00pm games. Tawa v Petone was a great game in the opening round:

Check out the ‘Scotsman’s Grandstand’ on Saturday at Lyndhurst Park below.

The shadowy figure above the trees is Zinny McCormack watching the Petone Premier Reserve players in action. Zinny later came down from his perch and was seen on the sideline extolling the Petone Premiers to victory over Tawa.

Viewpoint : “The Monro Cup” (from the New Zealand Amateur Sports Association’s most recent newsletter):

In the world of elite sport, little consideration is given to parallel pathways whereby talented players, not seeking professional status or opportunities, can still achieve community recognition for their talent and skill. Football has long recognised this need and created “the Chatham Cup” in which amateur players (including school teams) can compete in a national knock-out competition in which one team is eventually crowned as the National Club Champion.

Another major sporting code, Rugby Union, is facing immense challenges in maintaining and growing participation in community clubs. It seems unusual that a similar type of competition has not been created as an incentive to keep players in the game for this sporting code. It may well be that their investment in Super Rugby franchises has curtailed possible enthusiasm for the idea among the major Provincial Unions.

However, for the purposes of discussion why not consider establishing “The Monro Cup” for Rugby Union? This could be: a National Tournament played over six months, (March to September); administered (and funded from the Quarter-Finals onwards) by New Zealand Rugby; open to any team playing in a Provincial Union premier club competition, with eligible players not to be contracted to New Zealand Rugby or their Provincial Union, in any manner.

Why “the Monro Cup”?

Charles John Monro was born in Nelson, and is considered to be one of those responsible for the introduction of Rugby Union to New Zealand. New Zealanders initially mainly played a form of football known as “the Australian code”. In 1870, Monro “persuaded those so engaged to change to Rugby [Union], thus playing a large part toward organising the new code”“He also took part in the first interprovincial Rugby match Between Nelson and Wellington, played on the Petone Paddock, near the site where the railway station now stands.”

(Charles Monro, known as “the father” of New Zealand Rugby Union)

Perhaps New Zealand Rugby could consider the creation of “the Monro Cup”, as a fitting way to bring the Rugby Union code back to its roots as a community game.

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