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Short Passes 3 June (Queen’s Birthday Monday)

Jumping for joy? Poneke missed out competition points on Saturday but are back at home this Saturday to play their return clash with Petone.

UPDATE: In Monday’s rugby, the Manawatu XV beaten the Wellington XV 47-40 in their match in perfect conditions at the Levin Domain.

Wellington had the better of the first half, and were 26-7 at one stage. Manawatu counterattacked and scored some long-range tries to close the score to 33-21 at halftime.

Both sides made some changes at the break and the run of play was evenly contested. Manawatu came back but Wellington kept their noses in front up until the final few minutes when Manawatu scored to level the scores 40-40.

Wellington pressed for a winning try, but Manawatu broke up field one final time and first five-eighth Stewart Cruden spotted a gap and placed a perfectly weighted kick through behind Wellington’s defensive line for Drew Wild to collect and the Feilding fullback scored the winner.


The big wet arrived in Wellington just in time for kick-offs of the six opening round Jubilee and Hardham Cup matches on Saturday. Just one of the six opening round matches was undercover as well which was extra tough for spectators at the Polo Ground, Evans Bay Park, Helston Park, Lyndhurst Park and Nairnville Park.

Hoping for calmer waters this coming Saturday with the second round and the resumption of Women’s and lower grade club rugby competitions. Draws HERE


The rugby continues today at 1.00pm at the Levin Domain where a Wellington XV takes on a Manawatu XV.

The Wellington XV to take on the Manawatu Evergreens is:

This clash didn’t carry first-class status and the ‘Coronation Cup‘ was not on the line.

These days the Coronation Cup is contested when the two unions meet in the National Provincial Championship later in the year. It was presented by the Arnott family to the Manawatu Rugby Union in the Queen’s coronation year of 1953. For many seasons the two unions played an annual Queen’s Birthday fixture for the Coronation Cup.

The history of Wellington-Manawatu matches goes back to 1887 when Wellington won 11-0 in their first meeting. Prior to the start of the NPC era in 1976, Wellington and Manawatu had met 67 times, of which Wellington won 45, Manawatu 15 and there were seven draws including three in a row 1948-50.


The Hawke’s Bay and Wairarapa-Bush squads are also meeting today, kick-off in Hawke’s Bay is 1.00pm.


There is more midweek First XV rugby on Wednesday. Wellington College host St Pat’s Silverstream at 1.15pm in their annual traditional fixture and third round Premiership match and Aotea College and Porirua College meet at Porirua Park at 3.30pm at Aotea College in a one-off Co-ed Cup fixture. Following this is a Wellington U19 trial match under lights at Porirua Park from 6.45pm.


The Havelock North Rugby Football Club celebrated its 125th anniversary this weekend with a 33-24 win over Clive in Hawke’s Bay Premier rugby.

The Premier match between Hastings vs Napier Tech was cancelled due to a supporter dying of a heart attack while watching the Hawke’s Bay Women’s final (won by Napier Tech). A decision about whether this game will be re-played is pending.


College Old Boys Rugby Football Club celebrated its 100th centenary on Saturday with a 30-5 win over Kia Toa in the Manawatu Senior 1 (Premier) competition. COB are the competition leaders after 12 weeks.


European champions Saracens overturned an 11-point deficit to beat Exeter in the English Premiership final at Twickenham this weekend. Sarries have now won five of the last nine Premiership crowns and complete a second double in four seasons following their win over Leinster in the European Champions Cup final last month. It is a second defeat in a row for Exeter by Sarries in the final and their victory over Wasps in 2017 remains their only title. Read more HERE

If they were to win Super Rugby, a match between the Crusaders and Saracens would set the chattering classes off on a fresh run of opinion columns.


A word of warning to young people and social media. Be careful out there – everything you post, whether it be privately or publicly, can be viewed and saved. This is not Courtenay Place in the 1990s.


Meanwhile, in Auckland, the Premier club rugby competition has been in a spot of bother these past few weeks. Read all about it HERE


An Irish-born Italian rugby international with limited sight in one eye has hailed World Rugby’s decision to allow players with visual impairment to wear goggles at all levels. Ian McKinley, who plays for Benetton Treviso, has been wearing goggles since the game’s international governing body sanctioned a  comprehensive trial in 2014. The 29-year-old first five-eighth, who has lived and played in Italy since 2013, became partially blind in his left eye after being struck by a teammate’s stray boot in a club game in Dublin in 2010. Read more HERE

A shout out to the officials out there on days like Saturday. Here is one example of a correct tight call on Saturday, with Ories right wing Andrew Ellis’s right knee and elbow sliding into touch. If this try had been scored (or a couple of other opportunities taken at a similar stage in the game) Ories could well have gone on to win.

The play in real time:

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