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[Evening edition] Short Passes 8 July

Results & Standings HERE 

Late Monday edition – content below to be added. Email if you have news or information or a shout-out to an individual or team.

A cold day for club rugby on Saturday with a range of  close-knit results across all grades setting up a big final weekend of round-robin action.

Remarkably any of four teams – Tawa, HOBM, Ories, and Norths – could win the Andy Leslie Trophy as top qualifiers for the Jubilee Cup playoffs this weekend.

With the three games spread across Porirua, Kilbirnie, and Wainuiomata, where will the presenting WRFU dignitaries base themselves for the afternoon with the silverware?


A big weekend for player milestones. The biggest of all being Ories back Paulo Aukuso becoming the first Magpies player to bring up 200 games, but there were others too.

Norths Women’s captain Sanita Levave became the latest member of their 150 games club, while Wainuiomata’s Ben Tupuola joined their list of centurions with his 100th game.

Playing their 50th games were Ories Connor Lemon, MSP’s Pago Haini and Joe Walding-Karaitiana, and Avalon’s Tui Yandall. And there was one other, with Ma’a Nonu reaching that number for Ories, 6 years after he last played in the black and white hoops and 18 years since he debuted straight out of Rongotai College.



Congratulations to Jackson Garden-Bachop for his recent selection in the Maori All Blacks team.


Around the traps it’s finals time in some nearby provinces.

Taranaki’s final will be played out between regulars Coastal and debutants Spotswood United after they beat NPOB 26-15 and Tukapa 37-19 respectively. The same clubs will contest the Division 1 final, with Spotswood and NPOB to play the Colts decider

In the Manawatu, Feilding Yellows will get a chance to atone for last year’s defeat and end their long championship drought after beating Old Boys Marist 33-7. They’ll face University, after the Rams spanked top-qualifiers College Old Boys 37-6.

In Hawke’s Bay, top qualifiers Napier Old Boys Marist will host Havelock North and second placed Taradale will play Hastings in the other Maddison Trophy semi-final this coming weekend.

On Saturday, top played bottom and the difference between the two is:

Napier Old Boys Marist 133 (M Lauano 3, S Lauano 2, M Thompson 2, L Edwards 2, P Teddy 2, L Moleili, S Ili, E
Wilson, M Drew, P Fatialofa, T Symon-Burke, P Benzanilla-Corte, J Lauano, A Chapman, H Maringaorangi tries;
Edwards 12, J Lauano 2 cons) Tamatea 7 (J Harris try; L McClutchie con). HT: 72-0.

Watch the video highlights of this match HERE 


International referee Ben O’Keeffe officiated at William Jones Park on Saturday.


Why was junior rugby cancelled on Saturday morning?



The Wellington Axemen after their 18-15 win over Paremata-Plimmerton on Saturday. Matt Goosen (white headgear, top photo) kicked an extra-time penalty to break a 15-15 deadlock. This puts them in the playoffs with this coming week to spare.


Sent in by a reader: The Petone 1991 7s team that won that season’s American Ambassador’s tournament.


The Hurricanes Youth Rugby Council (HYRC) wish to offer a boys 1st XV Development competition as recognition of a 1st XV who has shown promise in their 2019 performances.

Team eligibility for 2019 HYRC boys 1st XV Development competition.

1. Teams are not eligible if they are still in the running for either the two boys’ competitions as at 10th July 2019.
2. Co-ed and single sex boys’ schools are both eligible – PU’s are reminded that the goal of this new competition is to reward and provide a rugby opportunity to schools who would not otherwise have the chance.
3. The competition is invitational based and as such PU’s are free to decide on their rep given they meet the above criteria.

Each PU representative will be nominated via their PU. Matches may be required to decide on a representative but the intent is for the PU to promote a 1st XV to assist with rugby development in their school. The Level of competition will be high so PU’s will need to consider the potential of a team when making a decision.

Each PU/region should have their local rep named and contact details to Nick Reid by Wednesday 10th of July. Please let Nick know if you wish to hold a inter PU fixture to sort a PU rep.

Semi-finals will be played on the Saturday 24th August. The final will be in Palmerston North on Saturday 31st August alongside the three other HYRC competitions. Inter region fixtures maybe required mid-week during the early stages of term three depending on entries.


Below: Ben Tupuola is welcomed to his 100th game on Saturday.



Russian President Vladimir Putin is giving his ‘full consideration’ to attending the Rugby World Cup opening game in Japan.

Hosts Japan are taking on Russia in Osaka in the inaugural game of the tournament, and former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori has formally invited President Putin to attend.

According to The Japan Times, Putin is giving it his ‘full consideration’.

Russia qualified for the tournament after Romania, Belgium and Spain were docked points after a controversy surrounding last year’s European Nations Cup – which acted as a Rugby World Cup qualifying tournament. Belgium, Spain and Romania fielded ineligible players and determined that each team be deducted five championship point.


The New Zealand Herald reports that Spark wants to take on Sky TV for more sports. Short Passes is concerned with this as a fragmented sports market is not necessarily a good thing. It will lead to a ‘take it or leave it’ approach for watching sport (which current non-Sky subscribers will relate to) and ‘lesser sports’ or sports that viewers aren’t directly or actively engaged with won’t be seen by the masses. For more read HERE  (note article is behind a paywall and who would pay for this content in NZ is beyond us, we just read the headline and the introduction) 

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