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Short Passes 23 September

Above. The Wellington U16As after their 67-5 win over their Wairarapa Bush counterparts on Saturday. PHOTO by Andy McArthur. Full gallery of these photos here 

Updated: The Rugby World Cup and climate change are the two issues dominating New Zealand at the moment. Closer to home and back in reality, there is still some rugby to be played in the next few weeks before the curtain comes down on the season.

The Wellington Lions regained the Fred Lucas Cup and roared into second place in the Premier standings with their 34-15 win over Auckland on Sunday.

The Lions’ run home to the semi-finals includes them playing Northland at home this Saturday evening, North Harbour away the following Friday and then Waikato at home on the final Saturday of the regular season. If they win two of these three games they should be in the box seat for a home semi-final in a month’s time.

The Wellington Pride are now in must-win territory following their 10-38 loss to the Auckland Storm in yesterday’s Eden Park curtain-raiser. The loss sees them slip to fourth in the Premiership standings and will need to beat Waikato this coming Saturday at Westpac Stadium, as they have their bye the following week. Here is a match report of the Pride versus Auckland match from yesterday.

The Wellington Development team travels to Auckland this coming Saturday to play their final match of the year against Auckland B They are coming off a 47-47 draw with Tasman Development (details of that match remain elusive and non-existent), while Auckland B beat Counties-Manukau B 61-30.

There are two junior rugby tournaments coming up next week in the first week of school holidays. The Hurricanes U16 tournament is all week in Gisborne and the Hurricanes U18 girls tournament is next week in Napier.

There is also the Te Tini a Maui Central Maori Rugby tournament being held in Napier next week – details to come.

The sevens season starts up in October as well – see our preview article to come about that.


Ardie Savea for All Blacks captain at the 2023 Rugby World Cup?


Great to see the Women’s club rugby competition growing this year, with the Wellington Axewomen bringing back their team and the return of the Avalon She Wolves:


The Wellington Rugby Referees’ Association had its awards on Saturday night. For more follow their Facebook page HERE


What about this result from Saturday – the Stags breaking their 27-game losing streak in some style:


In international schools rugby, the NZ Maori U18s beat Fiji Schools 46-13 this past weekend.

This coming Thursday in Palmerston North, the NZ Maori U18s, the New Zealand Schools and New Zealand Schools Barbarians play a game of ‘3 halves’.


The Heartland Championship caught fire on Saturday, with several notable results, headlined by Whanganui’s 67-24 win over East Coast at Cooks Gardens.

A lively first half gave way to a try fest in the second spell as the home side took control. Former All Black Zac Guildford was at centre for the visitors but was largely kept in check by his opposites and was subbed with about 10 minutes to play. This coming weekend, Horowhenua-Kapiti hosts Poverty Bay and Wairarapa Bush travels to play Buller. Both local Heartland unions will be eyeing up wins.

View the competition Draws & Results HERE 

The points table is below:


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