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Short Passes 30 September (afternoon edition)

Above: Northern United had their trophies on display at the cafe at Te Rauparaha Arena whilst Short Passes was there last week.  The Jubilee Cup on the right, while the American Ambassador’s Trophy is back left and will soon be contested in the WRFU’s three-leg men’s club sevens series. 

Senior representative 15 rugby has now finished for the year – except for the Wellington Lions and the Wellington Pride, whose competitions have two rounds to run before the semi-finals, and the Wellington Maori side who play their Central North Island tournament this coming Saturday.

The Wellington Development side was supposed to play the Auckland Bs on Saturday but their match never got off the ground owing to their flight being cancelled on Saturday morning and no replacement in time.

The Wellington Maori team travels to Napier to defend the Central North Island Te Tini a Maui Central Maori Rugby tournament. More details to come later this week.


The sevens season starts this coming Saturday, with the inaugural Fa’atonu Fili Sevens at Rongotai College, hosted by Toki Services and involving 12 teams. More details to come later this week.


Both of Wellington’s representatives in this years NZ Schools selections will have to bide their time on the bench for the first of their respective games this week. Scots College’s Roderick Solo should get game time against Fiji Schools for the full schools team, with Hutt International’s Harrison Press likely to do the same against the Australians.


There  are two age-grade rugby tournaments this week.

The Hurricanes U16 tournament is at Gisborne, and is in two divisions that play for the Don Broughton Shield and the Saracens Cup.

Follow the tournament at the Hurricanes Youth Rugby Council’s website HERE 

The two Wellington teams are below:

Wellington A: Siale Lauaki, Michael Taliau, Bradley Crichton, Dominic Ropeti (c), Maea Tema-Schmidt, Robert Rossiter-Stead, James Akerise, Sione Valu, Solomon Uelese, Christian Stenhouse, George Te’o, Thomas Sexton, Tony Solomona, Ayden Hammond, Jacob Waikari-Jones, Hanz Leota, Jonty Bird, Cody Lokotui, Xavier Bell, Laiton Walters, Muri Stewart, Keisar Vasilalo, Ariki Wallace, Leyton Tapa.

Wellington Development: Christian Semu, Moses Tuifao-Gulivao, Alex Joyce, Thomas Brock, Brooklyn Tapusoa, William Peoples (cc), Tobias Crosby, Emmanuel Solomona, Manunui Tito, Jake Tibbits, Garry Tuilekutu, JJ Peo, Ietitaia Campbell, Junior Telea, Kobe-Joe Valu, William Eastham, Caleb Maapu, Jaaziel Maene-Lokeni, Matolu Petaia, Joseph Afamasaga, Tofuka Paongo, Cameron Burgess, Dean Shields, Elijah Maene-Lokeni (cc).

The tournament draw is:

The Tournament Draw is as follows.

Monday, 30 September
Division A
Hawkes Bay v Wairarapa-Bush, 12.30pm
Wellington v Manawatu , 2.00pm

Division B
Poverty Bay  v Horowhenua-Kapiti, 12.30pm
Wellington Development v Hawkes Bay Development, 12.30pm (Non-Competition)
Wanganui v East Coast, 2.00pm

Tuesday, 1 October
Division A
Hawkes Bay v Wellington, 11.00am
Manawatu  v  Wairarapa Bush, 12.30pm

Division B
East Coast v Wellington Development, 11.00am
Wanganui v Poverty Bay, 11.00am (Non-Competition)
Horowhenua-Kapiti v Hawkes Bay Development, 12.30pm

Thursday, 3 October
Division A
3 v 4, 10.00am
1 v 2, 11.30am

Division B
3 (Pool A) v 3 (Pool B), 10.00am
2 (Pool A) v 2 (Pool B), 10.00am
1 (Pool A) v 1 (Pool B), 11.30am

In Napier, the Hurricanes U18 Schoolgirls tournament is being played:


In beating Northland 57-36 on Saturday, the  Wellington Lions have booked their 2019 Men’s NPC semi-final berth with two weeks to spare.

Unbeaten Tasman (on 39 points) are almost certain to qualify top for the semi-finals, leaving the Lions (31) and Canterbury (25) and at a stretch North Harbour (22) playing for home semi-finals in rounds nine and ten.

The Lions could seal second place with a round up their sleeve if they beat North Harbour this coming Friday night and Canterbury misses out to Otago on Saturday in what is a Ranfurly Shield challenge for them.


The weekend’s Farah Palmer Cup results were good for the Wellington Pride. Not only did they take care of their own business in beating Waikato 59-31 on the back of a devastating four-try 31-point blitz in the first 13 minutes after half time, but Auckland’s win over Manawatu in Palmerston North means that the Pride cannot be relegated back to the Championship this season.

With the bye this coming weekend, the Pride will be looking at the result of the Bay of Plenty vs Manawatu game in particular. If the Cyclones win that should assure the Pride a playoff place with a week to play albeit one on the road should Auckland beat Counties-Manukau and Canterbury maintain their unbeaten record this term against Waikato.

The Pride have played three home matches in 2019, and won all three.

In the first against BoP (32-29) Their were 11 tries scored in the match, in the second against Counties Manukau (38-36) their were 12 and in the third against Waikato (59-31) their were 13. If they were to get a home semi-final, will the pattern continue with 14 tries?

Right wing Kolora Lomani scored her first Women’s NPC hat-trick on Saturday in her fifth game and third start. Left wing Ayesha Leti-l’iga scored one try, taking her NPC tries tally to 34 in 29 games.

Amanada Rasch scored 24 points, taking her career Women’s NPC tally to 186 points in 23 games played. This was her second biggest haul in a game after the 43 points she scored against Taranaki last year.


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2020 Premier Coaching Announcement! We are extremely pleased to announce Jude Perez as the Head Coach of the Johnsonville Rugby Football Club Premier side for the 2020 season.  She will be assisted by Tutere Williams and Esava Tiko.  Assisting them as a Co-Manager will be Susan Poutoa who returns from 2019 after doing a stellar job for the team and club!  We still have a vacancy to support Susan. It is a terrific story for Jude who is one of the first females in Wellington club history to be appointed in such a role.  She has worked through the ranks over the past 10 years starting her trade with St Pats Silverstream and more recently working in a number of roles at the Avalon Wolves before being appointed Assistant Coach of our Premier side in 2019.  She has also been involved at representative coaching level also with Tokelau, the Wellington U18 Girls and the Wellington U16 Development side. Tutere comes out of Otago bringing a wealth of experience, playing over 150 Premier matches for the Zingari-Richmond club down there in the late 90’s.  In more recent times, has been involved at Poneke assisting with their Poneke U85’s in the Paul Potiki.  Great to have Tut’s on board! Esava, the effervescent, is a key part of the coaching set up also and holds extremely strong relationships with our various ethnic communities around the club, in addition to having a wealth of rugby experience particularly in 7’s. Susan, terrific in the manager’s space last year and it is awesome she is again on board for next year.  She holds a role on the Executive Committee also and gives an incredible amount of time and effort to the club. Well done to those appointed in these roles and we look forward to an improved 2020 season!

A post shared by Johnsonville Hawks (@johnsonvillehawks) on


While Southland’s much talked about 27-game losing streak came to an end last weekend, there’s another much longer one still going in the Heartland Championship. East Coast’s 19-21 loss at home in Ruatoria to West Coast on Saturday – a match refereed by Wellington’s Richard Gordon – made it 48 consecutive losses for the country’s smallest union, who haven’t won since beating Poverty Bay five years ago this week. They’ll get a crack against that same opposition on Saturday, in Gisborne.


On Poverty Bay, they were seemingly gone at 0-33 down when former Old Boys University fullback Jono Ihaka, who had already scored two tries along with one to Poneke’s Pakai Turia, laid on a pass for Horowhenua-Kapiti’s fifth try of the afternoon on Saturday in the 50th minute.

Poverty Bay had a moderate wind in their favour over the last 30 minutes, but it was a little too close for comfort for the home team when the Gisborne side came roaring back with a penalty try (and a yellow card to a local player), two more tries from penalties and lineouts and another in the far corner to trail 28-33. With a couple of minutes to play it was game one – but Horowhenua-Kapiti had the last say with a runaway try on fulltime.


Duncan Johnstone at Stuff tells is how it is with regard to the Rugby World Cup HERE 

This is the flattest Rugby World Cup ever.

It’s early days and hopefully things heat up, but the level of disconnection between the tournament in Japan and the audience in New Zealand is alarming.

The new broadcast deal that sees online viewing has hit the Kiwi traditionalists hard and it’s showing. There just isn’t much atmosphere out there from Kaitaia to Bluff.

It looks a tremendous tournament in Japan, full houses with energetic crowds. But that isn’t being relayed back to New Zealand the way other World Cups on foreign shores have.


Two big results from the Rugby World Cup this past weekend.

The first was Japan’s 19-12 win over Ireland.

Japan’s stunning defeat of Ireland continued a curse of sorts at World Cups for Irish sides going back to 1991. The Japanese win in Shizuoka was the fourth time Ireland have played against and lost to the host nation at the pool stages of the competition. Ireland have now never beaten the hosts in the group phase when drawn against them.

Read more HERE

The second was the Wallaby’s 25-29 loss to Wales on Sunday.

It was Wales’ first win over the Wallabies in a World Cup match since 1987, but continued the run of incredibly tight battles between the two teams.

The loss also leaves the Wallabies needing to win over Uruguay and Georgia to claim their spot in the next round, setting up a potential battle with England in the quarter finals.

Just before halftime, the game changed.

Wales led 13-8 after controlling much of the half, but the Wallabies were firing back.

Coming out of his own half, Australian centre Samu Kerevi went for a charge and put his arm up to brace himself for a tackle from Welsh fly-half Rhys Patchell that appeared to be going high.

Wallabies captain Michael Hooper defended his player to the referee after a four-minute review of the play.

“Can we not run into the tackle anymore?” Hooper said. “That’s terrible tackle technique and he’s just done a very good carry. So we can’t carry if that’s going to be the ruling. We’ll get called for it all day.”

Former Old Boys University fullback Jono Ihaka scored two and set up another try in Horowhenua Kapiti’s 38-28 win over Poverty Bay on Saturday:


Thomas Umaga-Jensen takes on Northland’s defence on Saturday.

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