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Short Passes 7 October


Job done and a perfect representative season for the Wellington Maori side. A late change to proceedings saw them only needing to play once in Saturday’s Te Tini A Maui tournament, taking on Hawke’s Bay Maori for the trophy. A 22-15 win to Te Upoko saw the Hikaia Amohia Trophy put back on the bus to return to the capital.

Points scorers were – Tries: Rhys Reiri, Jayden McCarthy, Adam Clark. Cons: Justin Wilson (2). Penalty: Sheridan Rangihuna.

Surely they’ll be worth strong consideration for representative team of the year honours.


The good news for the Wellington Lions is that despite Friday night’s loss to North Harbour – where they arguably served up their worst 40 minutes since the opening loss to Tasman – is that they’re still in the box seat to host a Men’s NPC Premiership semi-final next weekend. A win over Waikato on Saturday night is all that is needed, but anything less may leave them sweating on the result of the last match of the weekend – Canterbury’s first defence of the Ranfurly Shield against North Harbour – as to where they’ll be.

It’s not quite as certain for the Wellington Pride, who sit third ahead of their final round-robin clash with Manawatu in Palmerston North. A home semi is out of reach, with Canterbury and Auckland having sewn those up. But to avoid the possibility of heading to Christchurch a win is a must. However the Cyclones are themselves needing a bonus point win to have any hope of avoiding relegation so won’t be short of motivation, and should they achieve that the Pride will be checking the other two results; Canterbury hosting Bay of Plenty and Counties-Manukau at home to Waikato.


The opening sevens tournament of the year was played in good spirits in some trying weather conditions on Saturday, with some entertaining rugby played. The invitational team won the Fa’atonu Fili 7s tournament, read more HERE

The club sevens series for the American Ambassador’s Trophy starts in a fortnight with the opening leg of three at Mary Crowther Park. With perennial contenders the Upper Hutt Rams and Wainuiomata, along with MSP, Avalon and Paremata-Plimmerton set to step out for the first time, Short Passes predicts a competitive WRFU sevens series.


Upper Hutt Rams loose forward Murphy Taramai will be returning home to Wellington after he signed with the Hurricanes for the 2020 Investec Super Rugby season.

The 27-year-old grew up in the capital and attended Upper Hutt College where his sporting prowess was widely recognised.

He shifted across the Tasman to take up a contract with the Penrith Panthers but returned to New Zealand and made a name for himself playing 7s for the Upper Hutt Rams, Wellington and New Zealand and then moved to 15s where he played for Wellington before shifting to play for North Harbour.

“He’s a good ball carrier, has an excellent work rate and is a really good defender which are all good attributes,” Hurricanes head coach John Plumtree said.

“We think he can do a really good job for us and we are looking forward to him coming into the Hurricanes environment.”


Below: Jared Beyer, 136 games for Wainuiomata, proudly displaying the tattoo he engraved to celebrate his 100th game when he was out with Club Rugby’s Adam Julian the other evening. Beyer warned Justin Va’a he’s hungry for a comeback in 2020.


Former St Pat’s Town fullback Saia Paese has won the Graeme Lowe Award for the Hawke’s Bay Rugby Academy Player of the Year.

The award is named after former union patron Graeme Lowe, who died in 2012. Lowe had sponsored the union for more than 30 years.

Paese was the top try scorer in Hawke’s Bay club rugby in 2019, with 23 strikes playing for Napier Old Boys Marist.


1995: Lomu oh, oh

2019: Buffering

Spark Sport raising the ire of rugby supporters nationwide so much so that a Facebook page has been launched to undertake a civil suit against the broadcaster for the quality of its service. While Spark insists most are satisfied with the quality of its coverage, it’s not hard to hear horror stories of those suffering from buffering or no pictures at all. The large crowds watching matches at the Petone Working Men’s Club this weekend were subject to frequent buffering and a loss of picture in the All Blacks v Namibia and Argentina v England fixtures.


Nice try by Northern United halfback TJ Perenara for the All Blacks against Namibia in their 71-9 win at the Rugby World Cup on Sunday night. Perhaps not even the boys from across the border in Springbok-land could have prevented that one as Brad Weber and the now first five-eighth Perenara combined for some magic up the lefthand side of the field. On halfbacks, there is good healthy competition in the squad between these two and Aaron Smith.


Another well-taken try below…even if scored by the Australians and not us!


The New Zealand Secondary Schools’ were beaten 18-14 in the annual test by Australia in Hamilton on Friday. It’s New Zealand’s first loss to Australia since 2012 and their first defeat in any game since a 20-22 setback against Fiji in 2013. New Zealand had won 18 games in a row; the record is 22.

There were nine players from six private schools in the starting XV and 11 private school boys in the overall match day squad of 23.

According to the Ministry of Education just under five percent of all students in New Zealand attend private schools.

Between 1978 and 2008 there were 64 private school boys who played for New Zealand. Between 2011 and 2019 there have been 64 private school boys to have played for New Zealand.

There wasn’t a single boy from the National Top Four winning Hastings Boys’ High School First XV in the team this year, though a National championship winning school not producing a National rep isn’t without percent.

In 2015 Rotorua Boys’ High School didn’t gain a single selection either.


Alan Boyd has spent 33 years staring at the ceiling, after breaking his neck playing social rugby.

It is a grim life but the 63 year old does not want people to feel sorry for him and he encourages mums to let their kids play rugby.

His world fell apart on April 19, 1986, playing for Hutt Valley Marist against Poneke.

“It was a nice sunny day, the second of the season, and both our hookers were out and they asked me to play hooker and stupid me said ‘yes’.”

Poneke had a big pack, which dominated the scrums and 20 minutes into the game tragedy struck.

“I heard a crack and then everything was in slow motion. It seemed like ages before I hit the ground.”

Read more HERE


There have been a record five cards the same colour at Cheryl’s jacket pictured here  in the Rugby World Cup; in 2015 there was one red card. There have been 17 yellow cards, including five games where two yellow cards have been issued. There were only 18 yellow cards and two red cards at the 2011 World Cup. In 2015 there were 52 yellow cards with 19 out of the 20 nations receiving sanction.

Japan have won three games in a row for the first time in World Cup history and five of their last six World Cup fixtures.

The only other time in World Cup history the All Blacks have had two yellow cards in the same game was in 2015 when they beat Argentina 26-16 at Wembly.


The 2019 National Sport Club Survey with the NZ Amateur Sports Association will end this coming Friday, 11 October. All sports clubs are invited to participate in the survey, (with a $500 credit on sport apparel from Dynasty Sport to be won by one survey participant who enters the survey Prize Draw).

If your club would like to participate in the survey, please click here to provide your e-Mail contact details. This will enable the survey link to be sent to you.


A women’s and girls 7s tournament on October 19th at the Hawke’s Bay Regional Sports Park. Registrations for the tournament close on the 14th October. There are three grades to enter: Women’s, u18 and u15. 

Tournament organisers welcome all abilities from across the country. For more contact sarah@sparksport, or follow the link to sign up: an invoice will be sent out at a later date.

The latest Rugby News magazine is on the shelves:

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