Above: Moment of impact. The Hurricanes missed out to the Blues 15-24 on Saturday night, ending the match with 12 players. PHOTO: Stewart Baird.
Hutt Old Boys Marist were run down by hosts Napier Old Boys Marist in the final of the Spillane tournament on Sunday.
HOBM gave away a 19-point lead to lose 38-31 to the Hawke’s Bay club rugby champions. HOBM had led 19-5 at halftime and 31-12 early in the second half.
Marist St Pat’s lost 54-19 to Hastings Rugby and Sports in the 3rd v 4th match.
A tournament team was selected afterwards:
1. Dom Devine (Napier), 2. Jacob Devery (Hastings), 3. Jeremiah Tuiatua (Hastings), 4. Alex Kauvalu (Auckland), 5. Josh Balme (Hamilton), 6. James Goodger (Masterton), 7. Richie Tuivansavou (Rotorua), 8. Matt Gardner (Napier), 9. Connor Collins (HOBM), 10. James Proctor (MSP), 11. Joeli Rauca (Hastings), 12. Kakau He Ora Eouhna Namuli (Auckland), 13. Isaiah Vinceenson (Hamilton), 14. Lewini Moceakala (Auckland), 15. Andrew Wells (MSP).
— All Blacks Sevens (@AllBlacks7s) March 9, 2020
A wonderful rugby occasion on Saturday with Wellington and Nelson clubs celebrating their 150th anniversary with a keenly fought match won by the visiting Nelson 32-21. Nelson’s arrival was delayed at least two hours following a fatal road crash on State Highway 1 in Picton. Their ferry didn’t arrival in the capital until midnight.
Nelson Rugby Football Club have produced three All Blacks the most famous of which is George Smith who played 14 games and scored 19 tries on the 1905 Originals tour. His two tries won the Scottish test 12-7. Smith also won 14 national track and field titles and held an unofficial world record in hurdles. The player of the series in Great Britain v New Zealand rugby league tests is named after George Smith following his contribution on the pioneering 1907-08 ‘All Golds’ tour. He even rode Impulse to victory in the 1894 Auckland Cup though that is fact disputed by the Association for Rugby Historians and Statisticians.
There is one weekend to go before the start of the Premier club rugby season on Saturday 21 March. There are several more pre-season matches this coming Saturday, while other clubs are holding internal camps and training days to fine tune their preparations before the opening weekend. We will promote this information in one place at the end of this week.
A busy weekend for Wellington’s two professional referees, with both having to produce the red card in their respective fixtures. Firstly Mike Fraser sent Tyrel Lomax from the field in the Hurricanes loss to the Blues, and then hours later on the other side of the world Ben O’Keeffe did likewise in dismissing Manu Tuilagi late in England’s win over Wales in the Six Nations.
Wasn’t it good to see Kobus Van Wyk high-five a couple of spectators after he scored. Red Badge security must have been in a tail spin. If the fans see raw passion from the players it leads to greater support regardless of the result.
The Hurricanes were down to 12 players on Saturday – they have played with 12 before and actually won. In 2000 the Waratahs were beaten 27-20 in Sydney despite Jonah Lomu being sent off for two yellow card offences, and Norm Hewitt and Filo Tiatia both getting binned too. Andre Watson was the referee.
The Hurricanes have had 5 yellow cards already this season matching their entire season total from 2019. The Hurricanes conceded 11 yellow cards in 2017 and only 5 when they won the title in 2016
The Blues claimed their first away win over another Kiwi team since 2013 when they beat the Hurricanes 24-15 in Wellington. The span of matches was 26 matches and the victory snaps a nine game losing streak dating back to 2014 against the Hurricanes.
The Blues have won their last four away games – equaling an away winning streak from 1997. The Blues have won 3 in a row for the first time since 2017.
Some more success for Thamsyn Newton. After claiming the domestic Twenty20 cricket title with the Wellington Blaze, she and her OBU Impala’s and Pride teammate Montana Heslop claimed the inaugural Women’s Red Bull forceback title in coastal Taranaki last weekend.
Two items from our Pacific desk.
- Malachai Unasa – who’s moved from Ories to Norths in the off-season – made his debut for the Samoan Sevens side in the World Series event in Vancouver.
- Several Wellington-based players have been selected in the Manu Sina side for their World Cup repecharge qualifier in Apia next month. Norths pair Nina Foaese and Molly Maligi-Leota are joined by Petone quartet Mary-Lee Sa’u, Hope Sa’u, Elieta Tatou, and Sieni Mose.
The province’s most recent club centurion has moved on. HOBM’s Francis Tanuvasa brought up his hundredth game in the Eagles’ last round Jubilee Cup loss to Wainuiomata, but has relocated to Melbourne. A useful player across the three-quarter line, the Hutt Valley HS product proved that you didn’t need to play Premier 1 rugby at college to have a successful club career.
We’ll have a comprehensive list of off-season moves next week before the season kicks off.
Short Passes wishes Tracy Smith all the best in his recovery from a stroke at the end of January. Smith has been heavily involved with the Centurions RFC over a long time and has been instrumental in driving their teams and is formerly an Avalon and Axemen halfback and Wellington rep and in recent times was coach of the Axemen Premiers.
International rugby to look forward to later this year:
The Wanganui Rugby Football Union has been scrambling to get a completed Premier and Senior club draw confirmed after late withdrawals from both grades.
Wanganui Pirates RFC have confirmed they will field one team in the Senior competition – dropping out of Premier with their championship wins of 2014-15 and last grand final appearance in 2018 now a distant memory.
Pirates joining Ratana in also dropping down to Senior leaves Premier with just a tight six-team grade – 2019 champions Taihape, runners-up Border, Ruapehu, Kaierau, Marist and Ngamatapouri.
The competition will start on Anzac Day, 25 April.
Read more HERE
Rugby Southland staff have had a frantic couple of weeks following the withdrawal of Edendale from the premier competition.
It has prompted yet another shake-up to the 2020 club season which will kick-off on March 28.
A 10-team premier competition was locked in place before Edendale contacted Rugby Southland a fortnight ago indicating it wanted to drop down to the 10-team division one competition.
It meant the premier competition would be reduced to nine teams and division one competition increase to 11.
Read more HERE
England are one win away from a second successive Grand Slam in the Women’s Six Nations after a Poppy Cleall hat-trick helped them power past Wales 66-7 in front of a record Twickenham Stoop crowd.The crowd of 10,974 is a record for an England women ticketed home game outside of a World Cup, surpassing the record of 10,545 set at Exeter’s Sandy Park in the 2019 Six Nations.
Wales upset England 23-22 in the Under 20 Six Nations which leaves England, Wales and France with two wins each. Ireland lead the competition with 3 wins from 3 matches. Their fixture against Italy was postponed.
Scotland beat France 28-17 at Murrayfield in the Senior Six Nations, with Sean Maitland scoring two tries, ending France’s hopes of a first Grand Slam in a decade.
France is now level with England on 13 points at the top of the table, ahead of their match against Ireland this coming Saturday. England have to await news of their recheduled match against Italy in Rome, while Scotland meet Wales in Cardiff next.
Looking forward to the start of the club rugby season with the defending champions Norths:
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