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Wellington Lions to meet Manawatu in final match of 2020 on Saturday

  • By Peter Marriott and Steven White

The Wellington Lions and the Manawatu Turbos resume their long-established rivalry after a two-year hiatus and contest the Coronation Cup when they meet on Saturday afternoon at Wellington Stadium.

This fixture goes back to 1887 when Wellington enjoyed what was then a reasonably comfortable 11-0 victory.

Prior to the start of the NPC/ITM Cup era in 1976, Wellington and Manawatu had met 67 times, of which Wellington won 45, Manawatu 15 and there were seven draws including three in a row 1948-50.

The Coronation Cup inter-union trophy that the two sides are also playing for on Saturday was presented by the Arnott family to the Manawatu Rugby Union in the Queen’s coronation year of 1953. For many seasons the two unions played an annual Queen’s Birthday fixture for the Coronation Cup.

Both sides are playing to avoid the wooden spoon in the respective Premiership and Championship divisions.

Wellington’s record against Manawatu in the National Provincial Championship (NPC) competition is played 26, Wellington has won 18 (69.2%), Manawatu eight, and none have been drawn.

The results of those matches are as follows:

Year Venue Won by Score
1976 Palmerston North Manawatu 23-13
1977 Wellington Wellington 15-12
1978 Palmerston North (RS) Manawatu 13-6
1979 Wellington Wellington 16-10
1980 Palmerston North Wellington 15-9
1981 Wellington Wellington 28-10
1982 Palmerston North Manawatu 28-9
1983 Wellington Wellington 16-15
1984 Palmerston North Wellington 24-9
1985 Wellington Wellington 28-9
1986 Palmerston North Wellington 33-13
1987 Wellington Wellington 56-24
1988 Palmerston North Wellington 30-15
2006 Palmerston North Wellington 11-3
2007 Wellington Wellington 37-7
2008 Palmerston North Wellington 36-13
2009 Wellington Wellington 43-15
2010 Palmerston North Manawatu 36-24
2011 Wellington Manawatu 31-25
2012 Palmerston North Wellington 30-11
2013 Wellington Wellington 42-15
2014 Wellington Manawatu 27-21
2015 Wellington Manawatu 39-33
2016 Palmerston North Manawatu 50-28
2017 Palmerston North Wellington 41-29
2018 Palmerston North Wellington 49-7

Manawatu played in Division 2 of the NPC from 1989 to 2005 inclusive.

Wellington and Manawatu met in both sides’ respective first match in the then new NPC competition established in 1976. The date was 7 June and Manawatu was the first-ever side to beat Wellington in an NPC match.

Wellington and Manawatu first met in a first-class match at Wellington on 22 June 1887. Wellington won 11-0 scoring four tries. Since then the two sides have played a total of 87 matches, Wellington has won 61 to Manawatu’s 20. There have been six draws.

The record between Wellington and Manawatu in all NPC matches played on Wellington home grounds is:

Year Won by Score
1977 Wellington 15-12
1979 Wellington 16-10
1981 Wellington 28-10
1983 Wellington 16-15
1985 Wellington 28-9
1987 Wellington 56-24
2007 Wellington 37-7
2009 Wellington 43-15
2011 Manawatu 31-25
2013 Wellington 42-15
2014 Manawatu 27-21
2015 Manawatu 39-33

Of the 12 matches played in Wellington, Wellington has won nine and Manawatu has won three including the last two years in succession, both by a margin of six points.

Wellington has previously been beaten at home in three successive matches by two teams namely Counties Manukau (in 1977, 1979 and 1981) and Otago (in 2001, 2003 and 2005). Otago also had an earlier sequence of W D W and W between 1991 and 1997 which was only separated from their three wins in a row by a Wellington victory in 1999.

However, two matches ago, Tasman outdid Counties Manukau and Otago by winning their fourth successive match against Wellington (in 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2020), at Wellington home venues.

Wellington’s record in all home matches is played 234, won 168 (71.8%), lost 62, and drawn four.

Wellington has conceded a total of 1131 tries in all NPC matches: that is 565 at home and 566 away from home.

Wellington has scored 892 tries in all home matches played.

Wellington’s aggregate of 360 points in home matches against Manawatu is made up of 50 tries, 35 conversions, and 21 penalties.

Manawatu’s aggregate of 214 points against Wellington, in Wellington, is made up of 26 tries, 19 conversions, 18 penalties and one drop goal. That single drop goal in Wellington was kicked by Aaron Cruden in 2011.

Wellington’s overall record in all NPC matches is played 466, won 291 (62.4%), lost 163, and drawn 12.

Manawatu’s overall record in all Division 1 NPC matches is played 288, won 114 (39.6%), lost 165, and drawn nine.

Manawatu’s overall record in the last 10 years (apart from 2014) has been disappointing and their results since 2011 have been as follows:

Year P W L D Division
2011 11 7 4 Championship
2012 10 3 7 Championship
2013 10 4 6 Championship
2014 12 10 2 Championship
2015 10 3 7 Premiership
2016 10 4 6 Championship
2017 10 4 6 Championship
2018 10 3 7 Championship
2019 11 4 7 Championship
2020 9 1 8 Championship
Totals 103 43 60

Since 2011 Manawatu has won just 41.7% of all its matches played.

Manawatu defeated Hawke’s Bay 32-24 in the Championship Final of 2014 (having lost to the same team in the Final of 2011). They were promoted to the Premiership Division in 2015 but lasted just one year before being demoted back to the Championship Division for 2016, where they have remained ever since.

In all NPC matches against Manawatu, Wellington has aggregated 709 points made up of 99 tries, 62 conversions, 41 penalties, and two drop goals.

One try will take Wellington’s tally to 100 against Manawatu which will become the 11th side in the NPC to concede a century of tries to Wellington. Those which have gone before are:

Team Tries
Canterbury 150
Taranaki 146
Waikato 145
Northland 140
Bay of Plenty 134
Otago 134
Southland 128
Counties Manukau 119
Auckland 115
North Harbour 101

Above: Jackson Garden-Bachop on the charge when the two teams met in Palmerston North in 2017. Wellington won 41-29.

Wellington has kicked just one penalty goal in their last four matches against Manawatu, and none at Wellington since 2014.

In all NPC matches against Wellington, Manawatu has aggregated 473 points made up of 58 tries, 37 conversions, 41 penalties, and three drop goals.

Manawatu has kicked no penalty goals in their last three matches against Wellington.

Wellington has scored four tries or better in NPC matches against Manawatu on 14 occasions, including six times at Wellington.

Wellington has twice failed to score a try against Manawatu: in 1978 and 1982. On both occasions the match was played at Palmerston North.

Manawatu has scored four tries or better in NPC matches against Wellington on just five occasions including once (2015) at Wellington.

Manawatu has twice failed to score a try against Wellington: in 1980 and 2006. On both occasions the match was played at Palmerston North.

Wellington’s record for most tries in a match against Manawatu is nine, at Wellington in 1987, and Palmerston North in 2018.

Manawatu’s record for most tries in a match against Wellington is eight, at Palmerston North in 2016. The most tries they have scored at Wellington is five: in 2015.

The record for most tries scored in a NPC match by a Wellington player against Manawatu is four, by Mike Clamp at Palmerston North in 1984.

The record for most tries scored in a NPC match by a Manawatu player against Wellington is four, by Antonio Kiri Kiri, at Palmerston North in 2016.

The record for most penalties in a NPC match by Wellington against Manawatu is four, at Wellington in 1985.

The record for most penalties kicked by a Wellington player in a NPC match against Manawatu is three, by Allan Hewson at Palmerston North in 1980 and Wellington in 1985, John Gallagher at Palmerston North in 1986, Jason Woodward at Palmerston North in 2012 and Wellington in 2014, and Lima Sopoaga at Wellington in 2013.

The record for most penalties kicked in a NPC match by a Manawatu player against Wellington is five, by Otere Black at Wellington in 2014.

Wellington’s two drop goals against Manawatu were kicked by Brian Cederwall and Allan Hewson, the last one, by Hewson, back in 1982.

The most points scored by a Wellington player in a NPC match against Manawatu is 24 (one try, seven conversions and two penalties), by John Gallagher at Wellington in 1987.

The most points scored by a Wellington player in all NPC matches against Manawatu is 61, by Allan Hewson.

The most points scored by a Manawatu player in a NPC match against Wellington is 22 (one try, one conversion and five penalties), by Otere Black at Wellington in 2014.

The most points scored by a Manawatu player in all NPC matches against Wellington is 50, by Otere Black.

Doug Rollerson scored in all four ways for Manawatu at Palmerston North in 1976 (two tries, one conversion, two penalties and one drop goal). He scored 19 of Manawatu’s 23 points.

Wellington’s highest score in a NPC match against Manawatu is 56, at Wellington in 1987. In all first-class matches against Manawatu, Wellington’s highest score is 69 when they won 69-3 in a non-NPC match at Wellington on 23 May 1990. Interestingly, the current Australian Wallaby Coach Dave Rennie, was a member of the Wellington side that day.

Manawatu’s highest score in all matches against Wellington is 50, at Palmerston North in 2016.

Wellington’s record in MITRE 10 Cup matches played so far in 2020 is:

Versus Venue Result Score Halftime
Waikato Hamilton Lost 28-53 Behind 21-23
Auckland Auckland Won 39-21 Ahead 29-14
Bay of Plenty Wellington Won 32-10 Ahead 12-10
Canterbury Christchurch Lost 26-31 Behind 12-18
Otago Wellington Lost 34-35 Ahead 20-13
North Harbour Wellington Won 25-20 Behind 12-13
Counties Manukau Pukekohe Won 53-20 Behind 11-13
Tasman Porirua Lost 3-19 Behind 0-11
Hawke’s Bay (RS) Napier Lost 18-34 Behind 6-27

Wellington has been behind at halftime in their last four matches. The last time they trailed at the break in four successive matches was back in 2016. They won three of those matches.

Wellington has scored 258 points this year made up of 35 tries, 25 conversions and 11 penalties. The point scorers are:

Player T C P DG Pts
Naitoa Ah Kuoi 2 10
Vince Aso 3 15
Teariki Ben-Nicholas 3 15
Alex Fidow 1 5
Vaea Fifita 3 15
Connor Garden-Bachop 1 5
Jackson Garden-Bachop 1 23 11 84
Wes Goosen 3 15
Kemara Hauiti-Parapara 1 5
Ruben Love 1 5
Aidan Morgan 2 4
Xavier Numia 1 5
James O’Reilly 3 15
Pepesana Patafilo 1 5
Billy Proctor 2 10
Trent Renata 1 5
Ardie Savea 1 5
Julian Savea 2 10
Tyrone Thompson 2 10
Kaliopasi Uluilakepa 1 5
Peter Umaga-Jensen 2 10
Totals 35 25 11 258

Wellington has scored their points against opposition sides as follows:

Versus T C P DG Pts
Waikato 4 4 28
Auckland 6 3 1 39
Bay of Plenty 5 2 1 32
Canterbury 4 3 26
Otago 4 4 2 34
North Harbour 3 2 2 25
Counties Manukau 7 6 2 53
Tasman 1 3
Hawke’s Bay 2 1 2 18

Wellington has conceded 243 points made up of 29 tries, 19 conversions and 20 penalties

Opposition sides have scored their points against Wellington as follows:

Versus T C P DG Pts
Waikato 5 5 6 53
Auckland 3 3 21
Bay of Plenty 1 1 1 10
Canterbury 4 1 3 31
Otago 5 2 2 35
North Harbour 3 1 1 20
Counties Manukau 2 2 2 20
Tasman 2 3 19
Hawke’s Bay 4 4 2 34

The tries scored by Wellington during each quarter are:

Minutes
1-20 21-40 41-60 61-80
6 11 7 11

 Wellington has scored 17 first half tries and 18 second half tries.

The tries conceded by Wellington during each quarter are:

Minutes
1-20 21-40 41-60 61-80
9 6 7 7

Wellington has conceded 15 tries in the first half and 14 in the second half.

One of the tries conceded by Wellington in the first quarter was scored by Nathan Vella, after just 33 seconds.

The tries scored and conceded by Wellington in each match are:

Versus For Against
Waikato 4 5
Auckland 6 3
Bay of Plenty 5 1
Canterbury 4 4
Otago 4 5
North Harbour 3 3
Counties Manukau 7 2
Tasman 2
Hawke’s Bay 2 4
Totals 35 29

 The points scored by Wellington in each half are:

Versus First Half Points Second Half Points
Waikato 21 7
Auckland 29 10
Bay of Plenty 12 20
Canterbury 12 14
Otago 20 14
North Harbour 12 13
Counties Manukau 11 42
Tasman 0 3
Hawke’s Bay 6 12
Totals 123 135

 Wellington scores an average of 13.7 points in the first half and 15.0 points in the second half.

Wellington scores an average of 28.7 points in a match.

The points conceded by Wellington in each half are as follows:

Versus First Half Points Second Half Points
Waikato 23 30
Auckland 14 7
Bay of Plenty 10 0
Canterbury 18 13
Otago 13 22
North Harbour 13 7
Counties Manukau 13 7
Tasman 11 8
Hawke’s Bay 27 7
Totals 142 101

 Wellington concedes an average of 15.8 points in the first half and 11.2 points in the second half.

Wellington concedes an average of 27.0 points in a match.

Wellington has used 34 players in its nine matches played to date. Nine of them have made their first-class debut for Wellington.

One yellow card has been issued: to Xavier Numia, in the match against Bay of Plenty.

Of the total 725 minutes of playing time so far, Billy Proctor has played the most (712 minutes) closely followed by Jackson Garden-Bachop with 711 minutes and then James Blackwell with 705 minutes.

Just four players have started all nine matches: James Blackwell, Vaea Fifita, Jackson Garden-Bachop and Billy Proctor. Two others, namely Teariki Ben-Nicholas and Tyrone Thompson have appeared in all nine but Thompson has come off the bench a record eight times.

Of the current playing squad seven have previously scored at least one try against Manawatu. They are:

Player Tries
James Blackwell 1 (2018)
Alex Fidow 1 (2017)
Jackson Garden-Bachop 1 (2017)
Wes Goosen 1 (2016)
Mateaki Kafatolu 1 (2018)
Trent Renata 1 2017)
Julian Savea 2 (2009 and 2017)

In addition, Garden-Bachop has kicked eight conversions for a total of 21 points and Renata has kicked two conversions for a total of nine points. Every one of the above points were scored in matches played at Palmerston North.

Garden-Bachop’s eight points in the previous match against Hawke’s Bay took his total in all matches for Wellington to exactly 600. He has scored those points year-by-year as follows:

Year Matches T C P DG Pts
2013 1
2014 7 1 5
2015 10 2 9 4 40
2016 11 2 32 16 122
2017 12 3 47 11 142
2018 11 1 28 10 91
2019 12 28 19 1 116
2020 9 1 23 11 84
Totals 73 10 167 71 1 600

Manawatu’s record in MITRE 10 Cup matches played so far in 2020 is:

Versus Venue Result Score Halftime
Northland Whangarei Lost 26-43 Behind 20-22
Otago Palmerston North Lost 25-36 Behind 8-14
Auckland Auckland Lost 12-50 Behind 5-26
Counties Manukau Pukekohe Lost 30-36 Ahead 20-12
Canterbury Palmerston North Lost 10-34 Behind 0-10
Bay of Plenty Palmerston North Lost 35-53 Behind 21-38
Hawke’s Bay (RS) Napier Lost 12-47 Behind 12-28
Southland Feilding Won 24-12 Ahead 17-7
Taranaki Feilding Lost 19-35 Behind 6-12

Manawatu has scored 193 points this year made up of 29 tries, 15 conversions and six penalties. The point scorers are:

Player T C P DG Pts
Nigel Ah Wong 2 10
Jamie Booth 2 10
Adam Boult 1 5
Stewart Cruden 1 5 15
Johnny Galloway 1 5
Shamus Hurley-Langton 1 5
Tyler Laubscher 1 5
Josiah Maraku 1 5
Liam Mitchell 2 10
Aaron Smith 2 10
Kyle Stewart 1 5
Sam Stewart 2 10
James Tofa 3 15
Micaiah Torrance-Read 1 5
Te Rangatira Waitokia 2 10
Drew Wild 3 15
Bryn Wilson 1 5
Ben Wyness 2 10 6 48
Totals 29 15 6 193

Manawatu has scored their points against opposition sides as follows:

Versus T C P DG Pts
Northland 2 2 4 26
Otago 4 1 1 25
Auckland 2 1 12
Counties Manukau 5 1 1 30
Canterbury 2 10
Bay of Plenty 5 5 35
Hawke’s Bay (RS) 2 1 12
Southland 4 2 24
Taranaki 3 2 19

 Manawatu has conceded 346 points made up of 49 tries, 37 conversions and nine penalties

Opposition sides have scored their points against Manawatu as follows:

Versus T C P DG Pts
Northland 6 5 1 43
Otago 5 4 1 36
Auckland 8 5 50
Counties Manukau 5 4 1 36
Canterbury 5 3 1 34
Bay of Plenty 7 6 2 53
Hawke’s Bay (RS) 7 6 47
Southland 2 1 12
Taranaki 4 3 3 35

The tries scored by Manawatu during each quarter are:

Minutes
1-20 21-40 41-60 61-80
8 9 2 10

 Manawatu has scored 17 first half tries and 12 second half tries.

The tries conceded by Manawatu during each quarter are:

Minutes
1-20 21-40 41-60 61-80
4 18 14 13

 Manawatu has conceded 22 tries in the first half and 27 in the second half.

The tries scored and conceded by Manawatu in each match are:

Versus For Against
Northland 2 6
Otago 4 5
Auckland 2 8
Counties Manukau 5 5
Canterbury 2 5
Bay of Plenty 5 7
Hawke’s Bay (RS) 2 7
Southland 4 2
Taranaki 3 4
Totals 29 49

 The points scored by Manawatu in each half are:

Versus First Half Points Second Half Points
Northland 20 6
Otago 8 17
Auckland 5 7
Counties Manukau 20 10
Canterbury 0 10
Bay of Plenty 21 14
Hawke’s Bay (RS) 12 0
Southland 17 7
Taranaki 6 13
Totals 109 84

 Manawatu scores an average of 12.1 points in the first half and 9.3 points in the second half.

Manawatu scores an average of 21.4 points in a match.

The points conceded by Manawatu in each half are as follows:

Versus First Half Points Second Half Points
Northland 22 21
Otago 14 22
Auckland 26 24
Counties Manukau 12 24
Canterbury 10 24
Bay of Plenty 38 15
Hawke’s Bay (RS) 28 19
Southland 7 5
Taranaki 12 23
Totals 169 177

 Manawatu concedes an average of 18.8 points in the first half and 19.6 points in the second half.

Manawatu concedes an average of 38.4 points in a match.

When Wellington and Manawatu last met, at the Central Energy Trust Arena in Palmerston North on 23 September 2018, Wellington won the match 49-7. They led 25-0 at halftime: the referee was Cameron Stone of Taranaki.

The point scorers for both sides were:

Wellington (49) Manawatu (7)
Ben Lam (2) Tries Brice Henderson
Thomas Waldrom
Mateaki Kafatolu
Thomas Umaga-Jensen
James Blackwell
Asafo Aumua
Isaia Walker-Leawere
Peter Umaga-Jensen
Trent Renata (2) Conversions Sam Malcolm

The Wellington starting XV was:

No Player
1 Tolu Fahamokioa
2 Asafo Aumua
3 Jeffery To’omaga-Allen
4 James Blackwell
5 Isaia Walker-Leawere
6 Galu Taufale
7 Mateaki Kafatolu
8 Thomas Waldrom
9 Kemara Hauiti-Parapara
10 Jackson Garden-Bachop
11 Ben Lam
12 Thomas Umaga-Jensen
13 Matt Proctor (c)
14 Losi Filipo
15 Wes Goosen

All eight substitutes came off the bench: Greg Foe, Joel Hintz, Will Mangos, Xavier Numia, James O’Reilly, Sheridan Rangihuna, Trent Renata and Peter Umaga-Jensen. As it turned out, Foe and Rangihuna never played another game for Wellington.

The first try of the match was scored by Thomas Waldrom after just five minutes. Jackson Garden-Bachop had a horror day with the boot failing with all six conversion attempts. Two of them hit the upright.

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